This Sunday 17th of September, Team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty brilliantly concluded the last Grand Tour of the season in Madrid, by finishing with two riders in the top ten of an incredibly exciting last stage.
Rui Costa and his breakaway companions, who attacked with 50 kilometer to go on the urban circuit, offered an impressive resistance to the peloton with the sprinters, who had to go all out to reduce the gap under 15 seconds.
In the peloton, that caught the slipstream of the breakaway in the final hectometers, the sprint was won by young Hugo Page, who finished fourth just ahead of Rui Costa who was sixth.
Present at the start of this Tour of Spain aiming to win a stage, the team of Jean-François Bourlart returns home with a stage victory, another podium and nine stage results in the top ten.
Following in the footsteps of Rein Taaramäe (2021) and Louis Meintjes (2022), Rui Costa took the third stage win in three participations for the Walloon team with his masterpiece in the breakaway in the fifteenth stage to Lekunberri.
Just like during the whole Vuelta, the Portuguese former world champion distinguished himself in the final stage with his perseverance and fighting spirit in a sixth breakaway this Vuelta. In addition to his victory and today’s result, he also finished sixth in the longest stage of this edition on the penultimate day towards Guadarrama.
The other stage podium achieved by the men of Valerio Piva and Pieter Vanspeybrouck is a result of Boy van Poppel,third in the bunch sprint in Saragossa. For the 35 year old Dutchman it was his first podium in a Grand Tour.
The Frenchman Hugo Page concluded the first Grand Tour of his career with four top ten finished in bunch sprints, lead out by van Poppel and Julius Johansen: 7th in Tarragona, 8th in Oliva, 9th in Saragossa and 4th in Madrid.
At the age of 22, Page assumed the leadership in all the sprints following the absence of Gerben Thijssen, who was replaced just before the start by Simone Petilli, who finished the fifth Grand Tour of his career in a role of exemplary teammate.
During these three weeks, team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty had a part of bad luck with the abandons of Kobe Goossens(10th in Barcelona), Rune Herregodts and Rein Taaramäe. But just like the whole season, the men of Jean-François Bourlart never gave up and stayed united around collective goals.