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Vuelta a España stage 12: live coverage

(Image credit: ASO/Vuelta a Espana)

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Result

1    Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep    3:48:18
2    Alexander Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    0:00:03
3    Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias    0:00:03
4    José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team    0:00:22
5    Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb    0:00:26
6    Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal    0:00:29
7    Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias    0:00:29
8    Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team    0:00:29
9    Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep    0:00:29
10    Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates    0:00:31

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 12 of the Vuelta a España!

It's currently sign-on time for the riders. Today they start at the motor racing circuit, Circuito de Navarra.

The circuit hosted the start of stage 16 back in 2017. Chris Froome won the 40km time trial to Logroño on the way to overall victory.

Today looks likely to be another one for the break, with three third category climbs packed into the final 40km – including a very steep one 7km from the line – looking too tough for the pure sprinters.

As well as Navarra, the motor racing circuits of Jarama, Jerez and Assen (in the Netherlands) have all featured on the Vuelta before.

The peloton rolls out to stage the neutralised zone.

This could be something of a trap stage, with wind and rain on the menu. Luis León Sánchez explains...

"I believe it’s the typical day where a GC rider can lose the Vuelta, but it will be hard to make a winning move. We’re going with the idea to be up front because the first part is wind-exposed and the second part is hard like a classic. With the rain, it can be even harder than anticipated."

No change in the major standings after yesterday. Roglič is in red and green, López in white, and Madrazo in polka dots. Madrazo also leads the breakaway competition...

1. Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), 552 km
2. Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), 380 km
3. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), 310 km
4. Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), 292 km
5. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), 276 km

The race has started as the peloton exits the neutralised zone.

Groupama-FDJ's Benjamin Thomas has been forced to leave the Vuelta. The Frenchman has been suffering from bacterial angina and a high fever, reports his team.

His teammate Mickaël Delage abandoned on stage 3 suffering from the same issues.

163km remaining from 171.4km

There are, of course, a lot of attacks flying early on as riders try to get into the break.

Héctor Sáez (Euskadi-Murias) and Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) are on the move.

And they're quickly brought back.

153km remaining from 171.4km

Thomas De Gendt is among those trying to get away.

Vasil Kiryienka (Team Ineos) has suffered a puncture in the peloton.

Still no break after 25km of racing.

140km remaining from 171.4km

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) tried once again to get away, but the peloton is still all together.

Now three riders are away.

The riders hit the first climb of the day, the Alto de Azazeta (4.9km, 3.9 per cent). Still no break has gone.

The peloton has covered 43km in the first hour. It's been a fast start.

The first three riders over the top.

1. Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), 3 pts
2. Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), 2 pts
3. Robert Power (Team Sunweb), 1 pt

116km remaining from 171.4km

The peloton is still all together. No breakaway as of yet.

The peloton has just passed the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country and province of Álava. Both Jon Aberasturi (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Victor de la Parte (CCC Team), who abandoned on stage 6, hail from the province.

100km remaining from 171.4km

And still riders are trying to break away, after just over 70km of racing.

The peloton are on flat land at the moment. There's no climbing for another 60 kilometres.

Mikel Nieve, Jesús Herrada and Francisco Ventoso all offered their opinion on today's stage before they set off.

A mixture of teams lead the peloton, with various riders attempting to get away.

CCC, QuickStep, Bora, UAE and Dimension Data are all represented up there.

81km remaining from 171.4km

The peloton are racing into a rainstorm now.

Almost 100km covered and the average page is 47kph. Ridiculously fast.

Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin) has a small gap on this technical descent from the plateau.

A number of other riders have gone away – maybe 30 – and now Jumbo-Visma have crowded the front of the peloton.

Actually it's 19 men up the road.

60km remaining from 171.4km

Full rundown of the break coming up...

Here's the makeup of the breakaway. They're 2:30 up the road now.

Philippe Gilbert and Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Valerio Conti and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Francisco Ventoso (CCC Team), José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb), John Degenkolb and Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Jonathan Lastra and Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott), Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Cyril Barthe and Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias).

There are two Basque men in the break today, the second stage finish in the Basque Country.

Today's route passed 50km away from Alexander Aranburu's hometown of Ezquioga in Gipuzkoa. Meanwhile, Cyril Barthe is from Sauveterre-de-Beárn in the French Basque Country.

Tomorrow, the peloton will race from Bilbao to Ventoso's home region of Cantabria. Ángel Madrazo and Jesús Ezquerra also hail from the region.

47km remaining from 171.4km

The break are five minutes up on the peloton now.

Team Ineos are notable by their absence in the break.

There were 14 men out front yesterday and now 19 today, and the British squad haven't managed to get anyone away on either day. They have no GC contenders either, so it's unclear what they're going for.

Here's Smit launching his attack, which eventually led to the establishment of today's break.

Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin) attacks on Stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

There are a few teams with multiple riders in this break. QuickStep have Declercq to work for Gilbert. UAE have Marcato and Conti. Trek have Mosca and Degenkolb. Caja Rural have Lastra and the fast finishing Aranburu. Finally, Euskadi-Murias have Barthe and Barceló.

