Vuelta a España 2015: Stage 9
January 1 - September 13, Torrevieja, Spain, Road - WorldTour
Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 9 of the 2015 Vuelta a España from Torrevieja to Cumbre del Sol
Click below to read more about the Vuelta a Espana.
Stage 8 report
As we join the action from the Cyclingnews blimp, we now have 14 riders in the break of the day, with the Katusha team leading the chase for leader and local hero of the day Joaqium Rodriguez.
The break is a serious threat to Purito, who wants to win on the steep climb to the finish.
None of the riders in the break are a threat to the overall lead of Esteban Chaves and so the Orica-GreenEdge team is not doing a lot of the chasing.
Sadly another big crash in the peloton left several riders hurt but none of them seriously injured.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tom Dumoulin (Giant - Alpecin), Fabio Aru, Mikel Landa (Astana), Samuel Sánchez (BMC), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R - La Mondiale) and John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin) are among the riders involved in the crash.
They all got going again but Valverde went to the doctor's car for some treatment.
123km remaining from 168km
The stage is largely flat until the first asssault of the Alto de Puig Llorença after 126km. The riders then drop down to he coast and then climb Alto de Puig Llorença agin, with an extra 500m of climbing up to the finish.
The Alto de Puig Llorença is only 3.3km long climbs at at 8.9% with some steep sections at 15% or even more. If should offer another thrilling finale.
@IAM_Cycling Sun, 30th Aug 2015 13:16:06
92km remaining from 168km
The break has extended its lead to 5:20 after the feed zone. This will be a pursuit match all the way to the finish.
Purito Rodriguez is keen to win the mountain finish after his father spent time painting his name on the road during the night.
The 14 riders in the break are: Alexis Gougeard (AG2R - La Mondiale) joined Nikolas Maes, Pieter Serry and Maxime Bouet (Etixx-Quick Step), Geraint Thomas (Sky), Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Yohan Bagot ( Cofidis), Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo), Omar Fraile (Caja Rural), Tony Hurel (Europcar), Danny Van Poppel (Trek), Pavel Brutt (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Jim Songezo (MTN-Qhubeka).
@LottoJumbo_road Sun, 30th Aug 2015 13:46:50
The average speed for the race is 41.3 km/h after two hours of racing.
The whole Katusha team is lined out on the front of the peloton. They know it is important to reduce the gap before the first climb of the Alto de Puig Llorença after 126km.
The gap to the break has fallen but only to 4:00.
However the break is working pretty well as they follow the coast road.
65km remaining from 168km
The peloton is rolling at 50km/h.
Following the abandon of Peter Sagan, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is wearing the green points jersey.
Watch out for him on the steep stage finish.
The race is 15 kilometers from the Alto de Puig Llorença. The race is about to be shaken up.
The riders are passing through Calpe, where so many of the riders come to train in the winter. As a result many know the roads and the climbs of today's stage.
55km remaining from 168km
The gap remains steady at 4:00
Katusha is still leading the peloton but the other teams are positioning themselves for the climb.
The Katusha riders have been leading the chase for more than two hours. Rodriguez really wants this one.
As the gaps falls, the Movistar team also hit the front.
Here we go. We're close to the climb.
The 14 in the break are suffering on the steep gradient, with 2.5km to go on the climb.
Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) is leading the break on the climb but he's suffering on the gradient.
The GC contenders are at the front of the peloton but are saving their legs for the final climb.
There are huge crowds at the summit of the climb.
Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros) saved his effort for the final metres and managed to edge past Cattaneo to take the maximum points.
There is a headwind on the climb and so the big names are ready steady this time up the climb. It will be very different for the last time up the climb.
The peloton goes over the top but on the final climb they turn sharp left and climb for another 500 metres.
The descent is wide but includes several nasty corners.
There only six or so riders left up front after the climb as the peloton descends at over 70km/h.
34km remaining from 168km
After the steep parts of the descent, Katusha has returned to the front of the peloton in pursuit of the break.
Other riders are getting back up to the break. We have nine riders up front now.
Songezo Jim (MTN - Qhubeka) was one the last to join the break after diving down the descent.
26km remaining from 168km
The gap is down to 1:30 now.
The gap is melting fast an is close to a minute.
However the nine riders refuse to give and are working smoothly together,
Katusha has two riders left to lead the chase.
17km remaining from 168km
The petoton is lined out as the tension rises as the climb nears.
15km remaining from 168km
The gap is don to 45 seconds. The peloton is hunting down the break in time for the climb to the finish.
Check out full stage preview of the final climb by clicking here.
The climb is only 4km long but has several steep corners at 15%. It is going to hurt.
The breakaway riders have started to attack each other.
