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La Vuelta: Stage 11 Quintana down and out

September 7, 2014

The stage was set for a grand finale with the Category 1 climb to the finish line. However, the big news was earlier on when Quintana crashed again and this time did not get back on his bike. One crash can quite often lead to another as an injured rider, or just one that has lost a bit of nerve, crashes again the next day. The young Columbian was not the only one to leave the race as the same crash took out of a few more. The peloton is likely to gradually reduce in size, as stage wins look unlikely, tired legs cannot continue or preparation for the worlds result in many leaving the race.

Italian star Aru followed up a superb win the Giro with a similar performance to claim the stage win today. He is also high on GC so can still hope of repeating a podium finish and is only just over two minutes back. He caught and easily passed Gesink, who had a very visible but largely futile attack. Gesink has failed to live up to his promise and needs a good win or two to get his career back on track. Hanging a few seconds in front of the bunch is not the best way to achieve that.

Sky was working very hard early in the climb, too hard when Cataldo took over as it was Froome that was popped out the back. They do not look the refined outfit of last year. Kiryienka was on a trade mark solo attack which was a waste of energy. Sky does not need to be advertising their jersey, so why are they wasting resources on pointless attacks? At one stage it looked like Kiryienka would get off the bike and wait for the bunch when it was clear that he would not win the stage.

There were some gains and losses in the GC, but probably not too significant. Valverde and Contador won bonus seconds for finishing first and second. Uran, Sanchez and Dan Martin lost a few seconds when they could not keep up near the end. Barguil and Keldermann lost about a minute.




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