Vuelta a Espana 2017

August 19 - September 10, 2017, Nimes, Nîmes, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

Vuelta a España 2017 hub page
Vuelta a España start list
Stage 14 report: Majka triumphs atop La Pandera
Sierra Nevada: 'The hardest stage of the Vuelta'
Froome: I was keeping some energy back for Sunday

Vuelta a Espana 2017 stage 15 profile
 

  1. 13:39:31 CEST

    The peloton is rolling through the neutralised zone ahead of what many reckon to be the most difficult stage of the Vuelta a Espana. Don't just take our word for it: Nicolas Roche has raced and trained at Sierra Nevada many times over the years, and knows a thing or two about the terrain on today's stage, as Alasdair Fotheringham discovered.

  2. 13:44:25 CEST

    There are three categorised climbs crammed into just 129 kilometres of racing. Midway through the stage, the riders reach the category 1 Alto de Hazallanas (16.3km at 5.5%). After a long descent, they climb again at the category1 Alto del Purche (8.5km at 8%). Much like the Lauteret-Galibier combination at the Tour de France, there is no respite between the final two ascents. The Purche leads directly into the final haul to Sierra Nevada, up the Alto Hoya de la Mora, which drags on for 19.3km at an average gradient of 5.6%, and reaches an altitude of 2510 metres.

     

  3. 13:45:40 CEST

    A reminder of the general classification as the peloton reaches kilometre zero:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 58:30:47
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:55
    3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:17
    4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:25
    5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:39
    6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:09
    7 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:11
    8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:19
    9 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:03:23
    10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:48

     

  4. 129km remaining from 129.5km

    13:47:01 CEST

    The flag drops and the speed ratchets upwards immediately. The terrain is rolling as far as Pino Genil, at the base of the Hazallanas after 57 kilometres, and there will be no shortage of riders trying to forge clear ahead of the major ascents.

     

  5. 126km remaining from 129.5km

    13:47:37 CEST

    There's been a flurry of early attacks and accelerations, with Davide Villella and Cannondale-Drapac prominent, but as yet no move has managed to forge clear.

     

  6. 125km remaining from 129.5km

    13:50:57 CEST

    Green jersey Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) clips off the front in the company of Magnus Cort (Orica-Scott) and Tom Scully (Cannondale-Drapac). This trio has opened a small gap over the peloton. Trentin is keen to get ahead and claim the points at the intermediate sprint at Granada after 45 kilometres.

     

  7. 123km remaining from 129.5km

    13:52:30 CEST

    Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport), pedalling smoothly as always, manages to bridge up to the Trentin group. There are four escapees at the head of the race, but their lead is still minimal and more riders are attempting to make it across.

     

  8. 120km remaining from 129.5km

    13:56:14 CEST

    Trentin, Hansen, Cort and Scully are pegged back by the main peloton as attack after attack continues to career off the front. As yet, this stage has yet to take shape, but - unlike Formigal a year ago - no GC dangermen have yet decided to try their luck.

     

  9. 118km remaining from 129.5km

    13:57:29 CEST

    It's been a searingly fast start to the stage once again. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) is among those trying to snap the elastic at the front. And spare a thought for Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac), who suffers a puncture as the peloton cruises along at 70kph...

     

  10. 115km remaining from 129.5km

    14:02:06 CEST

    The road dips and rises in these opening kilometres, but while the pace varies, the intensity is constant. Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) tries to go clear, but he too is swept back up.

     

  11. 113km remaining from 129.5km

    14:05:03 CEST

    The spate of early attacking continues unabated. Davide Villella and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) put in a couple of digs and stretch things still further, but as yet no escapee has established itself.

     

  12. 110km remaining from 129.5km

    14:07:02 CEST

    A group of 15 or so riders, De Marchi and Villella among them, has opened a small gap over the peloton, but there has been no slackening of the pace behind just yet.

     

  13. 108km remaining from 129.5km

    14:11:34 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) has Giovanni Visconti and Valerio Agnoli representing him in this front group, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) has Jarlinson Pantano, and Chris Froome (Sky) has sent Christian Knees up the road on his behalf. 

     

  14. 105km remaining from 129.5km

    14:12:55 CEST

    The 17-man move is brought back by the speeding peloton, and so the process begins all over again. No one team is able to take command in these opening kilometres, and no break has been able to establish itself.

