After 170km and 4,700 metres of climbing, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) was the first rider to complete the challenge of stage 11 atop the Alto de la Farrapona and won his first Grand Tour stage. The 24-year-old French rider screamed in delight as he crossed the line just ahead of Marc Soler (Movistar), who gained valuable time with his second place to vault from 10th to sixth in the general classification.
The main GC contenders marked each other across all the climbs with no changes in the top five. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is locked with the same time as Richard Carapaz (Ineos) for a second day, follwed by Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) continues in third place at 25 seconds back, Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) in fourth and Enric Mas (Movistar Team) fifth.
The Slovenian remains in red on the tie breaker after taking the leader's jersey under controversial circumstances on stage 10. Riders in the peloton refused to begin Saturday's stage on time in Villaviciosa as a protest over the UCI commissaire's controversial decision to give Roglič a three-second gap to his rivals in the sprint on stage 10, putting Roglič back into the red jersey.
Carapaz's Ineos teammate Chris Froome led the brief protest to complain about a change in the ruling to designate the stage as an expected bunch sprint, which would have resulted in only one second and Carapaz still in red. The peloton rolled out after 15 minutes, with the first attack following 9km later at the base of the first categorised climb.
Watch the Vuelta a España stage 11 highlights video above.
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