09/09/17 - 13:19
Finished
Corvera - Alto de l'Angliru
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Vuelta a España • Stage20
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Corvera - Alto de l'Angliru
Vuelta a España - 9 September 2017

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 13:19 on 9 September 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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17:05

And the new top 10 for you - with Zakarin rising to third and Van Garderen pushing Fabio Aru out...

0km

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) takes fourth place - and it's enough to move onto the podium because Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) finishes behind a chasing group of Nibali, Pellizotti and Kruijswijk.

0km

Wout Poels takes second place ahead of Chris Froome, who will win the Tour-Vuelta double tomorrow.

0km

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) fires one final pistol shot with victory atop the Angliru!

0.5km 

Froome and Poels will be able to see Contador now - but they won't be able to catch him. Unless something terrible happens.

0.8km 

Contador crests the first summit and now hits the flatter section ahead of the finish. He just needs to hold it together.

1km

Under the flamme rouge goes Contador - he's one kilometre away from glory.

1.1km

And the thing is... it's not over! Poels and Froome are now only 30 seconds behind Contador, who is being made to work for his swansong.

1.2km 

So many stories... Contador to win on his farewell; Nibali battling to keep his second place; Zakarin and Kelderman fighting for that final place on the podium...

1.5km

Zakarin has distanced Kelderman as he rides back towards the Sky duo. Behind there's Kruijswijk and then the Bahrain duo of Pellizotti and Nibali. Meanwhile, Contador continues his lone pursuit of immortality.

1.8km

Now Poels and Froome ride clear!

2km 

Nibali has cracked! The Italian has been distanced by Froome and his top-five rivals. Remember, he's been down today on the previous descent, so it's not a surprise to see him suffer.

2.2km 

Kruisjwijk is in a world of pain on this steep ramp - and it looks like he will be caught by the others very soon.

2.5km 

Our lone leader is onto a 22% ramp now... the official time gaps have disappeared, just to add more suspense into the mix.

3km

Contador is grimacing as he rolls out of the saddle and sways those shoulders. The fans love it - and so will he, once he manages to win this stage - if he holds on, that is. He's 50 seconds ahead of Kruijswijk and 1:20 ahead of the red jersey group.

3.5km

Contador on to some of the steepest sections now. The crowds are going crazy - and for good reason. He has 58 seconds on Kruijswijk, who has now passed Mas as well, and 1:23 on the main pack, which has Pellizotti and Nibali back on its front.

3.8km 

Before the Zakarin kick, Kruijswijk zipped clear. The Dutchman, 10th on GC, has caught Soler and Bardet...

3.9km 

Blimey, Gianni Moscon has managed to return to this main pack alongside Froome and Poels. Sky's strength shining through.

4km 

Now Zakarin comes to the front in a move covered by Kelderman. They're fighting for the final place on the podium, with the Russian trailing the Dutchman by 12 seconds on GC.

4.5km

The main pack is now just eight strong: Pellizotti, Nibali, Froome, Poels, Kruijswijk, Kelderman, Zakarin and Carapaz of Movistar. But they're 1'05" down now.

5km 

Mas and Bardet have joined forces - if they catch Soler, they could combine well together.

5.2km

CONTADOR RIDES CLEAR! Maybe Soler won't have to make that decision - as the veteran swashbuckler rides clear of the young tyro. And his gap over the main favourites is up to 55 seconds.

5.5km

Bardet has been dropped so it's just two Spaniards nuking it out to become the first Spanish stage winner... dare Soler beat Contador on his final mountain stage??

6km

There's a near miss when Contador has to come to a near standstill on a bend when fans jump out and bar his way. Soler slows to allow his compatriot to catch back up.

6.2km 

Bahrain Merida duo Nibali and Pellizotti now on the front of the pack, with Froome in the back wheel of his Italian rival.

6.5km

Mas has been dropped and Bardet looks to be struggling as Contador dances clear with fellow Spaniard Soler. Bardet digs deep and returns to their wheel. They have 40 seconds.

7km 

Froome still has four support riders so he's very much in control of things. Nibali is back with Pellizotti after his earlier incident.

