Lenny Martinez slipped into the red jersey on Stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana but it was Jumbo-Visma who was the big winner on the climb to the observatory at Javalambre.
Sepp Kuss clinched the stage win from a huge breakaway while his teammates Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard shot more than 30 seconds at Remco Evenepoel, who had said he wanted to relinquish responsibility for red, but maybe not like that.
In a frantic start to the 183.5km La Vall d’Uixo stage, Evenepoel’s Soudal-Quickstep team unleashed a quality group of 40 riders including Kuss, Martinez, Marc Soler, Mikel Landa and Wout Poels. and saw them play out a six-minute lead.
On the steep ramps of the final climb, Kuss went off alone with two and a half kilometers to go as the American, who worked tirelessly for Roglic in the Giro d’Italia and Vingegaard in the Tour de France, collected his personal reward.
However, young French hope Martinez, just 20 years old, finished in second place, 26 seconds back and received red for Groupama-FDJ, eight seconds back.
Further down the mountain, Roglic was the first to launch an attack from the group of main favorites and when it became clear that Evenepoel was unable to react, Vingegaard rushed to him and put a 32 second lead over the Belgian.
Evenepoel still stays ahead of the pair in the standings, but his lead over Vingegaard has shrunk to five seconds, with Roglic a further six seconds back.
Geraint Thomas tried to stay with Evenepoel but lost the wheel towards the end of the race and is now in 23rd place, growing to around two minutes behind the other main favourites.