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Vuelta a Espana stage 14 Live - Mountain test for Evenepoel atop Sierra de La Pandera

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Hola and welcome to our live coverage of stage 14 of the Vuelta a España.

The riders are signing on in Montoro and preparing for another day in the saddle and another mountain finish.  

Astana is on the podium and still have eight riders in the Vuelta. 

Can Miguel Angel Lopez win the stage today? 

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Next up are Ineos Grenadiers. They lost Sivakov to COVID but have Carlos Rodriguez in fourth and Richard Carapaz is perhaps looking for a second stage win. 

LES PRAERESNAVA SPAIN AUGUST 28 Carlos Rodriguez of Ineos Grenadiers crosses the finish line during the 77th Tour of Spain 2022 Stage 9 a 1714km stage from Villaviciosa to Les Praeres Nava 743m LaVuelta22 WorldTour on August 28 2022 in Les Praeres Nava Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

QuickStep are the last team on stage, with race leader Remco Evenepoel getting a huge cheer. 

It is a biog weekend for the young Belgian. 

Remco Evenepoel in the Vuelta a Espana leader's jersey

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The riders are lined-up for the roll out from Montoro.

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The La Pandera mountain finish is designated a first-category climb rather than its hors category rating of 2017 but it remains an exceptionally difficult summit finish.

Although ‘only’ 8.6 kilometres long, it is also worth noting that in 2022 La Pendera is immediately preceded by a much gentler but steady 10-kilometre second category ascent to the village of Villares. 

With only a couple of kilometres of false flat between the two, the two climbs essentially form the same ascent.

The profile of stage 14 of the 2022 Vuelta a Espana

(Image credit: ASO)

La Pandera was raced at la Vuelta when an inhabitant of Valdepeñas de Jaén, the village at its foot, discovered in 2001 that the climb, previously part of a military base, was open to the public. 

The woman sent a letter to race organiser Unipublic, telling them about the climb, and in 2002 it was first tackled, with victory going to Roberto Heras, who placed second overall that year.

To read Alasdair Fotheringham's full stage preview, click below.

Vuelta a España 2022 stage 14 preview - back to hills with a vengeance at La Pandera

The riders are ready to roll.

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And we have an official start to stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana! 

It's another hot day at the Vuelta as 146 riders start racing. The temperatures are currently 29.3 °C with wind speeds of 14kph. 

Vincenzo Nibali (AST) is the first to attack. He's joined by Robert Stannard (ADC) and Hugh Carthy (EFE).

That break is quickly brought back and at 6km into the race, it's all together at the front. 

152km to go

Jay Vine (ADC) and Vincenzo Nibali (AST) now have a gap together. Nibali's determined to make it into the breakaway today. 

The two have gained about 20 seconds on the peloton. 

150km to go

And that move's been brought back as well. The bunch has split into several groups due to the wind. 

Now Davide Villella (COF), Fred Wright (TBV) and Bryan Coquard (COF) have a small advantage up the road. 

Bahrain - Victorious has taken over the front of the peloton.

The breakaway is over for now, but the peloton is still split. There are 26 seconds between groups. 

Marco Brenner (DSM) make a move, but he is also caught. The pace remains high in the peloton. 

UAE Team Emirates have been caught in the second group on the road, so Marc Soler has to sit up out of the front group to help them bridge up.

134km to go

Thomas De Gendt (LTS) and Jasha Sütterlin (TBV) are the new leaders with a few seconds. 

Thomas De Gendt (LTS) and Jasha Sütterlin (TBV) have 12 seconds on the peloton - which is still split. 

The second bunch on the road is slowly gaining ground. They're almost back with the  main pack. 

Thomas De Gendt (LTS) and Jasha Sütterlin (TBV) are about to be caught. They were dangling out there with 10 seconds for a while. 

120km to go

Thomas De Gendt (LTS) goes again, and this time takes Robert Stannard (ADC) along for the ride. 

Ben O'Connor (ACT) is back in the bunch after getting help for a puncture.

Yevgeniy Fedorov (AST) has bridged across to the leaders to make it three up the road. 

The gap to the three is 22 seconds. 

50km into the race

The three leaders only have a slim lead of 12 seconds. The peloton isn't letting this one go either. 

Lawson Craddock (BEX) is in the gap, trying to get to the leaders. 

It's been a swift first hour of racing with the average speed just below 50kph at 49.2kph.

But now everyone is caught with 100km to go. 

Yevgeniy Fedorov (AST) and Sergio Higuita (BOH) are now slightly ahead of the main bunch. 

