Vuelta a Espana 2018

August 25 - September 16, 2018, Malaga, Spain, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana. 

For the latest updates please refresh this page

Vuelta a España 2018 hub page
Start list
Vuelta a Espana: Dennis wins stage 16 time trial in Torrelavega
All to play for – Vuelta a Espana GC analysis

Balcon de Bizkaia: Another crunch summit finish at Vuelta a Espana - Preview



  1. 13:30:53 CEST

    Hola. As the CN blimp lifts off, the riders are in the neutralised section of the stage.  

  2. 13:31:40 CEST

    They face 157km of racing but have been riding for 20 minutes or so already.


    The riders are packed behind the red race director's car ready to launch the first attacks of the day. 


  3. 13:38:18 CEST

    The riders are passing through Bilbao now.

    The Spanish national tour first returned to the Basque Country after years of political tension and protests in 2011 with two stage finishes in Bilbao and Vitoria.

    Local hero Igor Anton won in Bilbao.

    La Vuelta also visited the Basque Country in 2012.

  4. 157km remaining from 157km

    13:41:01 CEST

    The flag drops. The stage is under way! And the first attacks come thick and fast.


  5. 13:42:13 CEST

    The neutralised section lasted almost half an hour. That means an extra 20km or so for the riders. 


  6. 13:45:24 CEST

    On the long wide road along the river, the peloton is able to chase down the attacks.


    The riders head north to the coast but then return in land. The first climb, the Alto de la Arboleda comes with 140km to go. 


    However the stage will be shaped by the final climb up to the finish at  Balcon de Bizkaia. 


  7. 13:47:39 CEST

    Alasdair Fotheringham wrote a special stage preview earlier.


    Click here to read about the steep, concrete track that leads up to the finish.  


  8. 148km remaining from 157km

    13:50:46 CEST

    An 11 surge is pulled back but a new 4-rider attack goes clear. 


  9. 13:51:41 CEST

    “I’m glad I stopped cycling,” Pedro Delgado joked in his preview of today's steep finish on Spanish television channel TVE.


    The two-time Vuelta winner reckons a 30 or even 32-tooth sprocket will be required to make it up the climb.


  10. 13:51:58 CEST

    “The final is so hard it will surely create some gaps, and before the climb itself, the approach roads will make it very hard to control,” local cycling legend Roberto Laiseka, now working with Vuelta organisation, told newspaper AS.


  11. 13:53:12 CEST

    Alasdair detailed the steep gradient of the climb, writing:


    As the woods of tall pines fades away and the track winds under the turbines, the ramps follow relentlessly, never dropping below 11% and with stretches of over 20%. There are some short flat sections, but on the other hand, the poor cement surface will only make it even more difficult. The worst segment comes around two kilometres from the summit, where the gradient reaches around 23%, according to the official race book. The climb does soften up briefly, to around 8%, but then there is a real sting in the tail, as the road rears up to around 13% close to the summit.


  12. 146km remaining from 157km

    13:54:18 CEST

    Ben King (Dimension Data) is among the most active riders, alongside locals such as Omar Fraile (Astana) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky).

    We've also seen Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain) try his hand.


  13. 13:56:31 CEST

    The riders start the 6.7km long Alto de la Arboleda climb. It's twisting and turning but the attacks are still being chased down.


  14. 14:00:07 CEST

    The peloton is lined out as Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) goes on the attack. 


  15. 14:01:01 CEST

    Kwiatkowski is also up there, Nibali too. 


    This is a solid climb that surely see the peloton let something go away.


  16. 141km remaining from 157km

    14:04:03 CEST

    Birthday boy Rafa Majka is also in the attack. Other riders are coming across. 


  17. 14:08:52 CEST

    Breakaway expert Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) won the sprint to the summit of the climb. 


    He has no doubt heard that Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) is suffering at the back of he peloton again today. 



  18. 14:09:59 CEST

    Mate leads the mountains competition with 64 points but De Gendt is second now, with 57 points. Ben King (Dimension Data) is third with 56 points.  


