Vuelta 2017: López wins at Calar Alto, Froome cements lead, Nibali now second

miguel angel lopez - Vuelta 2017: López wins on Calar Alto, Froome cements lead, Nibali now secondThe 11th stage of La Vuelta runs to a high-altitude finish at the astronomic observatory of Calar Alto. The 15.5 kilometres closing climb is the tonic to ignite the race. Miguel Ángel López climbs to victory ahead of Froome, Nibali and Kelderman. Froome retains in the overall lead, while Nibali now sits in second. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 11th stage 2017 Vuelta

1. Miguel Ángel López (col)
2. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.14
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
4. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
5. Romain Bardet (fra) + 0.31
6. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) s.t.
8. Mikel Nieve (spa) s.t.
9. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 1.02
10. David de la Cruz (spa) + 1.14

11. Michael Woods (can) + 1.17
12. Wout Poels (nld) s.t.
15. Fabio Aru (ita) + 1.32
16. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
17. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.05
20. Louis Meintjes (rsa) s.t.
21. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 3.26
28. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 4.17
34. Adam Yates (gbr) + 9.13

GC after the 11th stage
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 1.19
3. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.33
4. David de la Cruz (spa) + 2.36
5. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 2.37
6. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 2.38
7. Fabio Aru (ita) + 2.57
8. Michael Woods (can) + 3.01
9. Alberto Contador (spa) + 3.55
10. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 4.11

11. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 4.45
12. Tejay van Garderen (usa) s.t.
13. Wout Poels (nld) + 4.54
14. Sam Oomen (nld) + 5.01
15. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 6.10

Race report
In unSpanish conditions, pouring rain, the flag is dropped. Attacks are flying from the start and Romain Bardet and Matej Mohoric are among the most active riders. They are part of the break that eventually takes shape at km 50, along with Bob Jungels, Alessandro De Marchi, Antonio Pedrero, Lennard Hofstede, Simon Clarke, Antwan Tolhoek,Sander Armée, Giovanni Visconti, Igor Anton, David Arroyo, Conor Dunne and Aldemar Reyes. The fourteen riders race to a lead of almost 5 minutes.

With 42 kilometres remaining the front group hits the Alto de Velefique with the lead down to 1’20”. It shrinks fast, inspring Bardet and Reyes to leave the others behind. A little later Armée and Anton rejoin the front.

Simon Yates attacks from the main group en he hooks up with Visconti to head for the leaders. Yates sets the pace, which is too much for Reyes en he is dropped, while Atapuma makes the opposite move and bridges to the front group. The GC contenders crest the Velefiqueare 1’30” after the five leaders.

On descent Yates, Bardet and Atapuma head out together and they tackle the last climb 2’50” ahead of the peloton. Yates gets dropped with 14 kms left to climb.

When the favourites are at less than 2 minutes, Contador accelerates. Along with Nibali he pushes on and one GC contender after the other can’t follow the pace. Roche, De la Cruz, Woods, Yates (Adam), Van Garderen, Chaves, Aru – they are all dropped.

Almost 8 kms before the summit the group Froome/Nibali/Contador/Zakarin/Kelderman/Lopez rejoins the two leaders. At that moment, Chaves is 1 minute down on them. And it will get even worse for the Colombian.

Nibali attacks with 2 kms remaining. Froome, Kelderman and Lopez chase him down before Lopez counter attacks. Froome almost brings him back, but then the young Colombian kicks again – this time to push clear. He solos to victory, 14 seconds ahead of Froome, Nibali and Kelderman – the GC winners of the day: Froome extends his lead, Nibali now sits in second, while Kelderman catapults himself into fifth place overall.

Read also: route 11th stage 2017 Vuelta.

Vuelta 2017 stage 11: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Miguel Angel Lopez


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