Vuelta 2016 Stage 12: Keukeleire hits the jackpot, Quintana retains in lead

Stage 12 is a hilly ride with a downhill finale. Dries Devenyns almost brings a late attack home, yet it is Jens Keukeleire who powers to the win in the bunch sprint, while Nairo Quintan retains in the overall lead. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 12th stage Vuelta

1. Jens Keukeleire (bel)
2. Maxime Bouet (fra) s.t.
3. Fabio Felline (ita) s.t.
4. Kristian Sbaragli (ita) s.t.
5. Luis León Sánchez (spa) s.t.
6. Pelle Bilbao (spa) s.t.
7. Jan Bakelants (bel) s.t.
8. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
9. Sylvain Dillier (swi) s.t.
10. Mathias Frank (swi) s.t.

GC after 12th stage
1. Nairo Quintana (col)
2. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.54
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 1.05
4. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.34
5. Alberto Contador (spa) + 3.06
6. Leopold König (cze) + 3.09
7. Simon Yates (gbr) + 3.25
8. Michele Scarponi (ita) + 3.34
9. David de la Cruz (spa) + 3.45
10. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 3.56

11. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 5.03
12. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 5.38
13. Davide Formolo (ita) + 5.44
14. Sergio Pardilla (spa) + 5.55
15. Peter Kennaugh (gbr) + 6.30

Race report
Following the proper start at 12:54 local time, several attacks are neutralized. Yet at the Puerto de las Alisas, the toughest climb of the day, David Lopez, Louis Meintjes, Gianluca Brambilla, Darwin Atapuma, Peter Kennaugh and Kenny Elissonde go on the attack and they crest the top in that order. Romain Hardy joins them in the downhill.

Kenny Elissonde is the first rider to crest Alto la Escrita, ahead of David Lopez and Darwin Atapuma, who crashes in the descent and ends up in the peloton.

The pack is more than 2 minutes down on the six leaders when hitting El Vivero fors the first time out of two. Hardy gets dropped on the lower slopes and he is swallowed by the peloton. Lopez can’t follow the pace either.

Elissonde takes most KOM-points at the top, ahead of Brambilla and Kennaugh. Lopez Garcia re-joins in the drop, yet Astana is chasing the escapees down with 19 kms remaining.

Devenyns attacks at the second climb up the Vivero and while several riders try to join him – most notable Luis León Sanchez and Alberto Contador -, the Belgian holds on until the last kn before he is chased down. His compatriot Jens Keukeleire is fastest, thus bringing the fourth Belgian victory in the 2016 Vuelta home.

Vuelta a España 2016 Stage 12: Route maps, height profiles, etc

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Jens Keukeleire

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