7.5km

Team Sky leading the chase now just 40 seconds behing the leading quintet.

8km

Simon Yates is distanced as the Contador group join Marczynski - and look, the sun has come out! They've popped out of the clouds and there's blue sky...

9km 

Contador and Mas have joined Simon Yates, Bardet and Soler - who recovered extremely well from that fall - in a chasing quintet. They have passed Andersen and have Marczynski in their sights.

10km

Under the 10-to-go banner goes Contador and Mas, who trail Marczynski by 40 seconds. It's worth adding that Froome still has four Sky matches to burn in Nieve, Poels, Moscon and Lopez.

10.5km 

Pantano has hit the wall, while Contador and Mas ride clear. It looks like Adam Yates has edged ahead of them, mind - unless that is Simon, and they dropped Adam.

11km

The Contador group have caught Adam Yates now - and they have 40 seconds over the main pack, which is now being led Team Sunweb. Contador trails lone leader Marczynski by 55 seconds, with the remnants of the break - Andersen and Bardet - in between.

12km

Contador has managed to open up a gap with team-mate Pantano on the descent - and the Trek duo have joined forces with Enric Mas out ahead of the peloton.

12.5km

The leaders are onto the Cat.HC Alto de L'Angliru (12.5km at 9.8%). Bring it on!

13km

This is what the riders has in store... the Angliru, as recce'ed by Juan Antonio Flecha, who met wild horses and Dave Brailsford on his way up this morning.

Video - Recon - Stage 20: Flecha tackles the infamous Angliru

03:14
14km

CRASH: David de la Cruz has gone down now. The Spaniard skidded out on a wet bend - he was riding just out ahead of the Trek-led pack.

15km

Replays show that it wasn't so much of a crash as a save by Nibali, who almost went into the barriers, had to slow and unclip, then get back into the groove.

17km

CRASH: Vincenzo Nibali has crashed! We haven't seen it but the Italian is down - but not out. He's back on his bike and being paced towards the pack, so it couldn't have been too serious.

19km

CRASH: The man leading the race, Marc Soler, skids out and into a ditch on a bend. Tomasz Marczynski, whol is just behind, manages to miss him - so the Pole leads now. Can he make it three wins? Soler should be back and on his way - but he'll be swept up by the main pack before he does so.

20km

There's a motorbike down after skidding out after a tight corner, so the pack has been urged to slow things at the start of the descent. We're hearing that Lopes is 40-odd seconds down now, so my tip for the win looks like he's largely out of the picture today.

21km

Marc Soler rides clear of the other escapees to take the 10pts over the summit of the Alto de Cordal. Marczynski is second over about 10 seconds back - and the main pack come over 25 seconds later. Davide Villella only has to finish today and tomorrow's stage to be crowned the polka dot jersey in Madrid: his KOM lead cannot be topped any more.

21.5km 

Bardet and Soler have edged ahead, but Marczynski and Andersen manage to close the gap, while the Yateses dig deep behind. Mas has popped, though.

22.5km

David de la Cruz has managed to ride back onto the front of the main pack - and clear. The Spaniard is going for it early.

23km

Seven out ahead now: Both Yates, Soler, Marczynski, Bardet, Mas, Kragh Andersen. They have 35 seconds on the pack.

23.3km 

Ilnur Zakarin of Katusha has also been dropped, David de la Cruz of Quick-Step as well. The man doing the damage is Jarlinson Pantano of Trek, who has reduced the main pack to about 30 riders.

23.5km

Trouble for Astana: Miguel Angel Lopez and Fabio have been dropped by the main pack.

24km

Back on this penultimate climb and some of the early escapees have been caught - Jan Polanc is the latest, and Nico Roche. Bahrain Merida and Trek continue to set the tempo as they cut the gap to 55 seconds.

25km

It's fair to say, things aren't looking so nice at the finish today... wet, windy, misty and cold. Whoever wins on the Angliru will have to do it the hard way - and some.

