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Vuelta a España 2015: Stage 6

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Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 6 of the 2015 Vuelta a España. The road from Córdoba to Sierra de Cazorla is 200.3 kilometres long with an uphill finish.

 

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Hello everyone, we're in for another tough day's racing in the Andalucían furnace, with over 200 kilometres to cover before another finishing climb. 

140km remaining from 200km

As we pick up the action after 60 kilometres, there is no breakaway up the road. The peloton has been on red alert so far and, despite numerous moves of various shapes and sizes, nothing has been allowed to stick. 

Here's how the General Classification looks after yesterday's stage:

 

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 17:09:06
2 Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:01
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:16
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:25
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:29
6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:31
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:35
8 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:36
9 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:37
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:48

 

There has been another bid for freedom from the bunch and this time it looks as if a breakaway might stick. Five riders have gone clear and have managed to open up a lead of nearly a minute.

 

They are: Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Peter Velits (BMC), and SteveCummings (MTN-Qhubeka). 

 

A couple of abandons to tell you about. David De La Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep) did not take to the start this morning, still hampered by a broken collarbone sustained in a crash at the Tour de Pologne. Matej Mohoric (Cannondale-Garmin) was forced to pull out after 30-odd kilometres and several trips back to the medical car. 

 

Breaking: Pierre Rolland signs for Cannondale-Garmin

 

The Frenchman, out in the bunch today in the green of Europcar, will be a Cannonade-Garmin rider next year. The news has just been officially announced and you can read our full story right here

 

 

Colombia were reluctant to let this five-man group go without being present in it and they have now sent Miguel Ángel Rubiano up the road in pursuit. He was gaining on those ahead until a crash halted his progress but he's now back up and 1 minute 30 seconds behind. The peloton is a further minute and a half back. 

 

Remember Vincenzo Nibali? He was expelled from the Vuelta on stage 2 after taking a lengthy and blatant tow from a team car. He had planned to make a swift return to racing elsewhere but it looks like UCI rules will prevent him from doing so. Here's the story:

 

UCI rules dash Nibali’s hopes for an early return to racing

 

 

117km remaining from 200km

Rubiano catches the break and we now have a group of six out in front. The gap to the peloton currently stands at 3:10, which makes Gautier the virtual race leader. 

 

The Giant-Alpecin is doing much of the work on the front of the peloton leading the chase. 

Up front the rolling roads are causing problems in the break. 

Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia) has been distanced. 

 

There are no categorised climbs until the 145km point but the roads are up and down until that point.   

 

It's been a suer fast stage so far, with the average speed for the second hour at 45.7 km/h.

The riders have already covered 95km of the 200km stage. However today, the climb to the finish will be the decisive and toughest moment of the stage. 

 

#LV2015 The race is over halfway. 4'40" for the leaders: Cummings, Durasek, Gautier, Rubiano, Terpstra and P. Velits.

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 27th Aug 2015 12:50:58

Rubiano has rejoined the break after struggling briefly. 

 

Behind  the Giant-Alpecin team continues to lead the chase in defence of Tom Dumoulin's leader's jersey.

 

90km remaining from 200km

The six breakaway riders have extended their lead, pushing it out to 4:40. The final kliometres will be a real cat and mouse fight.  

 

The break includes some strong riders.

Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) won a stage at the Tour de France and can climb well.  

 

Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar) is always aggressive and gives his all, while Niki Terpstra (Etixx - Quick-Step) has won Paris-Roubaix but can also climb pretty well. 

 

Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar) is always aggressive and gives his all, while Niki Terpstra (Etixx - Quick-Step) has won Paris-Roubaix but can also climb pretty well. 

 

Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) won the Tour of Turkey in the spring and a stage at the Tour de Suisse.

 

Peter Velits showed his form by winning the opening TTT with BMC at the the Vuelta.  

 

#LV2015 86km to go, @StevoCummings, Terpstra, Gautier, Durasek, P Velits & Rubiano have 4'20".

@TeamMTNQhubeka Thu, 27th Aug 2015 13:11:17

Gautier is currently the virtual race leader but the peloton will surely chase them down.    

 

75km remaining from 200km

As the kilometres tick down, so does the gap. It is now 4:00.  

 

Who is your tip for the stage win?  

 

With 135km covered, the riders are about to hit the important first categorised climb of the stage.  

 

The Alto de Baeza is only a category 3 climb and not steep but it rises for 11.8km.  

 

A long gradual descent follows but then road rises gradually again all the way to the finish. The final 3km are steeper, at 6.3%. 

 

 

The climb up through Cazorla seems perfect for Valverde. Positioning will be vital in the final kilometre as the roads turns right and then curves left just before the line.    