  19. 136km remaining from 157km

    14:11:05 CEST

    A group of 26 riders have formed on the climb and the early descent. 


    It will be interesting to see who is in the break and if it goes clear.


    We can see that Nibali is in there. 


  20. 14:12:27 CEST

    Britain's Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) is also in the attack.


  21. 130km remaining from 157km

    14:19:35 CEST

    Also in the 26-rider attack are De la Cruz of Quick Step, Herrada (Cofidis), Zakarin (Katusha), Mollema (Trek), Woods (EF), Fraile (Astana) and even Amador of Movistar. 


    With so many teams in the move, it is difficult to understand who will chase the attack.  


  22. 124km remaining from 157km

    14:22:58 CEST

    The climb and fast racing has spat some riders out of the break. There are 21 riders up there now, with the peloton at over 2:00.


  23. 14:23:57 CEST

    Five riders are chasing the break but they're slipping back.  


  24. 14:25:59 CEST

    Only three teams are not present in the break of the day: Groupama, LottoNL and Mitchelton-Scott of race leader Simon Yates.


  25. 120km remaining from 157km

    14:32:23 CEST

    These are the riders in the breakaway. 


    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Astana), Alessandro De Marchi, Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team), Rafal Majka, Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Andrey Amador (Movistar Team), Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Dimension Data), Simon Clarke, Michael Woods (Education First-Drapac), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), David De La Cruz, Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky), Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Cristian Rodríguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesus Herrada, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Hector Saez (Euskadi).


  26. 14:35:05 CEST

    Mitchelton-Scott is leading the peloton but it is likely that this attack will stay away and fight for the stage victory.


    Of course we can expect a fight amongst the GC riders on the steep, rough road to the finish at Balcon de Bizkaia.   



  27. 114km remaining from 157km

    14:36:33 CEST

    The break leads by 4:00 now. 


  28. 14:38:17 CEST

    The 21 riders are all working smoothly together, taking turns on the front and then quickly moving down the double line. 


    It's a quality break that is often seen in the third week of Grand tours and especially the Vuelta.


  29. 111km remaining from 157km

    14:43:22 CEST

    Earlier both Omar Fraile (Astana) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) had a chance to say hello to their family and friends.


    Castroviejo is from Getxo, while Fraile waved to his family and friends after 30km of the stage. 




  30. 107km remaining from 157km

    14:46:05 CEST

    The race is back into the centre of Bilbao, passing close to the stunning and very modern Guggenheim Museum.  


  31. 105km remaining from 157km

    14:49:31 CEST

    Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors) was one of the five riders distanced from the break. but he refused to give up and is fighting his way back up to the 21-rider group. 

    He's going deep but does not want to miss the move. 


  32. 14:56:16 CEST

    Fraile won the intermediate sprint in Bilbao but now the riders face a short but steep climb out of the Basque city.  


    It is the start of 50km of rolling roads, which is followed by a far hillier 40km and the climb up to the finish. 


    The Balcon de Bizkaia climb is 7.3km long, with an average gradient of 9.7%. however the narrow and rough concrete road makes it even harder.


  33. 14:57:40 CEST

    Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) has also made it back up to the break. That makes 23 riders yup front now.



  34. 99km remaining from 157km

    15:00:22 CEST

    The riders are back on a wide highway and the break is hesitating slightly. Perhaps some riders are not doing their share of the work. 



  35. 15:01:07 CEST

    Franco Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) and Jose Mendes (Burgos-BH) are back up front, making for 26 riders in the break. 


    The return of the five indicates the speed is not high. 


    However the break leads the peloton by  7:00 now.


  36. 97km remaining from 157km

    15:04:10 CEST

    David de la Cruz (Team Sky) is the highest placed rider on GC in this break, 12:01 down on Simon Yates.

  37. 96km remaining from 157km

    15:05:42 CEST

    The break's lead is 7:15 as Mitchelton-Scott ride on the front of the peloton. The escapees are a little over 20km away from the next climb, the category 3 Alto de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.