10km remaining from 168km
They have close to a minute but little hope of holding off the big names in the finale.
Thomas makes his move in the break but does he have the legs to stay away on the climb?
@daniellloyd1 Sun, 30th Aug 2015 15:36:46
Nobody has helped Katusha do the chase today but now they've realised that they will have to do some work if they want a chance to win the stage. Movistar and Astana are helping the chase.
Orica is also on the front, riding to protect Chaves' lead and perhaps target the stage victory.
Maxime Bouet (Etixx - Quick-Step) kicks again at the head of the break, with Pavel Brutt and Thomas also going with him.
5km remaining from 168km
But the peloton is only 20 seconds back now.
Here we go. Climb time!
The peloton is about to swallow the last attackers.
Valverde, Chaves, Rodriguez are all up front.
Quintana is there too and attacks first.
Rodriguez gets his wheel, but Aru and the others are close.
As the road eases slightly, Valverde attacks alone.
The peloton is splitting under his efforts.
The pace eases as Valverde is caught. Froome is out of the back, trying to spin his legs and get back on.
Dumoulin attacks in pursuit of the race lead.
He's wearing the white jersey and is setting a strong steady pace as he tries to distance Chaves.
Dumoulin goes again but Chaves is with him. Quintana too.
Valverde is suffering behind.
As the road steepens, Aru kicks away.
2km remaining from 168km
There is still 2km to climb. But Dumoulin attacks again.
He has a gap after using a slight descent to catch his breath. Chaves is leading the chase with Team Sky.
Froome is spinning his gear but seems to be riding for Roche.
Last km for Dumoulin. but its time for the steep section.
Majka is now chasing as Froome surges again.
Thy turn left and onto the climb to the finish.
Froome is motoring up to Dumoulin.
Chaves is suffering and cold lose his race lead.
Froome drags Purito and Majka across the gap.
Froome and Purito sprint for the stage victory.
Froome gets a gap but Dumoulin comes after him.
He times it right and wins the stage, punching the air as he beats Froome.
Big Tom timed that perfectly to win the stage and take the race lead. Chaves finishes now but loses his red jersey to the big Dutchman.
Froome was second with Rodriguez third.
Dumoulin started sprinting out of the saddle with 100m to go and surged past Froome.
Stay with us for further live coverage post-stage. We will have the last classifications and reactions from the finish.
Fabio Aru (Astana) was fourth on the stage at five seconds.
Majka was fifth at 18 seconds.
Chaves fought to defend his race lead but lost close to a minute and slipped to third place overall at 59 seconds. Rodriguez is second at 57 seconds.
@tinkoff_saxo Sun, 30th Aug 2015 16:08:10
Today's stage was expected to produce some fireworks but nobody thought the gaps would be so big and the GC would be shaken up so much.
It was Dumoulin's seventh career win but has confirmed he is an overall contender at this year's Vuelta despite, or perhaps because, he crashed out of the Tour de France.
Dumoulin was stunned to have won. “Unbelievable,” he said after fighting to catch his breath.
“I could have never imagined this. Yesterday, I had a really bad day. The team told me, just to keep going, and see how it goes, and today it ended pretty well.”
Chris Froome was disappointed not to win today.
"I thought I had it there for a second but Dumoulin is showing incredible form in this race and hats off to him. He's a young rider with a bright future ahead of him."
Froome added: "The guys did a fantastic job for me today, keeping myself, Nico Roche, Nieve and Sergio Henao -the four climbers, at the front of the race."
"I don't think my attack was too far out. I gave it everything. I did try and ride more conservatively at the bottom to save something for an effort at the top if I had the legs. i'm just happy I was up there and didn't lose too much time today."
Rafal Majka took fifth place atop Cumbre del Sol and moved into ninth in the GC.
"Today I didn’t feel so good and I tried to attack in the finale to gain some meters before the finish. But when the climb is this steep, every hundred meters feels very long but still it’s not bad at the end and I finished fifth and move into the top ten in the general classification", he said.
"We wait for Andorra and the last week, we still have many mountains with longer climbs, which are more different. I’m satisfied with this first week and my teammates have worked for me perfectly."
"But we have to wait, we also have the long time trial and we have some big favourites here but I’m still there and today I tried."
"I had an advantage with 700 meters to go but I didn’t believe that I would take the win. I told my teammates that I was suffering a bit today and they worked to position me at the front before the final climb. Everybody has bad days and I think I had mine today. It wasn’t the same legs as two-three days ago but we have many days to go".
That's about it from our live coverage at the Vuelta.
Click here for our full stage report, huge photo gallery and full results from the stage.
Check back later on Cyclingnews for exclusive interviews and news from the riders.
Join us tomorrow for live coverage of stage 10.
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