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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 03, Stage 16: Gijón - Valgrande-Pajares (Cuitu Negru) 183.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan
  1. 92km remaining from 183.5km

    14:36:49 CEST

    As we pick up the action at the midway point of the stage, Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) are a massive 13:30 clear of the peloton as they begin the day's second climb, the category 1 Puerto de San Lorenzo, 10 km at an average gradient of 8.5%.

  2. 14:39:09 CEST

    There was a hyperactive speed on the approach the day's opening climb, the short 3rd category hop up the Alto de la Cabruñana after 45 kilometres, but with Sky controlling affairs in the main peloton, nobody was able to get clear. Cataldo and De Gendt smartly clipped off the front on the descent, however, and they've been steadily building their lead ever since.

  3. 14:42:03 CEST

    Today's is the queen stage of the Vuelta a Espana, with no fewer than four categorised climbs on the agenda. The aforementioned Alto de la Cabruñana - incidentally, David Moncoutie (Cofidis) led the bunch over the top - and the Puerto de San Lorenzo are followed by the category 1 Alto de la Cobertoria (8km at 8.6%) and the fearsome special category summit finish at Cuitu Negru.

     

  4. 14:47:15 CEST

    The road book describes Cuitu Negru as being 19.4km in length with a gradient of 6.9%, but those statistic do little justice to the extreme difficulty of this ascent. Most of the climb has featured before in the Vuelta, as the same road is used to approach the summit finish at Pajares, but the additional 2.8km that feature at the end here are tough enough for Alasdair Fotheringham - not a man given to hyperbole - to dub it as "the climb to end all climbs."

  5. 14:49:32 CEST

    The newly-paved section pitches up to 23% in some points, while the final 500 metres average a dizzying 17%. Such a gradient would appear to suggest that it's advantage Joaquim Rodriguez, but the stage's 4,500 metres of total climbing suit an endurance rider and may tip the balance at least partly back into the court of Alberto Contador.

  6. 14:51:21 CEST

    Contador attacked repeatedly yesterday at Lagos de Covadonga, but he couldn't break Rodriguez, who retains his 22-second lead as the Vuelta enters its final week.

  7. 14:51:46 CEST

    General classification:

    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 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:07:21
    10 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:07:39

  8. 87km remaining from 183.5km

    14:52:42 CEST

    Out on the road, De Gendt and Cataldo have stretched their advantage out to 15 minutes as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank take up the pace-making duties in the main peloton.

  9. 14:56:07 CEST

    De Gendt and Cataldo are both over an hour down on general classification, so they may well be given enough rope here to fight out the stage win between them. A lot will depend on how aggressive Saxo Bank's tempo is behind. Thus far, Rodriguez has been all but impregnable to attacks on the final climb and Contador may well look to avail of the terrain on offer before Cuitu Negru to try and make the difference.

  10. 14:58:40 CEST

    Interesting to note that Euskaltel-Euskadi have allied with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in setting the pace at the head of the main peloton on the Puerto de San Lorenzo. Igor Anton is their best-placed rider overall, but he is all of 7:39 down in 10th place overall.

  11. 85km remaining from 183.5km

    14:59:35 CEST

    The injection of pace from Contador's men has seen the break's lead drop slightly. Cataldo and De Gendt now have 14:28 in hand on the main peloton.

  12. 15:02:50 CEST

    • Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team's 2012 Jersey

    Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) withdrew ahead of today's stage, citing fatigue, and the speed so far is continuing to take its toll on the peloton. Pablo Lechuga (Andalucia) has also abandoned, after the race covered the first two hours over rolling roads at an average speed of some 44.7kph.

  13. 83km remaining from 183.5km

    15:03:50 CEST

    The peloton is settling into a steady tempo now, and another 30 seconds has been shorn from De Gendt and Cataldo's lead. 14:00 the gap.