  38. 15:15:36 CEST

    Simon Yates leads the Vuelta, Movistar still have two options and Steven Kruijswijk rode his way into contention with a fine display in yesterday's time trial in Torrelavega. The GC battle is wide open as the Vuelta faces into its final act. Patrick Fletcher has more here.


  39. 87km remaining from 157km

    15:18:27 CEST

    The gap between the break and the bunch has settled at around 7:15 for the time being, with Mitchelton-Scott continuing to set the tempo. Movistar and LottoNL-Jumbo have delegations lined up behind them.


  40. 15:27:00 CEST

    Alejandro Valverde moved into pole position in the Movistar hierarchy thanks to his time trial display yesterday, but the Spaniard dismissed the idea that he is now the sole leader ahead of Nairo Quintana. Read the full story here.

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the points jersey after stage 16 time trial at the Vuelta a Espana


  41. 82km remaining from 157km

    15:28:07 CEST

    The break's lead stretches out a little further, and now stands at 8:20.


  42. 75km remaining from 157km

    15:38:34 CEST

    The break has hit the base of the Alto de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (3.8km at 7.6%). Their lead over the bunch stands at 8:15.


  43. 72km remaining from 157km

    15:47:44 CEST

    The break is on the Alto de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe climb now. It is 3.8km long at a gradient of 7.6%.


    The mist is rolling on, making for a cooler finale. 


  44. 15:48:15 CEST

    We can expected a battle for the climber's points soon.  


  45. 15:50:32 CEST

    De Gendt jumps first and takes more points.

    He's followed by Mollema, who is also targeting the mountains jersey. 



  46. 15:51:57 CEST

    De Gendt scored 3 points and so is even closer to mountains leader Mate of Cofidis.

    The Belgian could even take the blue polka-dot jersey on today's stage. There are two other minor climbs before the finish and then the category 1 climb up to the finish. 


  47. 15:56:53 CEST

    The race is again near the stunning Basque coastline.  The sun often breaks through the mist to highlight the stunning countryside.


  48. 62km remaining from 157km

    16:00:07 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali takes a turn on the front an tries to convince other riders to do the same.

    The gap to the break is 8:20 now. 



  49. 58km remaining from 157km

    16:05:42 CEST

    Mitchelton-Scott continues to lead the peloton but their pace is steady, they do not seem interested in setting up Yates for a possible stage win. 


    Movistar and other GC teams have also kept their powder try today, no  doubt thinking about the two decisive stages on Friday and Saturday in the Pyrenees.


  50. 54km remaining from 157km

    16:12:07 CEST

    The sun is back out and the riders in the break are taking turns on the front. 


    Nibali, Majka, Kwiatkowski and Woods all have teammates helping them keep the gap high, so they can go on to fight for the stage victory. 


  51. 50km remaining from 157km

    16:19:21 CEST

    This is the quiet before the storm, with the riders gathering their thoughts and trying to stay fresh for the finale.


    The final 40km include three categorised climbs and then the steep haul up to Balcon de Bizkaia. The break and the peloton will surely explode on the steep final climb, if not before.



  52. 16:20:42 CEST

    Simon Yates is tucked safely on the wheels of his Mitchelton-Scott teammates.



  53. 43km remaining from 157km

    16:32:51 CEST

    The break is on the first climb of the Alto del Balcon de Bizkaia. 


    As Alasdair Fotheringham explained in this preview, the riders tackle the climb from different sides. 


    This first assault is 7.3km long at 4.3%. It shouldn't cause any problems but we can see the Euskadi team is now leading the chase. It must be down to local pride as they also have Saez in the attack.  


  54. 39km remaining from 157km

    16:36:30 CEST

    Our man Patrick Fletcher is at the summit finish to speak to riders after the stage. He sent these images, revealing just what the riders face on the steep climb to the finish. 


    This is the final kilometre between the wind turbines. The steepest roads climb up the side of the mountain.


  55. 16:37:37 CEST

    This is the finish line. 



  56. 37km remaining from 157km

    16:40:11 CEST

    Euskadi keep the pace high behind, bringing the gap to he break down to 5:30. 


