Remco Evenepoel sprinted on the last meters of the first summit finish at the Vuelta on Monday, winning the third stage and taking over the red jersey.
Evenepoel sped to the front inside the final 200 meters (to secure the victory after the 158-kilometer (98-mile) mountainous ride from Súria to Andorra.
“It was the perfect tactics from us to be patient, to wait,” Evenepoel said. “I felt super good on the final climb with a long but very strong sprint so I’m super happy with this stage win. I felt I had a big punch still in my legs. I’m gonna enjoy the red jersey. It’s a beautiful victory here in Andorra, at high altitude. It shows my preparation was good and that I’m ready for the next three weeks.”
Evenepoel won the stage with one second ahead of a group of riders that included Enric Mas, Lenny Martinez, Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard.
There was a significant shake-up in the overall standings following stage three, with overnight leader Andrea Piccolo (EF Education–EasyPost) relinquishing his advantage after being left behind by the peloton.
Evenepoel, Mas and Lenny Martinez are now the top three riders in the rankings for the red leader’s jersey, with Vingegaard in fourth.
Tuesday’s fourth stage into Tarragona should favor attackers.
🚴♂️⚡️ We wanted a mountain and Andorra delivered!
😯 The breakaway was so close, they almost made it
❤️ It's been 351 days, but Remco Evenepoel is back in the RED
😎☀️ The sun is finally shining!
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) August 28, 2023