Vuelta a Espana: Simon Yates wins on Les Praeres

Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) attacked his overall rivals in the final kilometre of the steep climb of Alto Les Praeres, to take the stage victory and the overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana, as the overall contenders finally showed their hand and fought for every second.

Yates took off from a select group which emerged on the steep farm track climb. He timed his attack perfectly, distancing his rivals to gain some precious seconds. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) finished two seconds back, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) third, also at two seconds. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was fourth at five seconds, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) fifth at seven seconds.

Former race leader Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) was dropped when the peloton split in the last 30km and lost 9:16. Yates took over the race lead ahead of the two Movistar teammates Valverde – now 20 seconds - and Nairo Quintana, who is third at 25 seconds.

“It was a very difficult stage but I chose my moment really well in the very finale,” Yates explained with satisfaction. “I didn’t look back until it flattened off a little bit. I had a bit of a gap and so I gave it everything I could to the line. I’m very happy.”

Yates appeared the strongest and smartest today, but the overall classification is still wide open before Sunday’s mountain finish atop Lagos de Covadonga, Tuesday’s 32km to Torrelavega and then the final mountain stages in Andorra.

Yates seemed upbeat about his chances on Sunday’s mountain finish.

“I remember it from 2016, that’s the only time I’ve ridden the climb. I just hope to have the same legs as today,” he said.

How it happened

The overall contenders and their teams have been criticised for playing a tactical waiting game that had allowed breakaways to stay away and lesser riders steal the spotlight and the leader’s red jersey. After being embarrassed on Friday, Movistar showed their pride and their strength and made sure they had a shot at the stage victory by working in the chase all stage.

Movistar were obliged to help Cofidis lead the chase when a six-rider break formed early on the difficult 171km mountain stage, unexpectedly featuring Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), a threat to the overall leader.

The stage through the rolling hills and valleys became a pursuit match, with the peloton closing the gap in the valleys and the break pushing it back on the climbs. All the riders perhaps hoped to fight for victory but the peloton was far less generous than on other stages.

The break eventually fell apart as first Cortina dropped back to help Nibali drive the peloton to set up Ion Izagirre for an attack. Then De Gendt dropped his chain with 44km to go and so sat up, happy to have taken a haul of mountain classification points

The hard climbs took their toll and near the end and the Alto de la Falla de Los Lobos, with 26km to go, was the turning point in the stage. Bookwalter cracked and then so did Roche, leaving Kwiatkowski to go solo and power up the climb and dive down the descent to the foot of the final climb.

Herrada was already struggling and Nibali’s long turns at high speed on the climb and valley roads left him out the back at over a minute. The peloton also split under the effort but came back together. It was a sign of what was to come. With only five kilometres to go, the gradient kicked-in on a narrow farm road that would eventually turn into a concrete farm track.

Kwiatkowski was finally roped in by the favourites’ group and as the GC fight exploded, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was the first to jump, followed by Valverde. The road was steep and so the race was a slow but painful grind to the finish.

A small lead group, which also included Yates and Quintana, came together with just over two kilometres left to climb. Pinot was distanced but crawled his way back up, while others cracked, including Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates).

When Valverde closed down Kruijswijk, Quintana and Lopez were the next to go but were unable to open a big gap on the double-digit gradients. They looked the strongest and in control but Yates pulled the others up to them at the one kilometre marker and suddenly the race was wide open again.