     

  15. 102km remaining from 129.5km

    14:15:31 CEST

    We can report that Joe Dombrowski is safely back in the peloton. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) also endured an untimely puncture, and the Spaniard is currently engaged in a frantic pursuit through the convoy of team cars.

     

  16. 97km remaining from 129.5km

    14:20:57 CEST

    More than 30 kilometres into the stage and still no break has managed to establish itself. The pace remains blisteringly high, and there has been no cessation in the flurry of accelerations off the front.

     

  17. 94km remaining from 129.5km

    14:27:18 CEST

    Cofidis duo Anthony Perez and Stephane Rossetto press clear off the front in the company of Nelson Oliveira (Movistar). This trio has opened a small gap over the peloton.

     

  18. 92km remaining from 129.5km

    14:28:17 CEST

    For the first time on the stage, a break establishes itself at the head of the race. Rossetto, Perez and Oliveira have a lead of around 15 seconds over the peloton, but a chasing group is taking shape and attempting to bridge across.

     

  19. 90km remaining from 129.5km

    14:30:14 CEST

    Stephane Rossetto, Antony Perez (Cofidis) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) are exchanging turns at the head of the race, 17 seconds clear of a chasing group that features green jersey Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors).

     

  20. 87km remaining from 129.5km

    14:33:33 CEST

    Trentin and company make contact with Rossetto, Perez and Oliveira at the head of the race, while the pace finally slackens in the peloton behind them. This group of 8 riders has a lead of two minutes over the peloton.

     

  21. 14:35:49 CEST

    The riders in the break are Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Stephane Rossetto, Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Luis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) and Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal). Armee is the highest placed on GC, some 45:47 down on Froome.

     

  22. 85km remaining from 129.5km

    14:36:40 CEST

    The break reaches Granada, site of the day's intermediate sprint. Matteo Trentin leads through the line unopposed to buttress his lead in the points classification. 2:10 the gap to the bunch.

     

  23. 81km remaining from 129.5km

    14:39:36 CEST

    As the bunch reaches Granada and the shadow of the Alhambra, its deficit to the break stretches out to 2:50.

     

  24. 79km remaining from 129.5km

    14:42:02 CEST

    The escapees are less than 10 kilometres from the base of the category 1 Alto de Hazallanas (16.3km at 5.5%).

     

  25. 76km remaining from 129.5km

    14:46:55 CEST

    The escapees are collaborating smoothly as they make their way towards the base of the day's first climb, but there has been an injection of pace in the main peloton, as Astana send a rider to the front. 2:20 the gap to the peloton, where Froome is lined up behind a string of black Sky jerseys.

     

  26. 73km remaining from 129.5km

    14:52:17 CEST

    Some 51 kilometres have been covered in the first hour of racing. There will be plenty of tired legs in the peloton even before the race tackles a metre of the 45 kilometres of categorised climbing on today's stage.

     

  27. 71km remaining from 129.5km

    14:55:24 CEST

    In a repeat of yesterday's playbook, Bahrain-Merida join Astana at the head of the peloton and begin to ramp up the pace on the approach to the day's first climb. Nibali made no secret of his desire to isolate Froome ahead of the finale. "He has a great team and he is able to control different scenarios when they happen, that's Froome's strong point," Nibali said yesterday. "It's clear, though, that when his teammates become a bit more tired and he's isolated, then it gets much more difficult for him."

    Vincenzo NIbali (Bahrain-Merida)

     

  28. 70km remaining from 129.5km

    14:58:04 CEST

    The eight escapees are on the lower slopes of the Alto de Hazallanas with a lead of 2:13 over the peloton. The Cofidis duo of Rossetto and Perez set a steady tempo at the front for the time being.

     

  29. 14:59:19 CEST

    It is 35 degrees in the valley this afternoon, but the temperature will be a more manageable 20 degrees at the finish at Sierra Nevada this afternoon, where there is also reportedly a stiff breeze.

     

  30. 68km remaining from 129.5km

    15:00:39 CEST

    Astana continue to hold the reins in the peloton on the lower slopes of the climb. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was denied stage victory yesterday only by earlier escapee Rafal Majka, and they will be reluctant to let another opportunity slip away today.

