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As it happened: Evenepoel makes emotional Vuelta a España fight back to win stage 14


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

As the Cyclingnews live blimp takes height, the riders are rolling towards the official start. 

This is the stage profile.

The stage starts on the flatter roads between Pau and the coast but soon climbs high into the Pyrenees. 

The stage seems ideal for a quality breakaway from the best climbers in the Vuelta but the mountain finish atop the Puerto de Belagua at 1587m also offers an opportunity for the GC contenders to attack and gain some seconds on their rivals. 

1km until the flag drops. 

We're still trying to take in what happened yesterday. It was a huge stage.  

They're off! 

Wow! Remco Evenepoel is also up front, trying to get in the break of the day.

Evenepoel is out of the GC battle but is clearly keen to fight back. 

150km to go

Bam! He goes again. Remco Evenepoel has attacked again. 

Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) is with Evenepoel but the peloton is moving fast too.

140km to go

This was the start. 

Eight riders have joined Evenepoel as they race at 50km/h. 

Geraint Thomas is also there, but the peloton is not letting them go. 

The peloton is 300 metres long as the Evenepoel group is caught. 

135km to go

130km to go

Teams are trying to get their domestiques and climbers in the break but they face 50km of flat roads before the mountains begin.


Evenepoel is on the attack again. 

Other riders have joined him as the high-speed racing continues. 

There are 20 or so riders in the attack, including several sprinters, who are perhaps trying to avoid any risks with the time cut later on.

The riders are working together and the peloton has let them open a 40-second gap. 

The break has gone but other riders are trying to get across.

UAE do not seem happy with the break and are leading the chase. 

110km to go

Riders grab a bidon and a musette for a quick feed. 

105km to go

This is the break of the day.

Four riders are trying to bridge across to the Evenepoel attack.

Meanwhile the peloton seems to have eased off the pace. 

100km to go

Remco is trying to convince other riders to work hard as the Col Hourcère climb starts. 

This is the Col Hourcère profile. It's nasty. 

Evenepoel is on the front to push the break on. 

Jan Tratnik is leading the chase for Jumbo, as other riders drop out of the back to join the gruppetto. 

Mattia Cattaneo is in the attack with Evenepoel and is helping to drive the pace. 

Dylan van Baarle is now leading the peloton for Jumbo and the gap is down to 3:30. 

Geraint Thomas (Ineos) and Hugh Carthy (EF) have been dropped from the peloton.

95km to go

90km to go

Remco is aggressive even in the race for the KOM. He surges away and takes maximum points, another sign that he is perhaps back to his best after his still-unexplained bad day on Saturday.  

Riders in the peloton and the break are taking on food and bidons from roadside soigneurs.

Evenepoel also spoke to the official television race coverage before the start of the stage.

75km to go

Upfront Evenepoel and Bardet are still pushing on ahead of the break. They lead by 30 seconds.

65km to go

Friday's stage was a huge turning point in this year's Vuelta. 

Alasdair Fotheringham was at the summit of the Tourmalet for Cyclingnews and produced this superb eyewitness report. 

Sepp Kuss took another huge step forward in his fight for the overall victory on Friday as he strengthened his lead on the brutally difficult stage 13 to the Col du Tourmalet with a second place behind teammate Jonas Vingegaard.

The Puerto de Larrau begins now. 

Evenepoel and Bardet have flown! 

This is the profile of the Puerto de Larrau. At 15.1 km and 7.8%, it's a nasty climb.

55km to go

Evenepoel is spinning his gear on the climb. 

Here we go! 

Of course, Kuss and the rest respond to the attack. 

Bardet and Evenepoel reach the 1km descent sector of the Puerto de Larrau.

Storer reaches the top at 1:15. 

Evenepoel and Bardet reach the summit of the Puerto de Larrau, thousands of Basque fans out on this spanish side of the stage cheering them on as they always do. 

Storer also reaches the summit at 2:10. 

Jumbo are back in charge, with Gesink and Valter setting the pace. 

The peloton are at 6:10 as they start the descent from the high, tree-less descent off the Puerto de Larrau. 

30km to go

The Evenepoel-Bardet duo blast through the intermediate sprint point  and will start the lower slopes that lead to the Puerto de Belagua climb to the finish.

23km to go

16km to go

Evenepoel seems to riding hard when he does a turn on the front, despite the break being so far ahead. 

The roads are still wide and fast in the valley, as the climb to the finish nears.

The Puerto de Belagua (9.4 km at 6.3%) is a very irregular climb, especially during the first part is difficult. The last kilometers are almost flat and so Evenepoel will surely have to attack on the steepest part.

The tension is rising in the race. 

The road starts to climb and Evenepoel and Bardet go shoulder to shoulder and look at each other.

Evenepoel is still on the front, as Bardet sits on and waits.

5km to go

The Spanish police push the crowds back with force but they can't stop their enthusiasm or love for bike racing.

Evenepoel is rock solid in the saddle, as every time trialist is while Bardet is rocking and rolling. 

LARRABELAGUA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 09 LR Romain Bardet of France and Team DSM Firmenich and Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team Soudal Quick Step compete in the breakaway during the 78th Tour of Spain 2023 Stage 14 a 1562km stage from SauveterredeBarn to LarraBelagua 1588m UCIWT on September 09 2023 in LarraBelagua Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2km to go

Here comes Remco! What a fight back!  

Evenepoel crosses the line and wins alone!

He crosses the line with his arms open and then touches his head in disbelief. 

Bardet finished 1:12 behind Evenepoel and stops to give him a hug of thanks and respect.

The race is on in the GC group. 

Wout Poels is on the front as the Jumbo-Visma leaders control all the surges. 

The low gradient makes for a fast, big ring finish in the GC group.

The remains  of the break finish but the GC riders are coming in fast. 

De la Cruz of Astana edges away but all the GC riders are together.

Kuss, Roglic and Vingegaard celebrate a good day with first pumps. Roglic gives Kuss a congratulating slap on the shoulder. 

At the podium area Evenepoel is still emotional and hugs hids team staff. 

It's Eveneopoel's big day but what a ride by Bardet too. 

LARRABELAGUA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 09 LR Romain Bardet of France and Team DSM Firmenich and Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team Soudal Quick Step compete in the breakaway during the 78th Tour of Spain 2023 Stage 14 a 1562km stage from SauveterredeBarn to LarraBelagua 1588m UCIWT on September 09 2023 in LarraBelagua Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Evenepoel's emotions came out after the stage finish. 

Evenepoel describes the first hour as 'full gas' racing and confirms he wanted to fight back and win the stage.

This was the moment Evenepoel won the stage.

And this was one of the emotional moments, with the Soudal-QuickStep press officer Phil Lowe.

This was the hug between two impressive sportsmen.

UNSPECIFIED, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 09: ahead of the 78th Tour of Spain 2023 on September 09, 2023 in UNSPECIFIED, Spain. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Evenepoel spoke emotionally before the podium ceremony.

He then talked about the stage and how he raced it.

"I can be very proud with this answer after yesterday," Evenepoel concluded. 

Here is the stage report, growing photo gallery and results from an emotional day in the Pyrenees. 

Alasdair Fotheringham is at the Vuelta for Cyclingnews and will have more news and interviews very soon.  

Thanks for following our full live coverage of the stage. 

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