  14. 15:08:27 CEST

    Cataldo and De Gendt are safely over the top of the Puerto de San Lorenzo and tackling the descent, while Matteo Tosatto leads the Saxo Bank train on the climb, 13 minutes further back the road.

  15. 73km remaining from 183.5km

    15:12:00 CEST

    Saxo Bank's tempo is steady rather than searing at this point, and it doesn't look as though any immediate damage will be done on the San Lorenzo.

  16. 15:14:10 CEST

    • Attack

    David Moncoutie (Cofidis) attacks in search of the mountains points for 3rd place in the company of Orica-GreenEdge duo Simon Clarke and Peter Weening.

  17. 15:15:34 CEST

    • Climb

    Clarke takes the sprint for 3rd ahead of Weening, to consolidate his lead in the mountains classification.

  18. 65km remaining from 183.5km

    15:21:25 CEST

    Moncoutie and Clarke have been swallowed up by the peloton on the long descent of the San Lorenzo. The gap to the break is 13:10.

  19. 15:24:01 CEST

    Joaquim Rodriguez and Katusha have had a special aid to their recovery over the past couple of days. Rather than risk getting stuck in traffic jams, the Russian squad has travelled to their team hotel by helicopter after the stages. While such measures are not permitted in the Tour de France, UCI commissaires said that teams are free to travel as they wish at the Vuelta. “It’s not forbidden by UCI rules”, chief commissaire Didier Simon explained. “Only the specific regulations of the Tour de France state that transport by them organized is compulsory. It’s no problem that a team favours the recovery of the riders.”

     

  20. 62km remaining from 183.5km

    15:25:41 CEST

    De Gendt and Cataldo are continuing to collaborate smoothly as they head towards the base of the descent.

  21. 15:30:05 CEST

    Eritrean champion Daniel Teklehaymanot was a heavy faller in yesterday's stage, but the Orica-GreenEdge man remains in the Vuelta in spite of his injuries. "His shoulder is injured but there’s no fracture. It’s going to be hard for him to finish today’s stage,” said team doctor Serge Niamke at the start this morning.

     

  22. 15:35:57 CEST

    Alessandro Ballan moves up in the main peloton on the long descent of the San Lorenzo. The BMC man came to the Vuelta primarily to stake a claim for a place in the Italian team at the world championships, but it has emerged over the weekend that Italy will not select any riders who have been named in ongoing doping investigations. Ballan, who has been one of the marquee names repeateldy impliciated in the Mantova investigation, will thus join the likes of Enrico Gasparotto, Damiano Cunego, Giovanni Visconti and Filippo Pozzato on the sidelines.

  23. 52km remaining from 183.5km

    15:37:33 CEST

    De Gendt and Cataldo are now on the approach to the foot of the day's penultimate climb, the 1st category Alto de la Cobertoria (8km at 8.6%).

  24. 15:40:43 CEST

    Euskaltel-Euskadi have rejoined Saxo Bank at the head of the peloton on the approach to the Cobertoria. 12:40 the gap to the two leaders.

  25. 49km remaining from 183.5km

    15:48:27 CEST

    The pace is beginning to pick up in the main peloton as Euskaltel-Euskadi's Mikel Astarloza hits the front as the climb begins.

  26. 15:56:25 CEST

    De Gendt and Cataldo are on the climb proper now, while Euskaltel-Euskadi are continuing to drill the pace 11 minutes further back the road, with a line of Saxo Bank riders tucked in behind them. The peloton is strung out in a line, and we can expect a real selection to take place once the climbing begins in earnest.

  27. 15:58:39 CEST

    Overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez is some way back in the main peloton, but he looks very comfortable as he begins to move up gradually through the field.

  28. 44km remaining from 183.5km

    16:04:06 CEST

    The pace has ratcheted up significantly in the main peloton under the combined impetus of Saxo Bank and Euskaltel. The break's lead is now down to 9:22. Incidentally, Simon Clarke and Peter Weening had managed to stay away on the descent of the last climb, but the Orica-GreenEdge duo has been unceremoniously engulfed by the bunch.