     

  31. 67km remaining from 129.5km

    15:04:28 CEST

    A delegation from Trek-Segafredo moves up in the main peloton, where Astana continue to set the pace. There are still some 11 kilometres to the top of the Alto de Hazallanas.

     

  32. 65km remaining from 129.5km

    15:08:03 CEST

    There has been a marked increase in intensity in the main peloton over the last kilometre, as Trek and Bahrain-Merida join Astana at the front. A number of riders are now being jettisoned off the back, and the gap to the break has dropped to 1:50.

     

  33. 62km remaining from 129.5km

    15:11:51 CEST

    The break hits slopes of 18% on the Alto de Hazallanas and it splits to pieces. Tom Van Asbroeck is among those distanced.

     

  34. 15:13:48 CEST

    The peloton hits the same point and duly fragments. Diego Rosa (Sky) is among the riders dropped as the gradient stiffens to 18%.

     

  35. 15:15:33 CEST

    Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) open a small gap over the peloton on the steepest section of the climb.

     

  36. 61km remaining from 129.5km

    15:16:41 CEST

    Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) is alone at the head of the race as the breakaway group drags itself towards the summit in ones and twos. There are still more than 5 kilometres of climbing before they reach the top.

     

  37. 60km remaining from 129.5km

    15:19:54 CEST

    A delegation from Team Sky takes over at the head of the greatly reduced peloton. All of the GC contenders remain together for the time being, 1:50 down on the break.

     

  38. 15:21:33 CEST

    Up front, meanwhile, Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) claws his way up to Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) at the head of the race. This duo has 1:50 on the peloton, while the remnants of the break are scattered in the no man's land that separates them. The television cameras seem to have lost sight of Stetina, Bardet and Yates, though it is possible they have simply been brought back into the peloton.

     

  39. 15:24:20 CEST

    Froome has dropped back into the main body of the red jersey group, which comprises around 35 riders. The Briton has Wout Poels and Mikel Nieve alongside him.

     

  40. 59km remaining from 129.5km

    15:26:35 CEST

    Sander Armee edges clear of Rossetto and is now alone at the head of the race. Adam Yates and Bardet are still ahead of the peloton, incidentally, and are just 55 seconds down on Armee. The peloton is at 2:00.

     

  41. 15:27:38 CEST

    Nicolas Roche (BMC) has been dropped from the peloton on the Alto de Hazallanas. Rui Costa (UAE-Emirates) and Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) are among those struggling at the rear, but they are just about in contact.

     

  42. 58km remaining from 129.5km

    15:29:18 CEST

    Adam Yates and Bardet have been joined by Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and they have caught Nelson Oliveira (Movistar). They are the second group on the road, 1:05 down on the line leader Armee. The peloton is at 2:25.

     

  43. 57km remaining from 129.5km

    15:32:26 CEST

    With a little over a mile to go to the top of Alto de Hazallanas, Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) is alone at the head of the race, having dropped Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis).

     

    Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) are at 1:19, while the reduced peloton of GC contenders is at 2:47.

     

  44. 56km remaining from 129.5km

    15:33:47 CEST

    After a brief lull in the main peloton, Astana have taken up the reins again at the front. Froome's Sky guard sits just behind them.

     

  45. 15:35:23 CEST

    • Climb

    Sander Armee leads alone over Alto de Hazallanas. He has 1:25 in hand on Bardet, Yates, Kruijswijk and Oliveira and 3:10 on the red jersey group.

     

  46. 15:36:34 CEST

    Armee faces into the long 20-kilometre drop to the day's final, two-part climb to Sierra Nevada. Rossetto seems to have fallen away completely, and the Bardet group is the second group on the road.

     

  47. 15:38:38 CEST

    Team Sky return to the front of the reduced peloton as it crests the summit of Alto de Hazallanas, some 3:15 down on Armee.

     

  48. 45km remaining from 129.5km

    15:45:30 CEST

    Armee is maintaining an advantage of 1:05 over the chasing group of Bardet, Kruijswijk, Oliveira and Adam Yates, and 3:08 over the peloton as he hurtles down the sweeping descent off Alto de Hazallanas.