  57. 16:44:47 CEST

    Who else? De Gendt attacks near the top of the climb to secure more KOM points. 



  58. 16:45:32 CEST

    He is first to top of the 2nd climb and so is the new leader of the blue polka-dot mountains jersey. He will pull on the jersey at the end of the stage. 


  59. 32km remaining from 157km

    16:49:09 CEST

    Euskadi has their whole team on the front driving the chase. 


    They clearly wanted to be in the action today, perhaps with stage 13 winner Oscar Rodriguez. Indeed, today's finish is very similar to La Camperona. 


  60. 28km remaining from 157km

    16:52:59 CEST

    De Gendt now leads the mountains competition with 68 points. Mate has 64, with the USA's Ben King third with 54 points. 


  61. 24km remaining from 157km

    16:58:48 CEST

    Next up is the Alto de Santa Eufemia (4.5km, 5%). Could it be the launch pad for the first attacks from the break? 


  62. 22km remaining from 157km

    17:04:25 CEST

    Perhaps Euskadi's chase has served for something. 

    The Astana team is also setting the pace. That could be in the hope that Lopez can win the stage or at least to set him up for an attack so he can gain time on GC. 


    He needs it after losing precious seconds in the time trial on Tuesday. 


  63. 17:06:07 CEST

    Thomas De Gendt is also setting a fast tempo up front in the break. So much so that riders are being spat out of the back of the break. 


    De Gendt  is riding to be top the climb first. 


  64. 17:06:39 CEST

    Indeed De Gendt takes three more points, extending his new lead in the mountains competition. 


  65. 17km remaining from 157km

    17:09:24 CEST

    Here we go! Geniez and Simon Clarke have opened a gap on the descent. 




  66. 17:09:49 CEST

    There is no real chase behind, other riders are attacking. 


    It's the start of the finale! 


  67. 14km remaining from 157km

    17:13:08 CEST

    Nibali is on the move as Geniez and Clarke come back into the fold. 


  68. 12km remaining from 157km

    17:17:35 CEST

    Astana is still driving the pace for Lopez even though the gap remains at 4:40


    Lopez will be expected/obliged to attack on the climb to the finish after his teammates worked so hard.  


  69. 17:20:16 CEST

    The mist has come on the top of the climb. This is view now. 



  70. 10km remaining from 157km

    17:22:26 CEST

    The climb to the finish is 7.3km long at an average of 9.7%. This will hurt. 




  71. 7km remaining from 157km

    17:25:59 CEST

    The break have hit the foot of the final climb with a lead of 4 minutes over the peloton.

  72. 6.6km remaining from 157km

    17:26:45 CEST

    Simon Clarke (EF-Drapac) attacks off the front of the break and opens a small gap.


  73. 17:27:10 CEST

    Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) and Andrey Amador (Movistar) lead the pursuit of Clarke.


  74. 17:27:52 CEST

    Clarke is brought back by Amador. The Australian's attack has strung out this front group.


  75. 17:29:30 CEST

    • Crash

    Back in the main peloton, Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates) is a faller on the sweeping descent that leads into the final climb. His kit is torn and he bloodied and bruised, but the Sardinian has gingerly remounted and continues in the race.


  76. 17:29:58 CEST

    Astana lead the bunch onto the foot of the climb, laying the groundwork for Miguel Angel Lopez. Simon Yates is well placed behind the Colombian.


  77. 5km remaining from 157km

    17:30:48 CEST

    Up front, Alessandro De Marchi sets the tempo in the leading group, with Teuns tucked in behind him. Some riders have been jettisoned off the back, but there are still 15 or so riders in contention for the stage win, including Jai Hindley, Vincenzo Nibali and Ilnur Zakarin.


  78. 17:31:29 CEST

    Astana continue to lay down the tempo in the red jersey group. Yates, Kruijswijk and all of the podium contenders are still up there just behind Lopez.


  79. 4km remaining from 157km

    17:32:49 CEST

    Still De Marchi leads for BMC. The escapees are 3:20 clear of the bunch, where Bilbao rides on the front for Lopez.


