Kämna Celebrates Solo Victory at Vuelta a España Stage Amid Crosswinds and Mountain Chaos

By Monica Buck

The 9th stage of Vuelta a España witnessed Lennard Kämna of Bora-Hansgrohe showcasing an extraordinary solo performance, conquering the Collado de la Cruz de Caravaca segment from the breakaway group, thus adding another feather to his cap of Grand Tour stage victories. The German powerhouse managed to surge ahead during the grueling final climb, leaving Matteo Sobrero of Jayco-AlUla and Chris Hamilton of dsm-firmenich trailing.

“I am very happy with this. I have worked very hard in recent months and am happy to be on the podium again and to win here,” an exhilarated Kämna remarked post the victorious stage, adding, “I hoped to push on and have as much energy as possible for when everything came together again. At that moment I noticed that I still had power left.”

The race, which spanned 184.5 km, was marked by aggressive crosswinds that resulted in multiple echelon formations, with race organizers deciding to record the GC times at a spot 2.05 km away from the finish line, in light of the deteriorating road conditions on the climb. This alteration meant that the toughest portions of the summit finish were neutralized, reducing the tension towards the day’s conclusion.

From the onset, the stage was characterized by chaos, with teams like Jumbo-Visma intensifying the pace as strong winds wreaked havoc during the early kilometers, causing echelons to scatter along the roadway in the initial 50 km stretch. Following this, a period of relative calm ensued, allowing for the breakaway group, including Kämna, to pull ahead and maintain their lead until the finish line.

Kämna highlighted the challenging nature of the climb stating, “The climb was very tricky. It was always up and down and that made it difficult to get away. I had a gap and then I went full throttle. I tried to break it by going two minutes over my limit.” Demonstrating an impeccable strategy, he skipped participating in the Tour de France to focus on securing a stage victory here. A move that paid off splendidly, fulfilling his objective and bringing him immense joy, as he noted, “We succeeded and that is why I’m very happy.”

Meanwhile, in the GC group, a series of attacks were initiated by notable names such as João Almeida of UAE Team Emirates and Aleksandr Vlasov of Bora-Hansgrohe. Primož Roglič of Jumbo-Visma also escalated the action before reaching the GC timing line.

As the dust settled and GC times began to emerge, it was recorded that Almeida and Vlasov finished with a time lag of 3:11 behind Kämna, followed closely by Roglič who clocked in at 3:16, gaining a slight lead of two seconds over a group that included Remco Evenepoel of Soudal-QuickStep, Juan Ayuso of UAE Team Emirates, Enric Mas of Movistar, and Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma. Holding the red jersey, Sepp Kuss of Jumbo-Visma crossed the line with a time of 3:25, marking the end of a day fraught with challenges and triumphs.

Vuelta a España Stage 9 Results:

  1. Lennard Kämna, BORA-hansgrohe – 04:28:59
  2. Matteo Sobrero, Team Jayco-AlUla – +00:13
  3. Chris Hamilton, Team dsm-firmenich – +01:12
  4. Amanuel Gebreigzabhier, Lidl-Trek – +01:00
  5. Jon Barrenetxea, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA – +01:37
  6. Ruben Fernandez, Cofidis – +01:37
  7. Jonathan Caicedo, EF Education-EasyPost – +02:11
  8. Daniel Navarro, Burgos-BH – +02:41
  9. Enric Mas, Movistar Team – +03:16
  10. Aleksandr Vlasov, BORA-hansgrohe – +03:11

General classification after stage 9

  1. Sepp Kuss, Jumbo-Visma – 35:23:30
  2. Marc Soler, UAE Team Emirates – +00:43
  3. Lenny Martinez, Groupama-FDJ – +01:02
  4. Remco Evenepoel, Soudal Quick-Step – +02:22
  5. Mikel Landa, Bahrain Victorious – +02:29
  6. Primoz Roglic, Jumbo-Visma – +02:29
  7. Jonas Vingegaard, Jumbo-Visma – +02:33
  8. Enric Mas, Movistar Team – +02:33
  9. Juan Ayuso, UAE Team Emirates – +02:43
  10. Joao Almeida, UAE Team Emirates – +02:55