Vuelta 2014: Brilliant Aru soloes to uphill win, Quintana abandons

Fabio AruWednesday, September 3 - It's in 153.4 kilometres the riders head from 'bull-town' Pamplona to Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar. The finale is crowned with 3rd and 1st category climbs. The arrival is atop the latter with the most venomenous sector of up 17% just under the top. It's up there young Fabio Aru celebrates his second stage win in a Grand Tour after a brilliantly place attack, whilst Valverde takes 7 bonus seconds from GC leader by finishing second. Bad news is Nairo Quintana is out after a crash at the beginning of the race. (Slideshow route/profile)

Vuelta 2014: Results 11th stage

1. Fabio Aru (ita)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.06
3. Joaquim Rodríguez (spa) s.t.
4. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
5. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.07
6. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.13
7. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 0.15
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) s.t.
9. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 0.16
10. Robert Gesink (Nld) + 0.21
11. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 0.25
12. Warren Barguil (fra) + 0.49
13. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 0.56
14. Winner Anacona (col) + 1.14

GC after 11th stage
1. Alberto Contador (spa)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.20
3. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 1.08
4. Chris Froome (UK) + 1.21
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 1.35
6. Samuel Sanchez (spa) + 1.52
7. Fabio Aru (ita) + 2.13
8. Winner Anacona (col) + 2.22
9. Robert Gesink (Nld) + 2.55
10. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 3.51
11. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 3.59
12. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 4.26

Race report
It’s a shame. After crashing in yesterday’s time trial the Giro-winner hits the deck again with 15 kilometres done. He drops out of La Vuelta 2014.

The pace is high with over 50 kph and attacks are everywhere. But nobody is able to break free. After 50 kilometres of racing a big break of 31 with Alberto Contador was liquidated by Astana and Movistar.

At 60 kilometres the break of the day is finally gone. Aboard are Pim Ligthart, Elia Favilli, Johan Le Bon and Vasil Kiryienka, whilst Peio Bilbao is working to get across. When the Spaniard joins the leading group the gap is over 4 minutes.

To all appearances Katusha is eyeing up a stage win. They are leading the chase and with 55 kilometres left the gap is down to under 2 minutes. Kiryienka decides it’s time to go solo. The Belarusian gains some time on the chasing bunch.

Kiryienka is at a strong pace in the lead on the long and steady climb of Lizarraga (3rd category). When cresting he’s got a 2 minutes gain over the chasers and 3 minutes over the bunch. But the pack is closing in and at the lower flanks of the 10 kilometre closing climb the Kiryienka-show is over.

With 6 kilometres left Barguil attacks and Gesink is the only one to react. The two riders climb to a small gain and when Barguil calls it quits, Gesink is up for a solo. At the back of the chasing group Froome and Anacona are struggling.

Gesink rides to half a minute gain, still in eye sight of the big men, where Froome gives everything he’s got to get back to his GC-opponents. Still 2.4 kilometres to go.

In the final 2 kilometres Gesink is eaten alive and Daniel Moreno and Fabio Aru take over. The Italian is strongest and gets clear. Behind him no GC-favourite really opens the chase and the young Italian climbs to victory.

Alejandro Valverde comes in second, taking bonus seconds from Contador. Froome’s huge effort is rewarded with finishing 5th, only 0’01” behind Valverde, Contador and Rodríguez. Anacona loses over 1 minute.

Daniel Martin is creeping up to the top-10 by finishing at the heels of the big men.

Vuelta 2014 stage 11: Images and more

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Fabio Aru

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