Vuelta 2014: Aru takes 2nd stage win, Froome 2nd in GC

Fabio AruThursday, September 11 - Stage 18 takes the riders mostly along the Spanish westcoast tot arrive after 157 kilometres of racing in Monte Castrove. The last 30 kilometres delivers twice the same 2nd category climb. Half way the last climb Fabio Aru attacks en he is joined by Chris Froome. The two work together to hold off the upcoming Spaniards Contador, Valverde and Rodríguez. The British/Italian collaboration pays off and Aru takes the stage, whilst Froome is now second in the overall. Contador sticks to his red jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results stage 18
1. Fabio Aru (ita)
2. Chris Froome (gbr)+ 0.01
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.13
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
5. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
6. Samuel Sanchez (spa) + 0.17
7. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 0.33
8. Danie Moreno (spa) + 0.48
9. Damiano Caruso (ita) s.t.
10. Warren Barguil (fra) s.t.

12. Daniel Martin (Irl)

GC after stage 18
1. Alberto Contador (spa)
2. Chris Froome (gbr) +1.19
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 1.32
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 2.29
5. Fabio Aru (ita) + 3.15
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 6.52
7. Samuel Sanchez (spa)+ 6.59
8. Warren Barguil (fra) + 9.12
9. Daniel Navarro (spa) + 9.44
10. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 9.45

Race Report
Certainly not a lack of attacks today, but still, with 60 kilometres done the pack is together and the pace is high. Johan Le Bon has been quite busy and third time lucky; along with Hubert Dupont and Luis León Sánchez he gets clear and the three of them race to a 4 minutes gap.

With Movistar setting the pace in the pack the break is controlled. At the bottom of the first climb up Alto Monte Castrove the gain is down to under 1 minute.

Luis León Sánchez is speeding upfront in order to take all 5 mountain points when cresting, thus cementing his lead in the mountain classification. Le Bon and Dupont are dropped and Sánchez is rewarded for his efforts. A moment later he is reeled in.

At the bottom of the last climb Christophe Le Mével attacks, but it leads nowhere. Next is Jérome Coppel, who is joined – and dropped – by Fabio Aru. Chris Froome accelerates and accompanies the 24-year old Italian, whilst Contador, Valverde and Rodríguez are at 0’11”. The other riders are dropped.

In the final 100 metres Aru jumps out of Froome’s wheel and sprints to victory. The Brit may find consolation in the fact he is the new runner-up in the overall, besting Alejandro Valverde who finishes third.

Vuelta 2014 stage 18: Images and more

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Fabio Aru

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