  80. 3.8km remaining from 157km

    17:34:24 CEST

    The break reaches the stiffer gradients on the upper slopes of the climb. Kudus, Geniez, De La Cruz, Castroviejo and Nibali are showing signs of suffering, but they are still hanging in there. Majka looks comfortable near the front of this break.


  81. 3.5km remaining from 157km

    17:35:13 CEST

    After grimacing on the back, Geniez has now forced his way to the front of the break. He doesn't look at all comfortable, but he sets the tempo with Fraile and Majka tucked in behind him.


  82. 17:36:32 CEST

    3 minutes down the road, Bilbao's pace-making has dramatically whittled down the red jersey group. It seems that Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) has been distanced. Lopez, Kruijswijk, Yates, Mas, Valverde and Quintana are all still present.


  83. 3.2km remaining from 157km

    17:37:13 CEST

    De Marchi pushes on at the head of the race, with Michael Woods tracking him closely. The front group is fragmenting on this stiff gradients.


  84. 17:37:57 CEST

    Back in the red jersey group, Alejandro Valverde has attacked. Jack Haig and Adam Yates pace Simon Yates back up to him. The rest of the red jersey group follows.


  85. 3km remaining from 157km

    17:38:59 CEST

    Dylan Teuns, Michael Woods and Rafal Majka open a small gap at the front of their race, but they can't quite shake off the rest of this front group.


  86. 17:40:25 CEST

    The red jersey group is splintering to pieces on this steep gradient with a shade over 3km to go. Adam Yates leads his brother Simon, with Valverde, Mas, Kruijswijk and Lopez behind them. Quintana shows signs of struggling, but he remains in contact. Uran, Pinot and Izagirre have been dropped.


  87. 17:40:59 CEST

    Quintana is alone, around 20 metres behind the red jersey group. The Colombian seems to be losing more ground as Adam Yates piles on the pressure.


  88. 2km remaining from 157km

    17:42:29 CEST

    The break is grinding its way up the 25% slopes of the climb now. David de la Cruz (Team Sky) leads with Teuns, Majka, Woods, Rossetto and Zakarin still in contact with him. Fraile is flitting off the back of this group.


  89. 2km remaining from 157km

    17:43:12 CEST

     The break is grinding its way up the 25% slopes of the climb now. David de la Cruz (Team Sky) leads with Teuns, Majka, Woods, Herrada and Zakarin still in contact with him. Fraile is flitting off the back of this group.

  90. 17:43:49 CEST

    Only Teuns and Woods can follow De la Cruz's forcing on the steepest section. Mahka is just behind them, with the rest of the break scattered across the hilsside.


  91. 17:44:50 CEST

    Quintana has been definitively dropped by the red jersey group. He is more than 40 seconds down on Yates et al with more than 2km of climbing to go.


  92. 1.3km remaining from 157km

    17:45:26 CEST

    De la Cruz accelerates, but Majka, Teuns and Woods stay with him. One of this quartet will win the stage.


  93. 1km remaining from 157km

    17:45:55 CEST

    Another acceleration from De la Cruz. Only Woods can follow initially, but Majka and Teuns claw their way back up beneath the flamme rouge.


  94. 17:46:17 CEST

    Majka attacks with 800 metres to go. He presses hard, but his companions all track his wheel...


  95. 17:46:44 CEST

    Michael Woods is the next rider to kick. He can't snap the elastic and when he swings over, Dylan Teuns has a go and opens a small gap...


  96. 17:47:15 CEST

    Back in the red jersey group, Lopez attacks and the Yates brothers lead the pursuit...


  97. 17:47:48 CEST

    Up in front, Woods has pegged back Teuns. With 400 metres to go, the Canadian launches another acceleration of his own and Teuns can't respond...


  98. 17:48:21 CEST

    Woods inches his way through the fog and against the 15% gradient with a small lead over Teuns and the rest. If he can keep the gear turning over, the stage win is his...


