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Vuelta a España stage 12 – Live coverage

Stage 12 profile 2020 Vuelta a Espana

The profile of stage 12 (Image credit: Unipublic)

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Double or Quits: Vuelta faces back-to-back mountain challenge of Farrapona and Angliru

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 12 of the Vuelta a España as the race runs into November and the peloton take on the fearsome climb of the Alto de l'Angliru for the first time since 2017.

The riders will set off to begin the stage in around 40 minutes.

It's only 109km of racing but Vuelta organisers have packed four classified climbs – including two first category climbs – before the riders take on the Angliru.

Then there's the Angliru. Here's a look at the climb with Pedro Delgado and Samuel Sánchez from a few years ago.

Here's the climb profile, featuring some of the most brutal gradients in the pro cycling world. It's 12.4km long at an average of 9.9 per cent but that understates it if anything, given the final 6km are all double-digit gradients with figures reaching into the 20s.

The Angliru has been raced seven times at the Vuelta before. It made its debut back in 1999, when José María Jiménez caught Pavel Tonkov before beating him to the line. Gilberto Simoni won a year later, while Roberto Heras triumphed on the famous  rain-soaked stage in 2002 – the day which saw David Millar quit the race on the finish line in protest.

The Angliru isn't a mountain pass and doesn't lead up to a town, ski station or telecommunications tower either. There's nothing at the top but a big empty space

The riders are currently in the neutralised zone and are riding to the real start.

Here's our report on stage 20 of the 2017 Vuelta, the last time the race tackled the climb. 

NTT rider Carlos Barbero is prepared for his Angliru debut...

109km to go

Small groups are attempting to get away but nothing is established yet. The peloton is lined out.

104km to go

More riders are trying to get across, of course.

A larger group are pursuing the two leaders, but the peloton is close behind.

Guillaume Martin – unsurprisingly – is among the group pushing on. Their advantage over the peloton is increasing a little, but the peloton is still trying to close them down.

90km to go

The group is with Roux and Van den Berg now, but the peloton isn't far behind.

Here's the break: Mattia Cattaneo, Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale), Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates), Luis León Sánchez (Astana), Andreas Schilling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Cameron Wurf (Ineos Grenadiers), Robert Stannard, Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott), Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ), Lukasz Wisniowki (CCC Team), Kobe Goossens, Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Guillaume Martin, Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Enrico Gasparotto (NTT Pro Cycling), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Jhojan García (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Ángel Madrazo, Juan Osorio (Burgos-BH)

82km to go

Formolo and Marczynski have left Philipsen behind on the climb. No time gap between them and the main break, though.

Martin grabs the three points on offer over the top of the climb.

Osorio and Gasparotto are back with Formolo and Marczynski now after being dropped on the climb. 55 seconds between the groups.

Martin now has 53 KOM points after that climb. He leads the classification by 29 points.

70km to go

More climbing for the break now as they hit the third-category climb of the Alto de San Emiliano.

Jumbo-Visma continue the set the pace on the front of the peloton. They're not letting the gap grow to more than 2:30 here.

62km to go

García crashes in the break but he's quickly back up and running. 

56km to go

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David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) have jumped away from the peloton on the climb.

54km to go

Movistar are at the front of the peloton at the moment.

Oliveira has dropped back from that move after putting in his work. Meanwhile, García drops from the break.

Chaves is dropped, too.

50km to go

Here's a look at the break of the day.

Movistar have really pushed on here. Riders have dropped out the rear of the peloton and they've brought the gap down to 1:15.

44km to go

Ineos' Andrey Amador has also crashed on the descent. He'll work to get back to the peloton and is joined by several dropped riders as he gets going again.

Roux, Périchon, Martin and Madrazo have pushed on down the descent, leaving the rest of the break behind.

37km to go

20 seconds between the four leaders and the rest of the break.

Martin will just be looking to get to the top of the Alto del Cordal and grab another 10 KOM points.

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28km to go

Here's the next climb, averaging 9.3 per cent over 5.4km like a mini-Angliru. It's the Alro del Cordal and the break have just started to climb it.

It'll take some effort for Martin to grab the points at the top. Movistar are pushing on in the peloton and the gap is down to 30 seconds.

And now the gap is out to 45 seconds. Not the most accurate timing, then.

25km to go

Now Chaves is dropped from the peloton. Movistar continue to put in work.

Cattaneo and Sánchez continue to lead, just five seconds up on Martin. They're 2km from the top.

Now Martin is back at the front. He can bid for 10 points at the top again, then.

22km to go

Froome and Carapaz have split from the peloton! Just a small gap as Jumbo-Visma work to close it down.

This is the strongest Froome has looked since he came back to racing. Riders dropping from the group left, right and centre.

The peloton looks to only be around 20 riders on these steep slopes towards the top of the climb. 30 seconds to the lead trio.

Martin takes the points over the top, no problem. 76 for him in total now, a full 52 up on second placed Sepp Kuss.

20km to go

The Angliru looms...

16km to go

Here's another look at the Angliru. Brutal. 2km to the start of the climb.

And the break has started the Angliru! Here we go...

There are some hard ramps early on but the real tough stuff begins after 5.5km of the climb.

Gesink sets the pace for Jumbo-Visma ahead of Kuss, Vingegaard, Bennett and Roglič.

11km to go

...and it's over for them. The Jumbo-Visma train sweeps up Martin and Sánchez. 

10km to go

Just over 20 men left in the GC group, including five Jumbo-Visma men. Carapaz and Dan Martin are alone. Mas has Valverde.

9km to go

Guillaume Martin is still hanging on to the rear of the group.

8.5km to go

1:15 to the Soler group already.

7.5km to go

6.5 kilometres of double-digit gradients coming up.

Gesink remains on the front ahead of Vingegaard and Kuss.

7km to go

Vingegaard, Kuss, Roglič, Carapaz, Mas, Martin, Carthy, Woods, Vlasov, Poels. That's it. That's the front group.

6km to go

Bennett was dropped for Jumbo-Visma, too, by the way. Three men left.

Martin and Mas right on Roglič's wheel. The two EF men next. Carapaz is at the rear of the group with Vlasov and Poels

5.5km to go

Gaps opening to Poels at the rear. Carapaz is still at the back of the group.

No crowds up here, of course. They're banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's very different from the previous climbs of this monster mountain.

23 seconds to Nieve as the group tackle the 15 per cent gradients.

5km to go

Valverde 55 seconds down with De la Cruz. Soler is long gone at this point.

When Vingegaard drops off his steady pacemaking I can see this group explode as Kuss takes over.

4.5km to go

4km to go

The steepest part, La Cueña Les Cabres, sees gradients over 20 per cent and comes 3km out.

3.5km to go

Vingegaard is done. Kuss pushes on to catch Mas on the 18 per cent gradients. 

Carapaz, Carthy and Vlasov follow Roglič. Mas still just in the lead. Martin fighting to get back.

3km to go