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Vuelta a España 2012

Date range:
August 18 - September 9, 2012
  • Vuelta a España, Spain, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      16.5km
      Location
      Pamplona (TTT)
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      181.4km
      Start location:
      Pamplona
      End location:
      Viana
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      155.3km
      Start location:
      Faustino V
      End location:
      Arrate (Eibar)
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      160.6km
      Start location:
      Baracaldo
      End location:
      Estación de Valdezcaray
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      168km
      Location
      Logroño
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      175.4km
      Start location:
      Tarazona
      End location:
      Jaca
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      164.2km
      Start location:
      Huesca
      End location:
      Alcañiz (Motorland Aragón)
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      174.7km
      Start location:
      Lleida
      End location:
      Andorra (Collada de la Gallina)
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      196.3km
      Start location:
      Andorra
      End location:
      Barcelona
    • Rest Day 1

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      190km
      Start location:
      Ponteareas
      End location:
      Sanxenxo
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      39.4km
      Start location:
      Cambados
      End location:
      Pontevedra (ITT)
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      190.5km
      Start location:
      Vilagarcía de Arousa
      End location:
      Mirador de Ézaro
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      172.8km
      Start location:
      Santiago de Compostela
      End location:
      Ferrol
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      149.2km
      Start location:
      Palas de Rei
      End location:
      Puerto de Ancares
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      186.5km
      Start location:
      La Robla
      End location:
      Lagos de Covadonga
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      183.5km
      Start location:
      Gijón
      End location:
      Valgrande-Pajares (Cuitu Negru)
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      187.3km
      Start location:
      Santander
      End location:
      Fuente Dé
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      204.5km
      Start location:
      Aguilar de Campoo
      End location:
      Valladolid
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      178.4km
      Start location:
      Peñafiel
      End location:
      La Lastrilla
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      170.7km
      Start location:
      La Faisanera (Golf Segovia)
      End location:
      Bola del Mundo
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      115km
      Start location:
      Cercedilla
      End location:
      Madrid
  • Race history

September 02, Stage 15: La Robla - Lagos de Covadonga 186.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 15 of the Vuelta from La Robla to Lagos de Covadonga.

  1. 12:48:38 BST

    It may not be as tough as the Angliru or several of the other epic ascents that the Vuelta organisers have located recently but Lagos de Covadonga is arguably the race’s classic climb. Appearing for the 18th time on the route, it has regularly provided the launchpad for a move towards overall victory. The parcours gets severe 50km from the finish, where the riders start up the short cat 1 Puerto del Fito. Covadonga starts off gently but ramps up viciously just before the 10km banner. The 6km up to the infamous La Huesera – "the boneyard" – are brutal. The whole race could very well be won or lost here.

  2. 12:49:10 BST

    Bingen Fernandez:

    "Lagos! Over the years, this has always been an important climb when it comes to the GC. This stage will trim down those in contention even further. It’s the middle of three brutal stages and they seem to run three in a row quite regularly."

     

  3. 134.5km remaining from 186.5km

    12:53:15 BST

    To bring you right up to speed. We've covered 52 km of racing this morning/afternoon and we have a group of ten riders off the front of the peloton with an advantage of under advantage of less than a minute.

    There was a split in the bunch earlier, with Valverde losing a few seconds (on a downhill section) but he's rejoined the other GC favouitres.

  4. 12:53:42 BST

    Distance: 186.7km
    Highest point: 1,380m
    Category: High mountains

  5. 13:01:39 BST

    David de la Fuente (Caja Rural), Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana), Andrey Kashechkin (Astana), Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel) Vicente Reynes (Lotto), Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil), Lloyd Mondory (AG2R), Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano), Antonio Piedra Perez (Caja Rural), and Pablo Lastras (Movistar) are in the break and now, after 65km of racing, have a lead of 3:47.

  6. 13:03:38 BST

    And the leaders are now on the 3rd cat climb of Santo Emiliano

  7. 13:07:36 BST

    Daniel Moreno, Rodriguez's right hand man, has crashed. We'll bring you more on the situation as soon as we have it.

  8. 116.5km remaining from 186.5km

    13:12:10 BST

    • Crash

    Cataldo has also come down in the crash and he needs medical assistance on the road side.

  9. 13:18:25 BST

    At the head of the race De La Fuente who was struggling for a team at the end of last season, leads the break over the climb.

  10. 13:21:12 BST

    The lead is now up to 8:50 as the break race through Langreo.  We've still no news on Cataldo or Moreno from the earlier crash.

  11. 13:27:14 BST

    Kashechkin is the highest placed GC rider in the group. The Astana rider is 22:34 down on Rodriguez as the gap to the break goes out to 9:15.

  12. 13:34:35 BST

    It's a decent looking break too. Lastras has won stages in the Vuelta (last year in fact) and the Tour and the Giro. He's 36 now and he's been with the same team throughout his career, signing with Banesto a year after Indurain retired.

  13. 13:36:51 BST

    Lagutin was top 20 last year, the two  Astana boy can both climb as well.