 

60km remaining from 200km

Valverde has shown his intentions with his Movistar moving to the front to help the chase of he break. 

 

Peter Sagan said he might rest up today and not try for the victory. As a result his Tinkoff-Saxo team is not doing any work today. 

 

The Alto de Baeza has hurt the six breakaway riders. The gap has fallen to 3:15. 

 

It's a hot day out there, with riders jerseys covered in salt due to the heat and sweating.

 

Behind teams are frequently dropping back for fresh bidons.  

 

#LV2015 with 53km to go, @StevoCummings and Co. have 3'30" on the peloton.

@TeamMTNQhubeka Thu, 27th Aug 2015 14:04:16

The Movistar team is continue to work with Giant-Alpecin on the flat roads over the top of the climb.

The gap is down to 2:45.    

 

40km remaining from 200km

The peloton is taking advantage of the gradual descent to keep up the chase. The gap is down to 2:40. 

 

In many ways this stage is a final warm-up for the start of the important mountain stages on Friday. 

Chros Froome is Team Sky's leader but team manager Dave Brailsford was careful about making predictions when he spoke to Cyclingnews.

Click here to read what he said. 

 

The Movistar and Giant-Alpecin teams are lined out on the front of the peloton. Their chase is very serious. 

 

The gap is falling fast as the peloton is lined out as Nacer Bouhanni drops back to his Cofidis team car for bottles.

 

The gap to the break is down to 1:30.

 

The riders in the break are taking on some final bottles with 25km to go. The race judges stop feeding from cars and 'close the bar' with 20km to go.  

 

Australia's Rory Sutherland is doing a lot of the work for Movistar, chipping away at the breaks lead.

 

20km remaining from 200km

The six attackers are still riding smoothly together. We can expect them to perhaps up the pace soon to try to catch out the peloton.

 

It's 39C out on the road at the moment, hence need for lots of bidons. 

 

15km remaining from 200km

The gap is down to less than a one minute now. The break seems to be losing confidence and unity. 

 

35” with 14.4km to go. #LV2015

@Etixx_QuickStep Thu, 27th Aug 2015 14:54:03

Tersptra is still trying to drag the break along before moving off the front.   

 

Attack! Rubiano goes away and is joined and passed by Cummings. 

 

The six only have 30 seconds and so Cummings will have to hope that the peloton ease.

 

10km remaining from 200km

Tersptra is going after Cummings but the Brit is clear and time trailing tucked low on his bike.

 

Team Sky is also helping the chase behind, perhaps again riding for Roche. 

 

The remains of the break have been caught, with just Terpstra chasing Cummings up the road. 

 

Cummings has a 50 second lead but faces the tough 3.3km climb up to the finish.

 

6km remaining from 200km

Cummings is driving on but the peloton is not going flat out. This could be close.

 

Team Sky has also backed off, perhaps thinking of the GC battle rather than a stage win.

 

It is almost time for the climb to the finish through the olive groves. 

 

Cannondale-Garmin is leading the chase now, thinking of the stage victory. 

 

Other riders are already getting spat out of the peloton. 

 

Cummings makes to the brief descent section. He faces just the 3.3km climb now. 

 

His lead is still 30 seconds and he is descending at 70km/h. 

 

2km remaining from 200km

Cummings begins the climb. Here we go.  

 

Orica is leading the chase for Chaves but Cofidis also kick hard. 

 

It's going to be tough for Cummings to stay away.

 

2km remaining from 200km

Chaves is trying his hand but Movistar is chasing him. 

 

Sagan sits up and so will not fight for the sprint win.

 

Chaves passes Cummings and goes clear alone.

 

Chaves passes Cummings and goes clear alone.

 

Dumoulin is still in the chase group. 

 

Last kilometre! Dumoulin goes after Chaves.  

 

 

But Movistar and Valverde are lurking.  

 

Chaves has a 100m lead on Dumoulin.  

 

Dan Martin attacks behind. 

 

Chaves is still clear but is suffering.

 

Martin catches Dumoulin!

 

Chaves is still fighting and clear as Roche attacks behind too. 

 

Chaves looks set to win and take back the race lead.

 

He takes the final curve alone and wins with his arms in the air. 

 

Martin takes second.

 

Dumoulin is third, with the GC contenders just a few seconds back.  

 

#LV2015 @tom_dumoulin takes 3rd, but loses race lead. #KeepChallenging

@GiantAlpecin Thu, 27th Aug 2015 15:17:20

Martin finished just 5 seconds back on Chaves. 