     

  49. 43km remaining from 129.5km

    15:48:35 CEST

    The climbing begins again with 28 kilometres remaining, when the race hits the base of the category 1 Alto del Purche. That drags on for 8.5km at 8%, and there is no respite afterwards: the riders will have to swing directly onto the final, 19-kilometre haul towards Sierra Nevada. All told, it will effectively be a final climb of 28 kilometres...

     

  50. 41km remaining from 129.5km

    15:49:59 CEST

    Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) struggled on Alto de Hazallanas, but the Frenchman has put in a fine descent and caught up to Bardet, Kruijswijk, Oliveira and Adam Yates to make it a five-man chasing group.

     

  51. 36km remaining from 129.5km

    15:54:19 CEST

    Armee has 45 seconds on Adam Yates, Oliveira, Kruisjwijk, Rossetto and Bardet, and 2:16 over the peloton, where Astana are once again setting the pace.

     

  52. 32km remaining from 129.5km

    16:01:23 CEST

    As the road flattens out at the base of the descent, Astana wind up the pace in the main peloton, and the deficit has been pared back to 1:32.

  53. 30km remaining from 129.5km

    16:04:37 CEST

    The chasing group is reduced to three riders on a false flat ahead of the Alto del Purche, as Bardet, Kruijswijk and Adam Yates drop Rossetto and Oliveira. This trio is just 26 seconds down on Armee. The peloton is at 1:24.

     

  54. 28km remaining from 129.5km

    16:08:16 CEST

    Armee begins the category 1 Alto del Purche (8.5km at 8%) just ahead of Bardet, Kruijswijk and Adam Yates. 

     

  55. 27.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:09:53 CEST

    Kruijswijk, Adam Yates and Bardet catch Armee on the lower slopes of the Alto del Purche. Astana wind up the pace in the main peloton, just under a minute behind. The red jersey group had expanded to 50 or so riders on the descent, but is in the process of being whittled down to size all over again.

     

  56. 26.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:13:04 CEST

    Trek-Segafredo begin to set the pace in the peloton for Alberto Contador, who moves up on the right hand side of the road...

     

  57. 26.3km remaining from 129.5km

    16:14:10 CEST

    • Attack

    Alberto Contador attacks and is immediately followed by Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana). This duo opens a small gap over the red jersey group, where Sky are setting the tempo.

     

  58. 16:16:16 CEST

    Up ahead, the front group fragments as Adam Yates and Bardet forge away from Kruijswijk and Armee is dropped.

     

  59. 25.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:17:23 CEST

    After dropping Armee and Kruijswijk, Adam Yates proceeds to dance clear of Bardet. The Bury man is alone at the head of the race.

     

  60. 25km remaining from 129.5km

    16:18:04 CEST

    Contador and Lopez, meanwhile, have caught and passed the dropped Armee. They are 48 seconds down on Yates. The red jersey group, still led by Sky, is at 1:13.

     

  61. 24.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:19:58 CEST

    Contador and Lopez have 25 seconds in hand on the red jersey group, but their move has not - yet - tempted Vincenzo Nibali into action. The Sicilian remains perched behind the five Sky riders at the head of a very reduced red jersey group.

     

  62. 24km remaining from 129.5km

    16:21:23 CEST

    Adam Yates is tapping out a decent tempo at the head of the race, and he is still maintaining a decent advantage of 51 seconds over Contador and Lopez and 1:25 over the red jersey group, which is down to 20 or so riders.

     

  63. 23.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:23:18 CEST

    Lopez and Contador are dancing out of the saddle as they continue to swap turns in pursuit of Yates. Salvatore Puccio leads the red jersey group for Froome, who still has four Sky teammates for company.

     

  64. 23km remaining from 129.5km

    16:24:22 CEST

    Adam Yates is matching the pace of Contador and Lopez, who are 50 seconds back, and increasing his advantage on the red jersey group, which is at 1:35.

     

  65. 22.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:25:58 CEST

    Contador and Lopez have bridged up to Romain Bardet. The Frenchman looks to be paying for his efforts and he might be hard pressed to follow this tandem.

     

  66. 16:26:49 CEST

    David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) has been flitting off the back of the red jersey group for most of the climb, and the Spaniard now seems to have been definitively jettisoned.

     

  67. 22km remaining from 129.5km

    16:27:26 CEST

    Bardet was caught just as the road flattened briefly, and he is managing to recover in the wheels as he follows Lopez and Contador.