  14. 13:37:50 BST

    No news on Moreno by the way so we assume he's still in the race but in the middle of the bunch. His Katusha teammates are setting the pace on the front for  now.

  15. 99.5km remaining from 186.5km

    13:40:42 BST

    We've raced nearly 90km and the lead is close to ten minutes. Movistar and SaxoBank will be content to let Katusha do all of the work at the moment. 

  16. 13:50:24 BST

    Here's where we stand on GC.

    Rodriguez was superb yesterday, answering every question posed of  him from Contador and Valverde and in the end, despite Contador's aggression, it was Rodriguez who took the stage and extended his lead on GC.

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 53:06:33
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 0:00:22
    3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:41
    4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
    5 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:04:16
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:05:07
    7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:51
    8 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:06:13
    9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:06:34
    10 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:07:16

  17. 89.5km remaining from 186.5km

    14:00:18 BST

    The lead is now up to 10:14


  18. 14:13:39 BST

    That lead has drifted out to 11.47.

  19. 14:21:19 BST

    Regarding the final climb, it's 1135m, and has a length just short of 14km with an average gradient of 6.9 per cent.

  20. 14:23:56 BST

    Located in the stunning Picos de Europa range that is still home to bears and wolves, its steepest sections, which reach 15 per cent, is known as La Huesera.

  21. 73.5km remaining from 186.5km

    14:28:46 BST

    The leaders now have 13 minutes on the Katusha led peloton.

  22. 14:46:46 BST

    At the start of the stage this morning, Chris Froome told the Vuelta's official website: "I like the atmosphere of La Vuelta a España more than the Tour de France. I like the Spanish culture and the attitude of the people. Spectators have many Spanish riders to encourage and they also encourage me. That helps me to keep my motivation high even though I'm a little tired."

  23. 15:03:35 BST

    The leaders are approaching the Mirador del Fito with a lead of over 14 minutes. Katusha continue to set the pace on the front of the peloton but they won't be worried by this break at the moment.

  24. 15:06:36 BST

    This is a tough climb with an average gradient of 8.3 per cent.

  25. 15:10:48 BST

    Katusha are closing in on the foot of the climb  but up ahead in the break riders have their jerseys unzipped and flapping in the wind as they tackle the lower slopes of the climb. Simon Geschke is on the front and setting the pace.

  26. 42km remaining from 186.5km

    15:16:22 BST

    Just over 40km to go and the gap goes out to 14'55.

  27. 15:19:32 BST

    • Rabobank Cycling Team's 2012 Jersey

    Sky and Rabobank have both moved closer to the front of the peloton, positioning Froome, ten Dam and Gesink closer to the action. It will be interesting to see what card Mollema plays today. If he has the legs, will Rabobank use him to go on the attack or will be ride in next to Gesink and ten Dam for as long as possible.

  28. 36km remaining from 186.5km

    15:27:31 BST

    The break are now on the descent of the climb, after de la Fuente took maximum points again.

  29. 31km remaining from 186.5km

    15:32:16 BST

    Clearly a winner will come from this break as they have a lead over 14 minutes with just over 30km to go.

  30. 15:37:05 BST

    The break are in the valley between the final two climbs. They need to keep their advantage over the 11-12 minute mark as Reynes goes back to the Lotto team car to pick up a new set of bidons.

  31. 15:41:24 BST

    Dekker has run off the road and needs a new wheel by the the looks of it.

  32. 22km remaining from 186.5km

    15:44:00 BST

    Katusha led the bunch over the top of the climb and the advantage to the break is now 12:49.

  33. 15:50:54 BST

    The riders in the break about about 5 km from the foot of the climb proper but they're still sharing the workload between them, with the gap now at 13:28.

  34. 15:53:05 BST

    Saxo Bank have taken a back seat today, especially compared to yesterday after they did so much work for Contador. It's Katusha who have controlled the bunch for the majority of the stage.

  35. 16:01:11 BST

    The break are now on the lower slopes of the climb,  still with a gap close to 14 minutes.  Mondory is on the front but immediately one of the Astana riders increases the pace and riders have already been dropped.

  36. 16:02:07 BST

    A slight lull in pace and Lagutin, one of those who was dropped, is able to latch back on.

     

    Another injection of pace from an Astana rider and this time a move goes clear.

  37. 16:02:38 BST

    Lastras leads a counter-attack and again it's all back together.

  38. 16:05:06 BST

    Pierdra establishes a small gap but Lastras, and the rest of the group quickly move to close it down.

  39. 16:06:58 BST

    Piedra, has though, pushed his advantage out to around 100 meters.

  40. 16:07:15 BST

    The Caja Rural rider has 22 seconds on the chase group.

  41. 16:11:29 BST

    Sky have moved to the front of the peloton with Stannard doing the damage as up ahead Piedra has pushed his lead out to 44 seconds.

  42. 16:12:16 BST

    Stannard's done and now Saxo Bank are back as the peloton lead onto the lower slopes of the final climb.

  43. 16:13:06 BST

    This have everyone stretched out and riders are sprinting to get back into contention and Froome is already in trouble. Valverde has to sprint to get back.