  99. 17:48:54 CEST

    Michael Woods peers back through the mist. He must realise he has this in the bag, though Teuns is not giving up...


  100. 17:49:16 CEST

    Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) wins stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana.


  101. 17:49:59 CEST

    Dylan Teuns (BMC) is second. De la Cruz takes third ahead of Majka. The rest of the break spills across the line in ones and twos.


  102. 17:51:00 CEST

    The red jersey group is in the final kilometre. A struggling Quintana is alone behind them. We have no television camera on the red jersey group for the time being, so it is unclear if Lopez is still trying to break Yates.


  103. 17:51:37 CEST

    Deep into the final kilometre, Enric Mas leads Valverde and Simon Yates into the clouds. Lopez has lost some ground to this trio in the last kilometre.


  104. 17:52:05 CEST

    Valverde accelerates and only Mas can follow. They come in 2:41 down. Simon Yates comes in at 2:49.


  105. 17:52:30 CEST

    Lopez conceded a handful of seconds to Yates, who will keep the red jersey. 


  106. 17:53:06 CEST

    Quintana catches Kruijswijk within sight of the line, but they come in 3:44 down on Woods - and around a minute down on Valverde and Yates.


  107. 17:53:41 CEST



    1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 4:09:48
    2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
    3 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:10
    4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:13
    5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:38
    6 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:44
    7 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data 0:00:48
    8 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:51
    9 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:55


  108. 17:55:08 CEST



    1 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 4:09:48
    2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
    3 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:10
    4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:13
    5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:38
    6 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:44
    7 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data 0:00:48
    8 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:51
    9 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:55
    10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:4

  109. 17:55:40 CEST

    General classification after stage 17:        


    1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 69:05:34
    2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:25
    3 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:22
    4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:36
    5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:48
    6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:11
    7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:04:09


  110. 18:01:28 CEST

    General classification after stage 17:

    1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 69:05:34
    2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:25
    3 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:22
    4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:36
    5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:48
    6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:11
    7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:04:09
    8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:04:36
    9 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:05:31
    10 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:05 

  111. 18:27:00 CEST

    Simon Yates lost a few seconds but says he was happy to get this stage over with. Here's what the race leader had to say:

    "Of course I wouldn't have liked to have lost time, but those two guys in front of me were very strong there in the final. I did a good ride and I'm happy with what I did. Adam was there with me for the entire climb, he did a really good job. Today was the day I was most worried about, so I'm happy to have it over with.

    "We deployed our secret weapon there, my brother. We've been saving him for this part of the race. He did a great job today, not just him but all the team had my back. It was really good."

    When asked about the time gaps and if he should only be watching Valverde, Yates said:

    "Everybody is still dangerous. I don't know the GC properly yet, but for sure the gaps are still small. It was a difficult climb, but everyone was still there with 1km to go except for maybe one or two guys."

  112. 18:28:02 CEST

    Michael Woods was emotional in his post-win flash interview, revealing a family tragedy:

    "It's hard to describe, I won, there were so many people on the side of the road screaming.

    "My directeur Juanma [Garate] was on the radio and he said 'do this for your family'.

    "My wife and I, my wife had a stillbirth two months ago, we lost the little guy, his name was Hunter. The whole time I was going up the climb I was thinking of him I wanted to win so bad for him and I did."

  113. 18:32:40 CEST

    Poor Nairo Quintana lost almost a minute to Yates on the stage. It looks like Valverde is the undisputed team leader, with Quintana at 2:11 on GC. Here's what he had to say about his 'jour sans'

    "I just didn't have any strength. I'm OK but I had absolutely nothing left, the good thing is Alejandro [Velverde] is ahead and the team is working. Of course we'll keep going.

    "We can still find some more time, it all depends on team strategy. We want to win the race, it has nothing to do with Alejandro or me. He is strongest.

    "It cost me an awful lot out there, it was so difficult to keep the pace. I lost time today but the important thing is Alejandro is still there."

  114. 18:33:15 CEST

    That concludes our coverage of the Vuelta a Espana stage 17. Come back for more tomorrow!

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