     

  68. 21km remaining from 129.5km

    16:30:13 CEST

    Armee is hoovered up by the peloton. Kruijswijk is still somewhere between the Contador group and the Froome group, while Adam Yates extends his advantage at the front. The Briton has 1:00 on Contador, Bardet and Lopez, and 1:40 on Froome, Nibali et al.

     

  69. 20km remaining from 129.5km

    16:31:56 CEST

    • Climb

    Adam Yates takes the king of the mountains points at the Alto del Purche, but cruelly, there is no respite as he crests the summit. Instead, he will swing onto the final, forbidding climb towards Sierra Nevada.

     

  70. 16:33:26 CEST

    Bardet leads Contador and Lopez through the same point, 1:09 down on Yates.

     

  71. 16:34:20 CEST

    A delegation from Sky lead the red jersey group over the Alto del Purche, 1:40 down on Yates. Froome is the only GC man with strength in numbers around him in this group.

     

  72. 18km remaining from 129.5km

    16:36:01 CEST

    Lopez leads the chasers as they begin the long haul toward the finish at Sierra Nevada. They are climbing from Monachil on the Alto Hoya de la Mora (19.3km at 5.6%). They are 1:08 down on Yates, but 50 seconds ahead of the red jersey group.

     

  73. 16km remaining from 129.5km

    16:40:06 CEST

    Contador and Lopez are performing the bulk of the pace-setting in this chasing group, but they are still not making any inroads into Adam Yates' advantage. The Briton has 1:08 on the chasing trio.

     

  74. 16:41:19 CEST

    Froome has three Sky riders for company in this red jersey group. Nibali is lined up just behind them, with Fabio Aru on his wheel. Wilco Kelderman, Michael Woods and Tejay van Garderen are all still in this group.

     

  75. 16:41:55 CEST

    Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), meanwhile, has slipped away from the red jersey group on the lower slopes of the climb and opened a small gap.

     

  76. 15km remaining from 129.5km

    16:43:00 CEST

    Steve Kruijswijk was, in fact, second on the road the whole time, but completely ignored by the television cameras and on-screen graphics. The Dutchman has just been caught by Bardet, Contador and Lopez. They are 1:17 behind Adam Yates.

     

  77. 14.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:44:17 CEST

    Adam Yates is still out-stripping the pace being laid down by Sky in the red jersey group, which now trails by 2:30. 

     

  78. 16:45:31 CEST

    There are perhaps 25 riders still in this red jersey group, and Nibali, Kelderman, Chaves et al have thus far given no indication of an attempt at attacking Froome's lead. There is, however, some considerable distance still to go to the finish.

     

  79. 13km remaining from 129.5km

    16:47:07 CEST

    • Attack

    And at that, Vincenzo Nibali accelerates out of the red jersey group and opens a gap...

     

  80. 16:47:56 CEST

    Mikel Nieve sets the pace for Sky, as Froome speaks into his radio behind. Wout Poels is the only other Sky rider with Froome in this group.

     

  81. 16:48:46 CEST

    Nibali has a gap of about 50 metres over the Nieve-led Froome group, but he could probably do with some company considering how shallow the gradient is here.

     

  82. 12km remaining from 129.5km

    16:50:11 CEST

    Nibali has his arms draped over the handlebars as though gripping invisible spinaci bars in the manner of Michele Bartoli. Despite his aerodynamics, Nibali's advantage is remaining stable at around 50 metres.

     

  83. 11.5km remaining from 129.5km

    16:51:35 CEST

    The on-screen graphics suggest Nibali has 20 seconds in hand on the red jersey group, though in truth the gap seems a little smaller. Even so, Nibali is committed to the move and is sticking resolutely to his task.

     

  84. 11km remaining from 129.5km

    16:52:42 CEST

    Adam Yates dances out of the saddle. He is still pedalling very well, and still has 1:12 in hand on Contador, Lopez, Kruijswijk and Bardet.

     

  85. 16:53:39 CEST

    Nibali relents and is caught by the red jersey group. It was a curious place to attack and in the absence of any companions, it was perhaps always likely to be a futile endeavour.

