Watch: Vuelta a España stage 21 highlights
A pulsating finale in Madrid
Grand Tour finales are often seen as processions ending in bunch sprints, and much like the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España's final-day laps around Madrid have an air of predictability about them, but there was an upset on the cards on stage 21 of this year's race.
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), a restless presence at this Vuelta, threw the cat among the pigeons with an attack from nearly 40km out. Joined by green jersey Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Hour Record holder Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), it was star-studded move, and they linked up with an existing, and strong, trio in Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and the Bora-Hansgrohe duo of Lennard Kamna and Nico Denz.
They built a decent lead and it was touch and go throughout the closing kilometres as they fought to hold off the bunch. Their lead was reduced to just seven seconds with 3km to go, but then the bunch eased off, and then the break eased off, setting up a mad dash for the line.
Soon after, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) crossed the line to seal the overall title. The US rider drifted off the back of the bunch in order to celebrate arm-in-arm with his teammates, who were wearing special-edition kits to mark their clean sweep of the 2023 Grand Tours.
Watch how it all played out in our highlights video above.
Keep up to date with all of the latest racing news from the Vuelta a España on our dedicated race page, linked here.
Patrick is GCN’s Deputy Editor, writing and shaping content across all areas of the website