37km remaining from 171.4km

The riders are on the second climb of the day, the Alto de Urruztamendi, now. It's 2.5km long with an average of 9.2 per cent.

The break is already splitting up here. UAE and QuickStep are pushing the pace on the climb.

Unsurprisingly the sprinters Degenkolb, Ventoso, Haussler and Aranburu are at the back.

Marcato is leading the group ahead of Conti.

Aranburu, Smit and Lastra follow the main group a few seconds back.

Haussler, Degenkolb and Ventoso have been detached. 

Jumbo-Visma lead the peloton.

Smit almost fell on the descent. He was running wide and had to unclip and put his right foot out to stay upright.

4:30 between break and peloton.

Marcato, Conti and Gilbert took the 3, 2, 1 points over the summit.

Lastra has attacked off the front of the break.

Großschartner and Marcato also went off the front on the descent.

30km remaining from 171.4km

Großschartner is the first to hit the Alto de Vivero (4.3km at 7.7 per cent).

Grmay has attacked on the climb. He's chasing Großschartner, 15 seconds back.

UAE and QuickStep work at the front of the chasing break.

They're 30 seconds down on Großschartner.

Now 35 seconds between Großschartner and the break. 4:20 back to the peloton.

Jumbo remain at the head of the peloton.

Grmay gets across to Großschartner 1km from the top of the climb.

26km remaining from 171.4km

Grmay leads Großschartner over the top of the Vivero.

Arndt led the chasing group over the top for the remaining one point.

3:50 later, the peloton cross the summit.

Now a long, shallow descent to the foot of the day's final climb, the Alto de Arraiz. The climb starts with 8.8km to go.

The chasers are closing in on the descent. They're 30 seconds down on the lead duo.

Here's a shot of the break with Declercq and Gilbert leading the way earlier on.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

15km remaining from 171.4km

15 seconds between the leaders and chasers.

Grmay and Großschartner are caught as they reach the 10km to go mark.

The break hit the bottom of the Alto de Arraiz now. It's 2.2km long at an average of 12.2 per cent.

Gilbert and Conti are leading it up the climb. Riders drop out the back.

Gilbert pushes on. The climb is packed with fans.

Aranburu and Barceló are the only men to stay with him.

Gilbert drops the duo. 1.4km of the climb to go.

The peloton has been shattered on the climb as Jumbo up the pace.

20 seconds between Gilbert and the Aranburu-Barceló group.

8km remaining from 171.4km

The chasers are limiting Gilbert's gains here. They're over the top now.

López has attacked the peloton!

Roglič is right on his wheel.

All the big favourites are up there. No shocks so far.

Gilbert is flying down the descent. The gap is still 20 seconds.

It's downhill all the way to the finish in Bilbao.

6km remaining from 171.4km

He's losing a few seconds here though. Down to 16 seconds now.

Times for the climb.

Gilbert: 9:06

Aranburu, Barceló: 9:17

Red jersey group: 8:31

The gap between Gilbert and the chasers is still hovering at around 15-20 seconds.

3km remaining from 171.4km

The final run-in.

The final run-in. (Image credit: ASO/Vuelta a Espana)

The gap is down to nine seconds now!

1.5km remaining from 171.4km

They're closing in. Can they catch Gilbert here? Aranburu should normally be favourite for the sprint if they do...

1km remaining from 171.4km

Gilbert passes the flamme rouge. The gap is still 7-8 seconds.

It looks like Gilbert will hold on.

So close for the chasers...

Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 12 of the Vuelta a España.

Aranburu and Barceló take second and third just three seconds later.

Rojas was fourth.

The reduced peloton crosses the line 3:02 down.

Stage 12 result

1    Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep    3:48:18
2    Alexander Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA    0:00:03
3    Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias    0:00:03
4    José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team    0:00:22
5    Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb    0:00:26
6    Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal    0:00:29
7    Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias    0:00:29
8    Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team    0:00:29
9    Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep    0:00:29
10    Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates    0:00:31

General classification after stage 12        
        
1    Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma    44:52:08
2    Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team    0:01:52
3    Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team    0:02:11
4    Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team    0:03:00
5    Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates    0:03:05
6    Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal    0:04:59
7    Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe    0:05:42
8    Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    0:05:49
9    Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida    0:06:07
10    Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb    0:06:25

Gilbert speaks after the finish.

"It was a long fight to get into the breakaway. When we went away I saw good climbers with me, and I wasn't really confident about my chances to win.

"I tried to race smart and of course I had a big help from my teammate Tim Declercq. He deserves it as much as I do.

"It's also special because it's my tenth victory at a Grand Tour so it's a nice number.

"It was crazy, the atmosphere on the last climb. It was really like in the Classics with all the flags and everything. They gave me a lot of motivation. I've been racing a lot here in the Basque Country and I never had success. For me it's the first and I'm happy because I think the Basque Country is like Flanders – they love cycling here."

Vuelta a Espana stage 12

Gilbert celebrates his victory (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tim Declercq is our Monster Hydro rider of the day.

Read the story, and our riders of the day for stage 1 through 11, here.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We'll have more reaction and news coming up on Cyclingnews.com throughout the evening.

That's all from me today. Come back tomorrow for live coverage of stage 13 of the Vuelta a España!

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