Vuelta 2016 Stage 14: Gesink wins at Aubisque, Quintana holds on to red

robert gesink vuelta stage winner aubisqueAt the start, stage 14 in La Vuelta is set to be a clash of giants, and it turns out to be. Froome and Quintana go head to head in an amazing clash with the Colombian retaining in the overall lead, while escapee Robert Gesink powered to an amazing win, besting Silin and Elissonde on the summit. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 14th stage Vuelta

1. Robert Gesink (nld)
2. Kenny Elissonde (fra) + 0.07
3. Egor Silin (rus) + 0.09
4. George Bennett (nzl) + 0.31
5. Simon Yates (gbr) + 0.39
6. Haimar Zubeldia (spa) + 0.49
7. Jan Bakelants (bel) + 1.11
8. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 1.14
9. Esteban Chaves (col) + s.t.
10. Leopold König (cze) + 1.16

13. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
15. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 1.50
18. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 2.01
19. Alberto Contador (spa) + 2.07
43. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 10.56

GC after 14th stage
1. Nairo Quintana (col)
2. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.54
3. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.01
4. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.17
5. Leopold König (cze) + 2.38
6. Alberto Contador (spa) + 3.28
7. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 3.59
8. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 4.30
9. Michele Scarponi (ita) + 5.37
10. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 5.52

11. Davide Formolo (ita) + 6.21
12. George Bennett (nzl) + 6.37
13. Sergio Pardilla (spa) + 6.42
14. David de la Cruz (spa) + 6.49
15. Peter Kennaugh (gbr) + 8.11
19. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 10.14

Race report
With 20 kms done a group of 41 riders manage to break away. Among the most prominent riders are Tejay Van Garderen, Robert Gesink, Pierre Rolland, George Bennett, Kenny Elissonde, Alexandre Geniez, Jan Bakelants, Bart De Clercq, Omar Fraile, Mathias Frank, Ruben Fernandez, Dani Moreno and Jose Joaquin Rojas. They race to a lead at over 5 minutes.

Omar Fraile is first to crest Col Inharpu, ahead of Alexandre Geniez. While Lilian Calmejane was dropped on the climb, Jacques Janse van Rensburg crashes in the descent, making it 39 riders up front.

While climbing up Col du Soudet, a 24 kms toil at 5.2%, Daniele Bennati, Quentin Jauregui, Moreno Moser and Alexandre Geniez are dropped. At the top, Fraile puts another 10 points into his KOM-total and is leading the peloton by 6 minutes.

The front group hits the Col de Marie Blanque with a lead at 6’20”. Simon Yates attacks from the peloton and his team mates from the front group wait for him, while Kenny Elissonde, Bart De Clercq, Egor Silin, Julien Bernard, Jan Bakelants and Sergio Pardilla are half a minute ahead of a group of 12 chasers. At the top, Yates et al is 4 minutes down, the pack follow at more than 5 minutes.

When they tackle the Aubisque the front group is still half a minute ahead of the chasers. Yates is coming slightly closer and the pack is 5 minutes down.

With 10 kms to go Elissonde, Bakelants, Bennett and Silin accelerate, just like Gesink does in the chasing group. In 2 kms the Dutchman closes gap and with 7 kms remaining he speeds up again with Bakelants on his wheel. Valverde is dropped from the group with GC-favourites.

At 4 kms under the top Quintana attacks in the group with GC-favourites, while Yates catches the chasers of the front group and leaves them alone. He is 1 minute down on Gesink and Bakelants.

Froome chases Quintana down and the two put on a private war, while Bakelants skips places with Elissonde at the front of the race. Silin makes it back to the front also.

Gesink attacks with 300 metres left and he shakes of his opponents to climb to the most impressive win in his career.

Quintana en Froome finish in the same time, putting time into all the other GC-riders with the exception of Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates, who catapult themselves into third and fourth place overall.

Vuelta a España 2016 Stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, etc

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Robert Gesink

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