26km

We have around eight riders on the front now but it's still Kragh Andersen setting the tempo. He's been very impressive today, preparing the way for his Team Sunweb leader Wilco Kelderman.

27km

The leaders are straight onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.1 Alto del Cordal (5.7km at 8.6%). Further back, Bahrain and Trek still lead the pack but Froome is there in 10th wheel or so with a few Sky team-mates around him.

28km 

Three riders have ridden clear with five in pursuit from the break. It's Soler, Marczyznski and Andersen who have a few seconds over the other escapees as they approach the end of this descent.

31km

Chris Froome is struggling to keep up with Nibali and the Bahrain riders on this descent - and he has to ride wide on a corner to avoid a skid. Tense times for the red jersey.

35km

Out of the rain and into the sunshine... funny old weather today...

37km

The pack goes over the top with Sky and Bahrain up front while many riders pick up bidons and food ahead of the descent. The break has 1'20" and there is a lot of water on the road, so this is going to be heart-in-mouth stuff.

38km

Over the top go the break and it looks like Tomasz Marczynski who takes the 10pts. No matter - none of these escapees are in the reckoning for the KOM competition, and it's looking good now for Davide Villella, who leads Lopez by 20 points with only 25 points left in play...

39km 

Both of the Yates twins have fought back into this leading slice of the break, although they're rooted to the back and struggling out of the saddle.

40km 

We have around a dozen riders now on the front from the break, which has largely regrouped on this first climb. Kragh Andersen still sets the pace alongside Roson, of Caja Rural.

40.5km

The Bardet-Denifl group have rejoined the leaders, who have 1'40" over the pack now. It's Austria's Denifl - who picked up Aqua Blue Sport's first ever Grand Tour stage win two days ago at Los Machucos - who sets the pace in the rain, with the summit 2km away.

41km 

The Bahrain Merida team of Vincenzo Nibali have come to the front now - and they will be keen to perhaps propel their man over the top of this climb so that he can push things on the wet descent, which he will relish.

42km 

The break has completely broken up on this climb - and it's thanks to the pace being set by Kragh Andersen and that man Tomasz Marczynski, who has won two stages already for Lotto Soudal.

43km

It's raining again as Bora-Hansgrophe populate the front of the pack to lead the chase. Out ahead we have four riders - Polanc, Soler, Mas, Marczynski and Kragh Andersen - who are being closed down by a five-man chasing group that includes Bardet and Anton.

44km

ATTACK: Jan Polanc and Enric Mas have zipped clear on the climb. Stefen Denifl is leading the chase from the other escapees. They started the climb with a one-minute gap to play with.

45km

The riders are onto the Cat.1 Alto de la Cobertoria (8.1km at 8.6%). It starts steep, then there's a lull, then there's that slap in the face of an 18% gradient before the slog to the summit.

48km

Who do I think will win today's stage on the Angliru? It's hard to look past Lopez or Majka, who have ridden the most impressively in the mountains in this race. I seriously doubt the break will hold on - although it has some quality climbers in it. Many think Froome can win - but then he struggled on the similarly steep ramps of Los Machucos two days ago, so it would be a surprise to see him win. Wout Poels was runner-up here in 2011, the year Froome got his break-through. But his job will be to stick with the red jersey. As for Contador - it would make the perfect story and a victory for the Spaniard is what most of the neutrals would like to see. But does he have the legs? Yesterday's attack suggests he doesn't. So I'll go for Miguel Angel Lopez.

50km

The gap is up to 1'30" for the 18 leaders now as Bora-Hansgrohe join Astana, Trek and Katusha on the front. They're working for Rafal Majka, who is not fighting for GC but took a stage win earlier in the week and is one of the favourites for the stage today.

55km 

The rain has stopped and the roads look much drier now as the riders take off their rain capes ahead of the climb, which starts with an 18% slap-in-the-face of a ramp.

-

... before things got a bit soggy, wet, misty and cold. Not to mention rather steep and crowded.

-

Journalists had to walk the last 8km of the Angliru today - and it looked like it started out as quite a pleasant experience...