Sergio Higuita (BOH) looks to have crashed out of the breakaway. 

And once more, we have new leaders: Clément Champoussin (ACT), Lucas Plapp (IGD) and Yevgeniy Fedorov (AST).

Sébastien Reichenbach (GFC), Carl Fredrik Hagen (IPT) and Lucas Hamilton (BEX) are chasing at 15". The peloton is is at 27"

It looks like we'll soon have six leaders as the chasers get closer to the front group.

But after all that, the breakaway is over once more! 

92km to go

Richard Carapaz (IGD) and Alexey Lutsenko (AST) are now on the move. 

Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT) and Bruno Armirail (GFC) are in pursuit of the leaders. 

And now we have a group of 8 up the road: Richard Carapaz (IGD), Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT), Kenny Elissonde (TFS), Bruno Armirail (GFC), Alexey Lutsenko (AST), Filippo Conca (LTS) and Mads Pedersen (TFS) at 15 seconds.

85km to go

This looks like it's the break of the day now. The gap is almost a minute and QuickStep have taken over the front of the peloton. 

Marco Brenner (DSM) and Raul García (EKP) are in the gap with 35 seconds.

The leaders have about 23km before they reach the top of the first climb, Puerto de Siete Pilillas (Cat. 3). 

75km to go

The chasers have made it across to make it a front group of 10 riders. 

70km to go in the stage

Richard Carapaz (IGD), Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT), Kenny Elissonde (TFS), Marco Brenner (DSM), Bruno Armirail (GFC), Alexey Lutsenko (AST), Raul García (EKP), Filippo Conca (LTS) and Mads Pedersen (TFS) have 3'10 on the peloton. 

Reports are that Jay Vine has crashed, but we don't have any other information than that. 

The Puerto de Siete Pilillas is a long drag at 10km long, but the average gradient is only 3.5 percent. 

The gap continues to rise at 3'44. 

The average is still high as the leaders start the climb at 47kph. The gap is growing to 3'27.

Richard Carapaz (IGD), Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT), Kenny Elissonde (TFS), Marco Brenner (DSM), Bruno Armirail (GFC), Alexey Lutsenko (AST), Raul García (EKP), Filippo Conca (LTS) and Mads Pedersen (TFS) have started the official climb. It's the first of three, with this being this easiest. 

They're climbing with a lead of 3'15.

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) is the highest up on  GC standing: 19th, +14'52''.

60km to go

The leaders are about 7km away from the summit. 

5km to the top of the KOM. The leaders are still climbing on the breakaway. 

The gap is up to 3'40 for the leaders as they ride toward the top of the climb.

Kelland O’Brien (BEX) has abandoned the race. 

The leaders are about to reach the top of the first KOM. 

After they get off the back side, they'll have the intermediate sprint up next in Jaén.

If Pedersen can get over this climb with the break, and it looks like he will, he'll be looking for those upcoming sprint points. 

And Carapaz does take the max three points at the top of the first climb. 

50km to go

Results at Puerto de Siete Pilillas (Cat. 3):
1. Carapaz, 3 pts
2. Sanchez, 2 pts
3. Elissonde, 1 pt

The gap is up to 4'06" with 50km to go.

Mads Pedersen (TFS) is taking charge at the front on the descent. He's looking to pad his lead in the points competition.

The gap has increased to about 4'19 with 45 kilometres to go. 

The leaders are about 10km from the intermediate sprint. 

40km to go

Tim Merlier (ADC) is back in the bunch after a puncture. The breakaway of 10 is still descending. 

Evenepoel is looking relaxed in the peloton. The gap is holding at 4'20.

The break is 5km to the intermediate sprint. 

But it won't be easier for the break as there's a headwind beating against them as the approach the sprint bonus. 

Pedersen doesn't run into any trouble across the line. He gets 20 more points to add to his lead in the green jersey competition. 

Results in Jaen (intermediate sprint):
1. Pedersen, 20 pts
2. Garcia, 17 pts
3. Carapaz, 15 pts
4. Armirail, 13 pts
5. Brenner, 10 pts

30km to go

QuickStep is still leading the front of the peloton. 

The average speed after 3 hours is 43.4km/h.

Jonas Koch (BOH) has returned to the bunch following a front wheel puncture. 

It's the calm before the storm as the 10 riders up front are still at 4'10".

The break is officially at the base at the next climb. 

Puerto de Los Villares is a Cat. 2 climb, and is 10km long averages 5.5 percent. 

