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VUELTA’18 Stage 14: Simon Yates Tops La Vuelta!

Stage Report: The finalé of stage 14 was a cut and thrust affair between the top GC men and Mitchelton-Scott’s Simon Yates won this round of the Battle. Behind him Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) were hot on his heels. Stage and overall for Yates.

Stage win and a 20 second lead on Valverde for simon Yates

A brilliant stage victory and the red jersey – Simon Yates made the most of the brutal climb of Les Praeres on Saturday. The British climber resisted several attacks from Nairo Quintana and eventually dropped everyone in the final kilometer to win ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez and Alejandro Valverde. Overall leader, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), was dropped with 30km to go and eventually lost 9 minutes. Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) went for the long range attack, only to be caught in the final 4km.

It was the end of the hopes of Jesus Herrada

Stage 14 from Cistierna to Les Praeres. Nava:
The history of Cistierna would not be what it is without the Esla River. Its past, of particular importance during Roman times, revolves around this river formation that attracted miners from all over the peninsula. In 2016, David de la Cruz threatened Nairo Quintana’s lead with an unthinkable escape from the departure at Cistierna that allowed him to take La Roja from the Columbian, albeit just for one day. In Nava, cider is a way of life, whether it is through its production, or the tourism attracted by such festivities as the Cider Festival or the very popular Cider Museum, which has its headquarters in this Asturian town. This will be an unprecedented La Vuelta arrival, in which riders will try to stick to the etymological definition of Nava, which literally means “flat land between mountains”.

Fernando Escartín: “Second day of the Asturias-Leon triptych, much to the delight of climbers. Once again, the winding terrain will favor escapes, which will again make the teams work hard to protect their leaders. The stage will end in Praeres de Nava, a very demanding mountain pass, with slopes of up to 15%.”

Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) was the first rider to open a gap in the first kilometers of the stage. He was joined by five more tough riders 4 kilometers later: Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), Brent Bookwalter and Nicolas Roche (BMC), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Michael Woods (Education First-Drapac).

Kwiatkowsi pushed the break

The group soon had a lead of 3:40, but Movistar sent a man to help overall leader, Jesus Herrada’s Cofidis team to pull the bunch. At the bottom of the Cat 2 Puerto de San Isidro (49km), the lead was down to 2:25. It increased on the climb, up to 3 minutes again, but was brought back down to 2:25 as Thomas De Gendt claimed the KOM points at the summit. The Belgian also led over the Cat 1 Alto de la Colladona (92.6km) with the gap going up again to 3:52 at the summit.

The peloton eventually woke up to the danger of Kwiatkowski

In the valley the attackers were cut to 2:04 by the bottom of the Cat 1 Alto de la Mozqueta, with 50km to go. De Gendt took 10 more KOM points and Bahrain-Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali upped the tempo in the bunch. Bahrain-Merida kept pushing in the downhill and the peloton split, with Jesus Herrada trapped at the back. Michal Kwiatkowski went solo on the Alto de la Falla de los Lobos (Cat 3). His lead over the GC group was at 50 seconds at the summit with 21 kilometers to go. Herrada had already lost 2:23. David De La Cruz (Sky) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) had also lost contact.

Quintana and Lopez made a strong move

Steven Kruijswijk pulled the Colombians back

Thibaut Pinot was climbing well

Kwiatkowski only had 10 seconds advantage for the final climb of Les Praeres (4km at 12.5%) and he was quickly caught and dropped. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was the first to make a move, with 3.5km to climb. Nairo Quintana replied with several digs in the final 2 kilometers. Miguel Angel Lopez stayed with every move. But Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) got back to them in the final kilometer to make his move and solo to the victory and the red jersey. On Sunday he’ll defend it on the iconic climb to Lagos de Covadonga.

Who is the Movistar team leader?

Simon Yates – More than happy with stage 14

The final climb was tough for everyone – Spanish champion Gorka Izagirre

Simon Yates in red again

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Vuelta a España Stage 14 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:19:27
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:02
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:05
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:07
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
7. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:19
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:27
9. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:37
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39
11. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:47
12. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:53
13. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:56
14. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
15. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:02
16. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:38
17. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida at 2:27
18. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:40
19. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
20. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:15
21. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 4:33
22. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 4:35
23. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:51
24. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
25. David De La Cruz (Spa) Sky at 4:55.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 14:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 59:11:18
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:25
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:47
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:23
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:28
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:40
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:47
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:55
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:08
11. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:46
12. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 3:21
13. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:26
14. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 5:32
15. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 6:35
16. David De La Cruz (Spa) Sky at 6:57
17. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 7:44
18. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:46
19. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 9:12
20. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 9:27
21. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 10:03
22. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida at 10:30
23. Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 12:58
24. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 13:29
25. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 13:42.

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