  29. 16:06:36 CEST

    Like Rodriguez, green jersey Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is happy to sit some way back from the front of the peloton for now, but the Spaniard seems comfortable. Valverde moved up to 3rd this weekend due to Chris Froome's (Sky) struggles and he is bidding to finish on the podium of a grand tour for the first time since he was suspended for his implication in the blood doping investigation Operacion Puerto.


  30. 16:07:36 CEST

    Another man returned from suspension is trying to seize the initiative on today's stage. The bobbing figure of Alberto Contador is fifth in line at the head of the peloton, as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank set the tempo.

  31. 43km remaining from 183.5km

    16:09:14 CEST

    Contador briefly veers out of the paceline to the left hand side of the road and casts a look back over his shoulder to assess the damage being done behind. The main contenders are all still there but the group has been reduced to 60 riders or so, and there must surely be some very tired legs in there.

  32. 42km remaining from 183.5km

    16:10:28 CEST

    Now Contador drops back down along the long line of riders. Shades of his manager Bjarne Riis on Hautacam in the 1996 Tour de France?


  33. 16:13:41 CEST

    Riis, of course, faces renewed scrutiny over his relationship with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Two of his former CSC charges, Ivan Basso and Frank Schleck, both admitted to paying the doctor at the centre of Operacion Puerto for his services, and in his new book, "The Secret Race", Tyler Hamilton says that Riis introduced him to Fuentes in 2002. Riis continues to insist that

    he never met Fuentes

    .

     

  34. 38km remaining from 183.5km

    16:17:32 CEST

    Intriguing scenes as Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez sit in the last three positions in the main group. The tension is mounting on the penultimate climb.

  35. 16:18:33 CEST

    Up front, De Gendt and Cataldo have crossed the summit of the Cobertoria, and they start the descent with a lead of 7:50 over the red jersey group.

  36. 36km remaining from 183.5km

    16:19:16 CEST

    Contador is now locked on Rodriguez's rear wheel, with Valverde just in front of them.

  37. 16:20:45 CEST

    Bizarre scenes here as Rodriguez, Contador and Valverde now find themselves at the rear of a group that has been distanced slightly from the front of the main peloton.


  38. 16:21:32 CEST

    Up ahead of them, Chris Froome looked like he was beginning to suffer, as he allowed a gap to open ahead of him while spinning his lowest gear.

  39. 16:23:40 CEST

    A trio of Saxo Bank riders led the main peloton over the summit of the climb, perhaps unaware that the top 3 overall have been caught flat-footed and been slightly distanced. The gaps in the bunch are small, however, and it should all come back together on the descent.

  40. 30km remaining from 183.5km

    16:26:32 CEST

    Sergio Paulinho, Jesus Hernandez and Rafal Majka were the trio who led the main peloton over the top, but it looks as though they have relented on the descent and there are around 50 riders in the red jersey group. Up ahead, De Gendt and Cataldo have a lead of 7 minutes.

  41. 26km remaining from 183.5km

    16:31:54 CEST

    Saxo Bank remain massed on the front of the peloton and presumably Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez are all in there somewhere.

  42. 16:35:33 CEST

    It's all a little disorganised in the main peloton now as a number of riders are trying to slip away. Linus Gerdemann, Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Kevid De Weert (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) have joined Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) off the front, 15 seconds or so in front of the peloton.

  43. 22km remaining from 183.5km

    16:38:36 CEST

    This six-man group has a lead of 45 seconds over the main peloton, but Euskaltel-Euskadi are back setting the pace in earnest, with Romain Sicard tapping out the tempo on the approach to the final climb.

  44. 16:40:44 CEST

    That disorganisation on the descent means that De Gendt and Cataldo have stretched their lead back out slightly. The duo went through the final sprint at Campomanes with a lead of 8:14 over the peloton.