Valverde and Pinot seemed dangerous and ready to attack but Yates was waiting for the right moment. He made an explosive kick as the road turned into a concrete track and then pulled away on the fun-filled road. He opened a gap that allowed him to take the win and beat his chest in celebration.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott4:19:27
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:00:02
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:05
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:00:07
6Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:11
7Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:00:19
8Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:27
9Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:37
10Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:39
11Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:47
12Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:53
13Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:56
14Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:02
16Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:01:38
17Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:02:27
18Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:40
19Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 18 - Cell 2
20Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:15
21Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:33
22Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:04:35
23Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:51
24Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 23 - Cell 2
25David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:04:55
26Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:05:00
27Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:05:10
28Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:05:24
29Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:26
30Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:06:00
31Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data0:06:11
32Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:06:18
33Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:07:06
35Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:35
36Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:36
37George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:42
38Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:07:48
39Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:11
40Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:08:12
41Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:30
42Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:43
43Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo0:08:58
45Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:16
46Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 45 - Cell 2
47Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 46 - Cell 2
48Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:09:35
49Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:10:25
50Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team SunwebRow 49 - Cell 2
51Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:10:44
52Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:10:48
53Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:11:37
54Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 53 - Cell 2
55Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:12:18
56Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:14:11
58Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH0:14:15
59Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:15:14
60Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:15:36
61Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:16:03
62Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 61 - Cell 2
63Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 62 - Cell 2
64Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 63 - Cell 2
65Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data0:19:41
66Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 65 - Cell 2
67Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:20:57
69Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:21:01
70Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:21:03
71Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data0:21:06
72Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:21:08
73Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 72 - Cell 2
74Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 73 - Cell 2
75Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:21:13
76Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 76 - Cell 2
78Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BHRow 77 - Cell 2
79Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 78 - Cell 2
80Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ0:21:23
82Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 81 - Cell 2
83Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 82 - Cell 2
84Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 83 - Cell 2
85Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:21:27
86Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 85 - Cell 2
87Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 86 - Cell 2
88Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:21:34
89Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:21:59
90Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:22:11
91Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team SkyRow 90 - Cell 2
92Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team SkyRow 91 - Cell 2
93Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:22:19
94Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:22:25
95Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:22:34
96Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 97 - Cell 2
99Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 98 - Cell 2
100Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data0:22:37
101Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 100 - Cell 2
102Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 101 - Cell 2
103Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:22:46
104Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:22:58
105Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:23:48
106Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team0:23:49
107Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 106 - Cell 2
108Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 107 - Cell 2
109Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 108 - Cell 2
110José Mendes (Por) Burgos BHRow 109 - Cell 2
111Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos BH0:23:55
113Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:24:26
114Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:24:42
115Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott0:24:54
116Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:25:04
117Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:25:32
118Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:27:41
119Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott0:27:58
120Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 120 - Cell 2
122Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:28:14
123Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:28:25
124Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 123 - Cell 2
125Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 125 - Cell 2
127Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-MeridaRow 126 - Cell 2
128Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 127 - Cell 2
129Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 128 - Cell 2
130Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:28:39
131Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 130 - Cell 2
132Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:28:50
133Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:28:52
134Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:29:25
135Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:29:31
136Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:29:33
137Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:29:44
138Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:29:49
139Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BH0:29:51
140Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BHRow 139 - Cell 2
141Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BHRow 140 - Cell 2
142Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 141 - Cell 2
143Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 142 - Cell 2
144Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 143 - Cell 2
145Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:30:09
146Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:30:16
147Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 146 - Cell 2
148Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:30:35
149Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:30:50
150Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH0:30:58
151Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 150 - Cell 2
152Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 151 - Cell 2
153Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 152 - Cell 2
154Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb0:31:05
155Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:31:08
156Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:31:14
157Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:31:50
158Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:31:52
159Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 158 - Cell 2
160Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 159 - Cell 2
161Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 160 - Cell 2
162Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 161 - Cell 2
163Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:31:56
164Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:32:23
165Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:32:28
166Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:32:30
167Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 166 - Cell 2
DNSDylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFPavel Sivakov (Rus) Team SkyRow 168 - Cell 2
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Intermediate sprint - Blimea
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky4pts
2Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Points Classification - Finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott25pts
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb1Row 14 - Cell 3
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KOM 1 - Puerto de San Isidro
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal5pts
2Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team1Row 2 - Cell 3
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KOM 2 - Alto de la Collaona
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal10pts
2Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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KOM 3 - Alto de la Mozqueta
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal10pts
2Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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KOM 4 - Alto de la Falla de los Lobos
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky3pts
2Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida1Row 2 - Cell 3
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KOM 5 - Alto Les Praeres
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott10pts
2Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Team Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Movistar Team12:59:26
2Bahrain-Merida0:06:50
3EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:07:28
4Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:36
5Astana Pro Team0:09:50
6AG2R La Mondiale0:13:03
7Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:14:23
8Mitchelton-Scott0:15:05
9Team Sky0:20:34
10Team Sunweb0:20:47
11Groupama-FDJ0:22:48
12Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:22:59
13Euskadi Basque Country, Murias0:23:49
14Lotto Soudal0:26:21
15Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:26:43
16BMC Racing Team0:29:10
17Dimension Data0:29:21
18Trek-Segafredo0:34:14
19Quick-Step Floors0:42:00
20UAE Team Emirates0:44:42
21Katusha-Alpecin0:52:04
22Burgos-BH0:58:12
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