Vuelta 2015 stage 18: Nicolas Roche powers to win, Dumoulin retains lead

Nicolas RocheStage 18 offers a hilly parcours with the 1st category climb Puerto de la Quesera in the finale. It's there Nicolas Roche leaves the break of the day and he is accompanied by Zubeldia. The Irishman outsprints Zubeldia, while Aru attacked Dumoulin at the closing climb, but to no avail. The Dutchman retains the red jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 18th stage Vuelta

1. Nicolas Roche (irl)
2. Haimar Zubeldia (spa) s.t.
3. José Gonçalves (por) + 0.18
4. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.38
5. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.
6. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
7. Pieter Serry (spa) s.t.
8. Adam Hansen (aus) s.t.
9. Gianlucca Brambilla (ita) s.t.
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) s.t.

GC after stage 18
1. Tom Dumoulin (nld)
2. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.03
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 1.15
4. Rafal Majka (pol) + 2.22
5. Nairo Quintana (col) + 2.53
6. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 3.15
7. Esteban Chaves (col) + 3.30
8. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 3.46
9. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 4.10
10. Louis Meintjes (spa) + 6.51

Race report
Once the peloton has left Roa a group of fifteen riders gets clear, but the break doesn’t last. More attacks in the nervous pack, none of them successful.

After an hour of racing, covering 50.4 km’s, a group of 25 riders takes off. Nicolas Roche, Adam Hansen, Bart De Clercq, Timo Roosen, Pieter Serry, Tost Van der Sander, Sébastien Minard, Darwin Atapuma, Jose Gonçalves, Angel Madrazo, Cyril Lemoine, Dominique Rollin, Arnaud Courteille, Simon Pellaud, Vicente Reynes, Kristijan Durasek, Haimar Zubeldia, José Joaquiin Rojas, Songezo Jim, Andre Cardoso, Jérôme Cousin, Cyril Gautier, Eduard Vorganov, Daniele Bennati and Pawel Poljanski race to a maximum lead of almost 7 minutes.

When they are 2 minutes adrift, Gautier goes solo with 30 km’s left. At Puerto de la Quesera he is reeled in and Roche and Zubeldia are next. The duo is first to crest the Quesero with a 0’24” lead over Gonçalves, while the GC-contenders are 0’54” down.

In the streets of Riaza Roche outsprints Zubeldia to take his second stage-win the Vuelta ever.

Vuelta 2015 stage 18: Route maps, height profile, and more

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Nicolas Roche

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