     

  45. 16:44:59 CEST

    The peloton is strung out in one long line on the approach to the day's final climb, the 1st category Cuitu Negru. Contador's Saxo Bank team are first in line, followed by Chris Froome and a handful of Sky teammates, then Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Valverde and Movistar, and Rodriguez and Katusha.

  46. 17.5km remaining from 183.5km

    16:46:23 CEST

    Cataldo and De Gendt are on the lower slopes of Cuitu Negru, with a lead of 7:37 over the red jersey group.

  47. 16:48:44 CEST

    Speaking of the red jersey, his Katusha directeur sportif Valerio Piva has told TVE in race he is not concerned by Rodriguez's positioning in the main peloton. "Everything is under control and he told me he was fine," Piva said. "He has the situation under control. I think whoever leads after today will win the Vuelta."

  48. 16:49:59 CEST

    Sicard buries himself at the head of the peloton as it hits the base of the day's final climb. The familiar bobbing figure of Alberto Contador is in 7th position and looking very comfortable.

  49. 16:51:32 CEST

    The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank train takes over at the front. Matteo Tosatto leads on the relatively benign opening slopes of 6%.

  50. 16:52:23 CEST

    Rodriguez is tucked in behind Andrew Talansky further back the line, but the Catalan stilll appears pretty comfortable.

  51. 16:54:08 CEST

    The Saxo Bank pace is starting to inflict real damage on the red jersey group. The elastic is being snapped at the rear of the group and it has been reduced to just 25 riders or so.

  52. 14km remaining from 183.5km

    16:55:26 CEST

    Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) looks to be on the rivet near the back of this group as his future Saxo Bank teammates continue with their pace-setting. The two leaders De Gendt and Cataldo, meanwhile, are 6:40 clear.

  53. 16:57:39 CEST

    Chris Froome looks like he is struggling with this tempo but the Sky man is still part of this reduced red jersey group. Alejandro Valverde looks a little more comfortable. Accompanied by Nairo Quinatana, he sits behind the string of Saxo Bank riders.

  54. 16:58:32 CEST

    15km to go for the red jersey group. Matteo Tosatto swings over and Sergio Paulinho takes up the reins for Alberto Contador at the front.

  55. 16:59:29 CEST

    • Attack

    Nairo Quintana unleashes a short, sharp acceleration but Paulinho smoothly closes the gap.

  56. 17:00:00 CEST

    Chris Froome still appears to be struggling as a gap opens and then closes in front of him.

  57. 17:00:55 CEST

    Froome has recovered and moves up in a group that is now down to around 15 riders or so. Joaquim Rodriguez is beginning to show himself, and he sits in 5th place, at the back of the Saxo Bank train.

  58. 11.5km remaining from 183.5km

    17:01:27 CEST

    Up ahead, the road flattens out for De Gendt and Cataldo, who have 6:10 in hand on the red jersey group.

  59. 17:03:05 CEST

    Interesting to note that Dani Moreno is no longer in the red jersey group, and Rodriguez appears to be isolated. Andrew Talansky and Rabobank's Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam are still in there, while Igor Anton is dangling off the back.

  60. 17:04:09 CEST

    Both Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) and Nicolas Roche have also been dropped from this red jersey group, and there is still a lot of climbing to come.

  61. 10km remaining from 183.5km

    17:05:15 CEST

    Roche is ploughing a lone furrow some 17 seconds behind the red jersey group, which is down to just 16 riders.

  62. 17:05:57 CEST

    Contador sits in 4th wheel, just ahead of Rodriguez and Valverde. The next few kilometres could define this Vuelta.

  63. 17:07:17 CEST

    Dani Moreno, Denis Menchov (Katusha) are now in a group with Nicolas Roche and Maxime Monfort (RadioShack-Nissan), 12 seconds down on the red jersey group.

  64. 9km remaining from 183.5km

    17:08:41 CEST

    Cataldo and De Gendt have shown admirable unity on the climb so far, and they reach the 9km to go point with 5:40 in hand.