 

 

Froome was in the main chase group, along with Valverde, Quintana and just behind van Garderen. 

 

The chasers were 11 seconds down on Chaves. 

 

Chaves deserved to take the win and the red jersey by attacking early and on his own. Everyone else hesitated but he fought for every second. 

 

Chaves now leads overall by 10 seconds.

 

Dumoulin is second, with Dan Martin moving up to third at 33 seconds.

 

Esteban Chaves won his second stage and is arguably an overall contender now. 

 

Stay with us for more live coverage post-stage. We will have all the reaction from Chaves and the other riders. 

 

The top ten overall is already spread across more than a minute.

 

The big-name GC contenders are packed closely with Valverde leading Froome by 6 seconds. 

 

 

 

Rodriguez is a second behind Froome, with Quintana at 2 seconds.

 

Aru is slightly off the pace, 23 seconds down on Valverde. 

 

Chaves cracks a huge smile on the podium and enjoys his moment of success.

 

Chaves sprays the champagne on the podium. He loves to win. 

 

Chaves also smiles as he pulls on the red leader's jersey. He now leads Dumoulin by 10 seconds.

 

It's been a great week for the Orica-GreenEdge team, as Darryl Impey explained.

“I think he’s just got great condition at the moment and when you’ve got good condition it seems like he can’t do anything wrong. We’ve had a great Tour so far."

“It’s much better start, that’s for sure. We had a really hard Tour de France, things didn’t go as well as planned. That’s cycling and sports in general, you have your ups and downs and this is fantastic.”

 

Neil Stephens has mentored Chaves in recent months and took pride in the latest win for Orica.

“It was a great success, we weren’t really expecting that," he told Eurosport.

"We wanted to maintain the position that we had. Esteban, when he can, he tries to take advantage of whatever he can do and he took advantage of it today and he took the win today."

“I don’t know what to expect from him next. I didn’t expect what he did today and he did it. So whatever he does is fantastic. It’s been a fantastic week for us, we’re over the moon. Let’s just try to enjoy today and then we’ll think about the three weeks after that.”

 

Peter Sagan sat up part-way up the climb and admitted he suffered in the heat.

“I hate this heat and it was very hard for me. I don’t know if it was the same for other riders but for me it was too hot," he said.

“It’s very bad. I want some rules for this weather because it’s impossible. You take water from the car and then after five minutes you have tea.”

 

Esteban Chaves again praised is Orica-GreenEdge teammates for their support.

“I can’t believe I’ve won. It was a long, hot, hard stage today," he told Eurosport.

"Mid-way I spoke to Matt Hayman and he told me: ‘if I have good legs I had to race because you never know what will happen tomorrow.’ Neil Stephens told me about the climb and said it was really steep, at 10% and even one part at 14%. I had good legs on that part and attacked. I’m really happy I want to thank all the team and staff again, they’re all amazing. Caleb Ewan won yesterday but today he went for bottles. This team is like a family.”

“Darryl (Impey) put me in a really good position and I started the climb in first position. I saw Amador suffering as he pushed the pace. When I saw that he wasn’t comfortable, I tried an went for it.”

 

It will be fascinating to see how well Chaves can do on Friday's seventh stage to La Alpujarra in the Sierra Nevada.

The stage ends on a Cat 1 climb and will be the first real test for the overall contenders after a week of short climbs and short efforts.  

 

The stage is 191km long and so will be another hot day in the saddle.

 

Check out our initial stage report and photos from the Vuelta by clicking here.

We will have a massive gallery of all the action, full results and a full report on Cyclingnews very soon. 

 

 

Britain's Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) was the hero of the day, going in the break and trying to stay away solo. He was caught on the steep climbing just 2km from the finish.

"I decided to give it a go but one of the guys was only three back in the overall. They started to chase us early and then when Movistar came on the front, I knew there wasn’t much chance, but you’ve got to try. I’m hunting for a stage win and I hope I can find one," he told Eurosport.

"It’s been hard like this every other day and so its quite nice for breakaway attempts. I’ll try again in a few days."   

 

In other news today, the UCI made it clear that Vincenzo Nibali will not be abel to race again until after the Vuelta a  Espana. He is likely to  race with the Italian national team in the final races of the season to prepare for the world road race championships. 

Click here for more info. 

 

Our reports on the race also spoke To Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka) about his hopes at the Vuelta. 

Click here to read the interview.

 

Thanks for joining us for our live coverage form the Vuelta. 

Join us tomorrow for more blow by blow coverage of stage 7. 

Check back to Cyclingnews for our full stage coverage and huge photo gallery, plus news and exclusive interviews.

 

 

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