Vuelta 2017: Majka solos to victory at La Pandera, Froome holds on to red

The 14th stage of La Vuelta takes in two intermediate climbs before the summit finish on La Pandera brings spectacle. Attacker Rafal Majka solos to victory, while Chris Froome holds off attacks by Vincenzo Nibali on the lower flanks to retain in the overall lead. Wilco Kelderman swaps places with Esteban Chaves and now sits in third. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 14th stage 2017 Vuelta

1. Rafal Majka (pol)
2. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 0.27
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 0.31
4. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
5. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) s.t.
6. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
7. Alberto Contador (spa) + 0.37
8. Wout Poels (nld) + 0.46
9. Esteban Chaves (col) + 0.57
10. Fabio Aru (ita) + 1.03

11. Michael Woods (can) + 1.13
15. David de la Cruz (spa) + 1.19
16. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
17. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 1.43
19. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 2.15
21. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 3.01

GC after the 14th stage
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 0.55
3. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 2.17
4. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 2.25
5. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.39
6. Fabio Aru (ita) + 3.09
7. David de la Cruz (spa) + 3.11
8. Alberto Contador (spa) + 3.19
9. Michael Woods (can) + 3.23
10. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 3.48

11. Wout Poels (nld) + 5.16
12. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 5.44
13. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 6.09
14. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 6.38
15. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 8.56

Race report
Attacks keep flying right from the beginning. The pace is high and at km 19 Rafal Majka, Patrick Konrad, Alexis Gougeard, Simon Clarke, KOM leader Davide Villella, Rui Costa, Bart De Clercq, Luis Angel Mate, Stefan Denifl en Ricardo Vilela jump clear to race to a maximum lead of almost 8 minutes.

Villella is first to crest the first climb, the Mojón, thus extending his KOM lead to 17 points.

With 80 kms remaining the peloton (Astana, Trek, Bahrein Merida) speeds up and when the front group hits the second climb, Alto de los Villares de Jaen, the gap has fallen below 3 minutes.

Konrad accelerates in the front group with only Majka, Costa, Villella and De Clerq able to react. On the summit Villella once again cements his KOM lead – 22 points ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas. The Italian stops his efforts to wait for the peloton.

The four leaders tackle the Pandera 1’45” ahead of the peloton. Majka heads out on his own after 2 kms.

Gap of 1’20” with 4 kms left to climb. Then Bardet leaves with Carapaz on his wheel. Chaves, Contador and Nibali rejoin them, while De la Cruz, Aru and Woods are dropped. Contador and Nibali head out together.

Froome, López, Kelderman, Chaves and Zakarin close the gap to the two former winners of La Vuelta.

López leaves the others behind to set sail for Majka with 1.5 kms to go, but the Colombian is to late.
He only earns runner-up honours as the Pole crosses the line 27 seconds ahead of him. Nibali come in third to grab a 4 seconds time bonus, while leader Froome, Kelderman and Zakarin finish in the same time as the Shark.

Chaves crosses the line ninth and because he loses 26 seconds to Kelderman and Zakarin he drops to fifth place overall.

Ahead of tomorrow’s monster stage Froome leads the overall 55 seconds ahead of Nibali.

Interesting reads:
route 14th stage
GC after the 13th stage
favourites to win the 14th stage

Vuelta 2017 stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Rafal Majka

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The Route - Vuelta 2017 Riders - Vuelta 2017 Withdrawals - Vuelta 2017 Results - Vuelta 2017 Start times time trial - Vuelta 2017 GC Favourites - Vuelta 2017
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