  65. 17:11:15 CEST

    The gradient is steady rather than biting at this point, but the slopes will begin to stiffen in three kilometres or so. After a brief respite, the road then kicks up to its steepest gradients in the final 2.8km .

  66. 8km remaining from 183.5km

    17:12:32 CEST

    Menchov, Moreno, Roche and Monfort have managed to latch back on to the rear of the red jersey group but they may begin to struggle again once the gradient rises.

  67. 17:13:45 CEST

    Agonising for Roche. The Irishman put in a monumental effort to get back on, but he cracked as soon as the junction was made, and he has been definitively jettisoned by the red jersey group with 9km of climbing to come.


  68. 6.5km remaining from 183.5km

    17:14:48 CEST

    1500 metres further up the road, De Gendt and Cataldo are still together as the gradient rears up to 9%.


  69. 17:15:28 CEST

    Contador rocks gently from side to side as he climbs out of the saddle, while Rodriguez is locked on his wheel and steadily seated.

  70. 17:17:10 CEST

    De Gendt and Cataldo have reached a section of 16%, but are cheered by the first crowds that they have encountered on this final climb. The sun is shining, but unlike during the sweltering opening days in the Basque Country, the temperatures are rather more pleasant here.

  71. 6km remaining from 183.5km

    17:18:40 CEST

    Cataldo and De Gendt continue to battle together on Cuitu Negur, and they are a kilometre ahead of the red jersey group at this point.

  72. 17:20:44 CEST

    Rafal Majka pulls over for Saxo Bank after a huge turn, and when Jesus Hernandez takes over, he pulls a select group clear with him - Contador, Rodriguez, Valverde and Quintana are all there, but Froome, Gesink and Ten Dam have all been dropped.

  73. 17:21:50 CEST

    Attack from Contador, but he has only succeeded in shedding his teammate. Rodriguez, Valverde and Quintana are lined up behind him.

  74. 17:22:40 CEST

    Contador follows up with a second dig with 6.5km to go, and Valverde and Quintana are distanced.

  75. 17:24:28 CEST

    Contador has persisted with a long, steady effort in a bid to burn Rodriguez off his wheel. Quintanta is doing his utmost to drag Valverde back up to the top two overall.

  76. 3km remaining from 183.5km

    17:25:26 CEST

    Cataldo and De Gendt are still together as they approach the final, steepest section of the climb.


  77. 17:26:18 CEST

    Meanwhile, Quintana has brought Valverde back up to Contador and Rodriguez, and once the pace slackens, Valverde cheekily attacks himself and gains a handful of metres.

  78. 17:26:59 CEST

    Contador is now seated, but is keen to take up the pace once again, and he brings Rodriguez and Quintana back up to him.

  79. 17:27:55 CEST

    4km to go for the four-man red jersey group, which is now spread across the road. They look set for a slow-motion shoot-out on the agonisingly difficult final 2.8km.

  80. 17:28:45 CEST

    At the front, Cataldo leads De Gendt on a veriginous 23% slope, but the two leaders still cannot be separated.

  81. 2km remaining from 183.5km

    17:29:42 CEST

    Cataldo tries to grind away from De Gendt inside the final two kilometres, but he can't quite manage to inch away.

  82. 17:30:30 CEST

    Contador bobs out of the saddle as the four members of the red jersey group approach the final 2.8km kick up towards the finish. Chris Froome is 45 seconds behind and losing time.

  83. 17:31:12 CEST

    1500 metres to go for Cataldo, who has edged his way clear of De Gendt. But the Belgian is still in sight and that will worry Cataldo.

  84. 17:31:45 CEST

    Quintana attacks from the red jersey group just before the steepest section.

  85. 17:32:24 CEST

    Contador accelerates as the gradient rises to 21% and he brings Rodriguez and Valverde back up to him. If Contador wants to win the Vuelta, he knows he has to shed Rodriguez here.

