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Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2023, stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela - Madrid, 101.1k

The end. There's plenty to look back on, hopefully Tobias Bayer waits until after the finish to do so this time.



There really isn't any point in discussing this route, is there? The start has been used in 2020 already and neither the run-in down Madrid's highways nor the usual, three-pointed final circuit should hold any secrets. Sadly Uijtdebroeks is one second too far behind Vlasov to overtake him with the intermediate sprint bonus seconds, otherwise we could have had a beautiful sprint for seventh on GC between two teammates.

Final kilometres:
It's an evening stage. What could possibly go wrong...?
Though, probably helps that they'll all finish at the same time.
It'll get neutralised with the finishing line taken in the middle of a hairpin two and a half laps from home just to add an extra layer of farce to this GT and bookend it perfectly.

I mean stage 2 and stage 20 saw rain and the GC riders having a day off, so stages 1 and 21 being crash-filled disasters in the rain would be just the cherry on top of the turd-cream frosting on this stale cake of a race.
Having the Vuelta and Tour of Britain being so dominated by Jumbo at the same time just rubbed in how big the gap is between Jumbo and everyone else (except for Pogi!).
Premier League-ification. It's what they want.

Lock the top level, remove wildcards entirely. No sponsor will ever sponsor a team that isn't going to the Tour apparently, so why not give them even less reason to do so, and bring in Vaughters' beloved franchise idea by the back door?
When was the last time a rider rode all 3 GTs and won at least 1 of them?
Just for 'riding' all 3 GTs, Marco Giovannetti in 1990 I think, but he DNFed the Tour de France. It was even harder before the Vuelta moved to September in 1995, because it backed almost directly on to the Giro.

Giovannetti won the Vuelta in similar fashion to Kuss, gaining an advantage in a breakaway in the middle of the first week and holding on, and then finished 3rd in the Giro, but he abandoned the Tour on stage 5 so isn't really a direct comparison.
If you win all three grand tours it can only be a domination year and it is a team sport .................and even individually, two podiums for Vingegaard and Roglic. Some effort by Kuss riding all three GTs and winning the final one.

Who will be the next rider to win their first grand tour ? Thomas, ,Yates, Carapaz, TGH, Hindley, Remco and Kuss have managed to win one but it's much harder to win a second one. Even Sastre, Schleck and Evans could only win one each.
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