  44. 16:14:00 BST

    Navarro has gone off the front, Quintana attacks to  mark him as Uran sets the pace for the GC favourites.

  45. 8km remaining from 186.5km

    16:14:41 BST

    8km to  go for Piedra as Sky catch Quintana.

  46. 8km remaining from 186.5km

    16:14:42 BST

    8km to  go for Piedra as Sky catch Quintana.

  47. 16:15:17 BST

    The Rodriguez group is down to less than 30 men though with Cunego already dropped.

  48. 16:17:16 BST

    Contador order another teammate to attack and again it's matched by a domestique from Movistar.

  49. 16:18:19 BST

    Piedra is on a section of 14 per cent as Hernandez attacks for Saxo Bank.

  50. 16:19:18 BST

    Euskaltel have joined the Saxo/Movistar move off the front of the bunch.

  51. 16:19:43 BST

    Piedra has 1:18 on the chase group of Mondory and co.

  52. 16:21:29 BST

    This has put Katusha pack on the front of the peloton - or rather -what's left of it - and it looks like Rabobank are riding defensively at the moment. Anton has made it into the Hernandez group.

  53. 16:22:00 BST

    It's up to 15 per cent for Piedra now as he's cheered on by the thousands of fans on the road side.

  54. 16:23:09 BST

    Contador has three men in the Hernandez group. How long until he tries to close the gap with one big attack?

  55. 16:23:54 BST

    And Gesink attacks.

  56. 16:26:12 BST

    The Navarro/Anton/Hernandez group has been brought back.

  57. 16:27:26 BST

    Rodriguez is near the front with Moreno at his side and still Piedra is holding his own. His lead is at 1:03 over the chase group.

  58. 16:27:51 BST

    A Movistar rider attacks and is matched by Euskaltel.

  59. 16:28:25 BST

    And Gesink is on the front setting the pace. Froome is at the very back of the group.

  60. 16:29:12 BST

    And Anton has attacked.

  61. 16:29:48 BST

    Rabobank are looking to drop Froome it seems.

  62. 16:30:28 BST

    Froome has two  men with him but he's right at the back of the group with Roche right next to him.

  63. 3km remaining from 186.5km

    16:31:26 BST

    Just 3km to go for Piedra as Froome is really in trouble. Contador is near the back too... but he's chatting.

  64. 16:31:57 BST

    And Valverde attacks with Contador with him. Rodriguez is there too.

  65. 16:33:02 BST

    And Froome is in pieces now as Valverde joins up with a teammate. Contador and Rodriguez are just following for now.

  66. 16:33:33 BST

    Quintana is the man with Valverde as they catch and pass Anton.

  67. 16:33:57 BST

    Contador slips back onto Rodriguez's wheel.

  68. 16:34:27 BST

    Froome is around 30 seconds down and he's struggling to stay with Uran and Henao as now Contador attacks.

  69. 16:35:05 BST

    Rodriguez goes with him and Valverde too but at a slower rate in chase.

  70. 16:35:25 BST

    Contador just can't get rid of Rodriguez.

  71. 16:35:58 BST

    Piedra will take the stage. He's inside the final km.

  72. 16:36:47 BST

    Valverde meanwhile moves to the front of the GC group of three and sets the pace. He simply wants to put time into Froome and secure that final podium place.

  73. 16:37:30 BST

    Contador goes again and Rodriguez waits, he doesn't panic and he now he goes after him.

  74. 16:37:46 BST

    And this is a little tougher to close this time around.

  75. 16:39:24 BST

    Valverde and Quintana come up to Contador and Rodriguez.

  76. 16:39:35 BST

    Froome is 40 seconds back.

  77. 16:39:57 BST

    3km to go for Contador and co.

  78. 16:41:33 BST

    Cut and paste: Again Contador attacks, Rodriguez catches him.

  79. 16:43:11 BST

    Quintana attacks and they let him go.

  80. 16:43:27 BST

    Froome is at 37 seconds.

  81. 16:44:06 BST

    Contador brings them back to Quintana.

  82. 16:44:26 BST

    And Froome has been dropped by the Gesink group.

  83. 16:46:33 BST

    Valverde, Rodriguez, and Contador finish in the same time.

  84. 16:47:25 BST

    Froome finishes a further 42 seconds down in a group that included Talansky and Gesink.

  85. 16:47:46 BST

    Roche loses more time, finishing with Monfort.

  86. 16:55:41 BST

    Piedra takes the biggest win of his career

    1 Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural 5:01:23
    2 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:02
    3 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:02
    4 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Caja Rural 0:02:02
    5 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:07
    6 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano 0:02:12
    7 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:02:25
    8 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:03:35
    9 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team 0:03:49
    10 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:06:45

  87. 16:58:43 BST

    GC:

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 58:17:21
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 0:00:22
    3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:41
    4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:16
    5 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:04:51
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:05:42
    7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:06:48
    8 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:07:17
    9 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:07:39
    10 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 0:09:01

  88. 17:03:57 BST

    Rodriguez holds his lead over Contador but it was Valverde who profited the most, dropping Froome on the final climb and taking third in GC.

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find a complete report, images and results right here.