ANDORRA (Reuters) -American Sepp Kuss claimed his maiden victory on the Tour de France with a solo ride in the 15th stage as defending champion Tadej Pogacar was barely bothered in the 191.3-km mountain trek from Ceret to Andorra on Sunday.
The Jumbo-Visma rider prevailed from the day’s breakaway thanks to a sharp attack in the last climb before holding off Alejandro Valverde in the descent to the finish with the Spanish veteran taking second place 23 seconds behind.
Dutchman Wout Poels finished third, 1:15 off the pace before Pogacar and his main challengers crossed the line 4:51 behind Kuss.
The 26-year-old gave his team their second victory in this year’s Tour after their designated leader, Primoz Roglic, pulled out injured following a crash.
France’s Guillaume Martin, who had jumped up to second courtesy of his presence in the breakaway on Saturday, was distanced in the descent from the Port d’Envalira, at 2,408 meters the highest point of this year’s Tour.