  86. 17:33:24 CEST

    The gradient is now 23%. Contador grits his teeth and kicks again under the 2km to go banner. He has dropped Valverde and Quintana, but Rodriguez will not be moved. The red jersey is locked to Contador's rear wheel.

  87. 17:33:59 CEST

    Up front, Dario Cataldo is riding to stage victory.

  88. 1km remaining from 183.5km

    17:34:39 CEST

    Inside the final kilometre for Dario Cataldo, who grinds his way up another 23% slope. His suffering is almost at an end.

  89. 17:35:27 CEST

    Contador and Rodriguez slowed slightly and Valverde was riding his way back on. But as soon as Contador accelerates again, Valverde is quickly distanced.

  90. 17:36:07 CEST

    Contador kicks again as the road rises to 23% but he simply cannot push Rodriguez beyond his limits.

  91. 17:36:28 CEST

    Cataldo grimly grinds towards the summit with 12 seconds in hand on De Gendt.

  92. 17:37:04 CEST

    Joaquim Rodriguez takes over the pace-setting from Contador, but the red jersey is happy to tap out a sensible rhythm on these vicious slopes.

  93. 17:37:50 CEST

    200 metres to go for Cataldo, who is crawling towards the finish line, almost in slow motion, but De Gendt is burying himself behind in a bid to get back on terms...

  94. 17:38:20 CEST

    100 metres for Dario Cataldo, who is almost struggling to stay upright at this pace.

  95. 17:39:03 CEST

    Dario Cataldo gets the stage win, 6 seconds ahead of Thomas De Gendt. Both men suffered horribly in the final two kilometres.


  96. 17:39:47 CEST

    Behind, Valverde has made it back up to Contador and Rodriguez as they approach the gruelling final 500 metres.

  97. 17:40:31 CEST

    Contador accelerates with 400 metres to go as the gradient kicks up to 23%. Valverde is distanced, but Rodriguez is able to come around him and the red jersey is now setting the tempo.

  98. 17:41:09 CEST

    Contador tries to come around Rodriguez inside the final 150 metres, but the wily Rodriguez is looking to narrow the road.

  99. 17:42:13 CEST

    Rodriguez kicks away inside the final 50 metres and sticks another two seconds on Contador to come home in 3rd. He will also claim a four-second time bonus to extend his overall lead to around 28 seconds. 

  100. 17:42:54 CEST

    Valverde comes home in 4th, some 15 seconds later, just ahead of his teammate Quintana.

  101. 17:44:16 CEST

    Valverde comes home in 4th, some 15 seconds later, just ahead of his teammate Quintana. Igor Anton is the best of the rest, over a minute down on Contador and Rodriguez.

  102. 17:45:38 CEST

    The remnants of the general classification riders are coming across the line in ones and twos. A leaden-legged Chris Froome rolls across the line over 5 minutes down on Cataldo, and loses more than two minutes on the day to Rodriguez and Contador.

  103. 17:51:41 CEST

    Result:

    1 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
    2 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacanonsoleil-DCM) 0:00:07
    3 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:02:39
    4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:02:41
    5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:58
    6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:24
    7 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:07
    8 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:04:15
    9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:18
    10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:21

  104. 17:52:48 CEST

    Chris Froome came across the line 5:11 down on the stage, but he will retain his 4th place on general classification ahead of Dani Moreno. His hopes of finishing on the podium, let alone taking overall victory, have been dealt a possibly irreperable blow, however.

  105. 17:53:49 CEST

    General classification:

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 63:38:24
    2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank 0:00:28
    3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:04
    4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:04:52
    5 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:06:58
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:07:28
    7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:08:28
    8 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:09:00
    9 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:09:11
    10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:11:44

  106. 17:58:21 CEST

    Thanks for joining us for today's live coverage. You can find a full report, results and pictures here. We'll be back with more live Vuelta coverage on Wednesday, but stay tuned to Cyclingnews in the meantime for all of the news from Tuesday's rest day.