     

  86. 10km remaining from 129.5km

    16:56:10 CEST

    Into the final 10 kilometres for Adam Yates, who is starting to believe he can pull off the stage win. He still has 1:14 on the combined strength of Contador, Bardet, Kruijswijk and Lopez. The red jersey group is at 2:06.

     

  87. 9km remaining from 129.5km

    16:57:51 CEST

    Mikel Nieve sets the tempo for Froome in the red jersey group. Wout Poels is the only other Sky man still in this group. Orica-Scott (and Movistar) still have numbers in this group but do they have the strength to discommode Froome?

     

  88. 8km remaining from 129.5km

    16:59:12 CEST

    Adam Yates is betraying few signs of fatigue as he hits the last five miles of the stage. Lopez bobs in and out of the saddle int he chasing group, just over a minute down on the Briton.

     

  89. 7.5km remaining from 129.5km

    17:00:47 CEST

    Thomas De Gendt has been caught by the red jersey group, which still includes all of the GC men, including Nibali, Kelderman, Chaves, Aru, Ilnur Zakarin and Michael Woods.

     

  90. 7km remaining from 129.5km

    17:02:18 CEST

    Adam Yates is finally beginning to concede clumps of his advantage. Lopez is doing the lion's share of the pace-setting in the chasing group, which is now 57 seconds back. The red jersey group is also closing in, and is now only 1:32 behind.

     

  91. 17:03:24 CEST

    Lopez's forcing proves too much for Kruisjwijk, who loses a bike length and is dropped. Bardet has to swoop around the Dutchman to stay in contact with Contador and Lopez.

     

  92. 6km remaining from 129.5km

    17:04:30 CEST

    Lopez turns the screw once again. He accelerates and Contador is quickly dropped. Only Bardet can follow the Colombian's wheel.

     

  93. 17:05:10 CEST

    Bardet lasts about 200 metres before he too is distanced. Lopez is in lone pursuit of Yates and is 49 seconds down on the Briton.

     

  94. 5km remaining from 129.5km

    17:06:30 CEST

    Yates has just 27 seconds in hand on the flying Lopez. Contador has dragged himself back up to Bardet, but they surely won't see the front of the race again this afternoon. 

     

  95. 17:07:34 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez timed his effort just a fraction too late yesterday and had to settle for second place at La Pandera. He has given himself a far better chance of catching the earlier escapee this afternoon...

     

  96. 4.5km remaining from 129.5km

    17:08:25 CEST

    Adam Yates now has just 13 seconds in hand on the rampant Lopez. The red jersey group is at 1:10.

     

  97. 4.2km remaining from 129.5km

    17:09:15 CEST

    Lopez catches Adam Yates and immediately accelerates to best the Briton's levels of fatigue. Yates holds strong and manages to follow. 

     

  98. 3.9km remaining from 129.5km

    17:10:09 CEST

    But not for long... Yates grinds almost to a halt as he tries to follow Lopez's vicious second acceleration. Miguel Angel Lopez is alone at the head of the Vuelta and surely destined for stage victory at Sierra Nevada.

     

  99. 3.6km remaining from 129.5km

    17:10:54 CEST

    Contador and Bardet are caught by the red jersey group, where Wout Poels is now leading with Froome, Aru and Nibali tucked onto his wheel. They trail Lopez by precisely one minute.

     

  100. 3km remaining from 129.5km

    17:12:27 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez carries a lead of 58 seconds into the final three kilometres. The Colombian, winner of the Tour de Suisse last year, is set to claim his second stage win of this Vuelta a Espana after his triumph at Calar Alto.

     

  101. 2.5km remaining from 129.5km

    17:13:24 CEST

    Wout Poels sets the pace in the red jersey group, which still contains about fifteen riders.

     

  102. 17:14:03 CEST

    Poels' forcing is shedding riders from the rear of this group. Froome sits in second wheel, with Nibali lined up just behind the red jersey. 

     

  103. 2km remaining from 129.5km

    17:14:45 CEST

    Lopez still has 57 seconds in hand. Yates has been caught and passed by the reduced red jersey group, He offers a bidon to Chaves as he passes, but the Colombian politely declines.

     

  104. 1.5km remaining from 129.5km

    17:15:24 CEST

    Poels' hyperactive pace in the red jersey group is discouraging all potential attackers. Froome looks destined to carry the red jersey into the rest day.