Mads Pedersen (TFS) is the first rider from the break to be dropped. His work to keep the green jersey is done for the day. 

Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) is setting tempo in the peloton. The gap is down to three minutes with 20 kilometres to go. 

20km to go

Alexey Lutsenko (AST) has attacked the breakaway. 

Richard Carapaz (IGD), Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT) and Alexey Lutsenko (AST) are together at the front. 

Carapaz is setting the tempo and putting Lutsenko on the back foot. 

QuickStep is still leading the peloton. The gap to the break is 3'30". No other teams have come to the front yet. 

And the leaders are back to 8 riders: Richard Carapaz (IGD), Luis León Sánchez (TBV), Clément Champoussin (ACT), Kenny Elissonde (TFS), Bruno Armirail (GFC), Alexey Lutsenko (AST), Raul García (EKP) and Filippo Conca (LTS).

15km to go

Now Esteban Chaves (EFE) attacks out of the peloton. 

Jumbo-Visma has taken over the front of the peloton. They know this climb is crucial for Primož Roglič.

15km to go

Alexey Lutsenko (AST) and Filippo Conca (LTS) launch another attack out of the break.

Luis León Sánchez (TBV) follows and goes by the two. 

1km to the KOM. 

Sanchez is still off the front with a slight advantage over 5 chasers. He picks up the five points at the top of the next KOM. The peloton is driving hard behind. 

10km to go

Results at Puerto de Los Villares (Cat. 2)

1. Sanchez, 5 pts
2. Carapaz, 3 pts
3. Elissonde, 1 pt

There is little reprieve before the riders start Sierra de La Pandera. Carapaz has bridged the gap to Sanchez. 

The peloton is flying as they reach the bottom of the Pandera. They brought back a minute in just a matter of kilometres. 

Clément Champoussin (ACT) has come across to the two leaders. 

There are about 30 riders around the red jersey of Remco Evenepoel (QST).

The gap continues to drop. With 7km to go, the advantage is just 2 minutes. 

Filippo Conca (LTS) has also caught the leaders. 

Harper is pushing the tempo, ripping the peloton apart. But Evenepoel looks unshakeable. 

The gap is down to 1'35. 

Just 22 riders left in the bunch. The gap is 1'35. 

5km to go

The gradients are steep as Harper continues to put time into the leaders. 

No attacks out of the GC group yet. It's being set up for Roglic, but he hasn't  made a move yet. 

Harper has pulled off, now QuickSTep's Van Wilder takes over. 

Roglic goes! There's no response from the red jersey. He's letting him get some daylight. 

The break is just 45 seconds up the road. 

Now Lopez and Mas go! And it looks like Evenepoel is struggling at this point. He can't respond to their moves either. 

Carapaz is solo off the front. They may catch him. 

The white jersey of Juan Ayuso (UAD) has a flat tyre at the worst possible time. 

Carapaz is holding onto a slight advantage over Roglic. 

Roglic and Mas are just 18 seconds behind Carapaz. 

Carapaz is in his final kilometre. He's barely holding off Roglic and Mas. 

This is going to be a close one. Roglic is breathing down Carapaz's neck.

Carapaz is in the last final metres!

It looks like he's going to make it. Carapaz is going to take the win!

Wow, such a thrilling end to stage 14. Carapaz takes his second win in three days. 

SIERRA DE LA PANDERA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 03 Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers cools off competing in the breakaway during the 77th Tour of Spain 2022 Stage 14 a 1603km stage from Montoro to Sierra de La Pandera 1815m LaVuelta22 WorldTour on September 03 2022 in Sierra de La Pandera Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carapaz does it again for Ineos! Here's the initial race report by Stephen Farrand on how it all went down. 

Carapaz has won his second stage in three days at the Vuelta a Espana, while Primoz Roglic found out that Remco Evenepoel might be human after all on the slopes of
Sierra de La Pandera. The Jumbo Visma rider has put 48 seconds into the 22-year-old's lead with another mountain stage ahead of them tomorrow. 

SIERRA DE LA PANDERA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 03 Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers celebrates at finish line as stage winner during the 77th Tour of Spain 2022 Stage 14 a 1603km stage from Montoro to Sierra de La Pandera 1815m LaVuelta22 WorldTour on September 03 2022 in Sierra de La Pandera Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tomorrow's stage is similar to today's mountain top finish, except on paper, it looks to be even more difficult. Stage 15 finishes atop the HC categorized Sierra Nevada climb, which is almost 19.3km long and averages 7.3 percent. The race starts from Martos at 1:05 p.m. CET. 

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