     

  105. 1.3km remaining from 129.5km

    17:15:55 CEST

    Ilnur Zakarin moves up to the front of the group and accelerates, opening a slender advantage.

     

  106. 17:16:27 CEST

    Zakarin peeled off a brace of attacks like this on the Giro, and he might snatch some seconds from his podium rivals here...

     

  107. 1km remaining from 129.5km

    17:16:57 CEST

    Zakarin won't catch Lopez, however. The Colombian is still pedalling smoothly as he passes beneath the flamme rouge.

     

  108. 17:17:29 CEST

    Zakarin has opened a useful gap over the red jersey group. Contador, meanwhile, is dropped just before they reach the final kilometre.

     

  109. 17:18:39 CEST

    The red jersey group is reduced still further as Poels turns the screw. Nibali, Chaves, Kelderman and Woods are the only men who can stick with Froome and Poels.

     

  110. 17:19:00 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) wins stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana at Sierra Nevada.

     

  111. 17:19:34 CEST

    Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) takes second on the stage, 36 seconds down.

     

  112. 17:20:17 CEST

    Kelderman takes third ahead of Chris Froome and Esteban Chaves, 45 seconds down on Lopez. Nibali lost a few seconds on Froome in that final kick to the line.

     

  113. 17:20:41 CEST

    Aru also conceded ground in the final kilometre. Contador crosses the line 1:26 down on the stage.

     

  114. 17:21:19 CEST

    Chris Froome (Sky) will retain the red jersey and slightly extend his overall lead ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

     

  115. 17:27:42 CEST

    Result:

     

    1 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 03:34:41
    2 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:36
    3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb 00:00:45
    4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 00:00:47
    5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    6 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 00:00:50
    7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:53
    8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
    9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE-Team Emirates
    10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:01:02
     

     

  116. 17:29:18 CEST

    General classification after stage 15:


    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 62:06:25
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:01
    3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:08
    4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:11
    5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:39
    6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:02:51
    7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:24
    8 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:03:26
    9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:59
    10 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:05:22

     

     

  117. 17:30:48 CEST

    Froome extends his advantage to 1:01 over Nibali, whose attack on the final climb came to nothing. Lopez's stage victory has moved him up to 6th overall and into the hunt for a place on the podium in Madrid. For the time being, Zakarin moves up to third overall thanks to his canny attack in the finale here, but Kelderman limited the damage by picking up the four bonus seconds for taking third on the stage.

     

  118. 17:35:03 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez attacked the GC favourites on the final climb of the Vuelta a España's 14th stage

     

  119. 17:39:04 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez speaks as he waits to mount the podium: "It's been a magnificent day. Today we decided to attack with Contador. When Contador went, I went with him, but I had some doubts because it was a pretty long and demanding climb. With a final at above 2,000 metres it was really hard. So I had my doubts – but I found myself with the necessary strength and here we are."

     

  120. 17:43:09 CEST

    Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) came in 4:37 down. He looked to be headed for stage victory only to be caught by Lopez. Although he was able to hang tough for 100 metres or so, he was unable to match the Colombian's vicious pace. "I tried my best so I can’t be disappointed with that," Yates says. "I slowed down a little bit because I knew he was going to come past me at speed but to be honest, I was pedalling squares in the last 6k and that’s all there is to it. I gave it my best. Maybe I attacked a bit early. It didn’t work out today, but it’s going to work out in the future."

     

  121. 18:17:27 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez en route to victory on stage 15 of the Vuelta a España

     

  122. 18:18:02 CEST

    Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 15 of the Vuelta a España.

     

  123. 18:18:33 CEST

    Chris Froome at the Vuelta a España

     

  124. 18:39:46 CEST

    Thanks for following our live coverage on Cyclingnews this afternoon. A full report, pictures and results are available here, and we'll have all the news and reaction from Sierra Nevada in due course.

     

  125. 18:40:31 CEST

    Result:

     

    1 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 3:34:51
    2 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:36
    3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:45
    4 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:47
    5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    6 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:50
    7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:53
    8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
    9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
    10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:02

     

     

    General classification after stage 15:

     


    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 62:06:25
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:01
    3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:08
    4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:11
    5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:39
    6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:02:51
    7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:24
    8 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:03:26
    9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:59
    10 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:05:22

     

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