60km 

The road continues to rise on a steady gradient ahead of the official start of the first of three climbs today. It's the red of Trek and the blue onf Astana on the front of the strung-out peloton, which trails the break by 1'10".

65km

The gap has finally upped to 1'05" for the 18 leaders, who are still being rained on despite some dry patches earlier on when it looked like it was going to clear. Trek and Astana don't want to give this break too much air, but there's also no point pushing things too much and burn their matches too early. That said, there are some solid climbers in this break - with the likes of Bardet, Anton, Soler, Denifl, Mas and the Yates brothers all in possession of the kind of uphill attributes needed to win such a gruelling stage.

70km

Astana have come forward to lend a hand with Trek on the front, wit the gap still hovering around the 45-second mark ahead of the three climbs. Astana are working for their man Miguel Angel Lopez, who still stands a chance of winning a third stage and taking the polka dot jersey. He trails the current KOM leader Davide Villela of Cannondale-Drapac by 20 points - and only he and Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar can deny the Italian the polka dot jersey now, what with 35 points left up for grabs.

75km 

It's not happening for the break, who cannot increase their lead above the minute-mark because of the hefty chasing by Trek-Segafredo. They only have one plan today: deliver Contador to the foot of the Angliru with a best chance of victory - and these 18 riders out ahead are a clear obstacle to that.

80km

Today, Chris Froome faces the daunting challenge of L’Angliru – now the only thing which can stop him winning the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. It was on this 'inhumane' 12km ascent, with brutal changes in gradient of over 20%, that Froome saw his first chance to win La Vuelta slip away. But it also taught him how to be a champion. Now it could be make or break again...

82km

Some pictures of the final climb today... and it's looking pretty grim, despite the earlier reports of sun coming through...

84km

So, it's quality break which includes three stage winners from this year's Vuelta in Marczynski (twice), Alaphilippe and Denifl. Nico Roche is the best placed on GC - the Irishman is 14 odd minutes down in 15th place.

85km

Right, the 18 leaders are: Julian Alaphilippe, Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), Nicolas Roche (BMC), Adam Yates, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), Nelson Oliveira, Marc Soler (Movistar), Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Rui Costa, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ), Igor Antón (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas, Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport). The gap is 58 seconds.

88km

It's Trek-Segafredo leading the tempo-setting on the front of the strung-out peloton, which is zipping along at a really fast rate. Contador is clearly going to go all in today - go for broke and relax later on once he's retired and got his feet up. Team Sky are tucked in just behind as the rain capes come off - not from everyone, mind. Because the rain is coming and going like a bat stuck in an Irish family's kitchen.

90km

Very localised weather here in Asturias - just moments ago the rain was pouring down again, and now the sun is out for the leaders. The gap is up to 50 seconds now for the leading group of 18.

92km

Interesting to see Enris Mas out ahead. The 22-year-old is making his Grand Tour debut and came close to victory in Stage 6, where he was pipped by two Poles to finish third in Sagunt. This was the reaction to today's stage from the Quick-Step Floors rider ahead of Stage 20...

95km

Right, so we have 18 riders out ahead with 20 seconds on the peloton, with Haller trying to bridge over. The original nine escapees were: Enric Mas (Quick Step), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

98km

A Katusha-Alpecin rider - it looks like Marco Haller - has ridden clear of the peloton. Perhaps he's planning to relay with Ilnur Zakarin later on. The Russian trails Wilco Kelderman's third place on GC by 12 seconds and will be looking to fight onto the final podium today.

100km 

The break now has about 20 seconds over the peloton but we're still waiting for confirmation of who's in it. With most race jerseys and numbers covered up by jackets, it's proving quite difficult... It looks like two of the escapees have managed to ride clear - Soren Kragh Andersen of Team Sunweb and one of the Orica or Quick-Step riders.

105km

It's still not a given for this break of 11 riders. They have about 10 seconds on a chasing group and 20 seconds on the main pack, which is being led by Trek-Segafredo, who want a win for their man Contador today. The rain seems to have stopped, amazingly, as they crest the summit of that uncategorised climb and start the 10km descent.

107km

Caja Rural may have two men in this move but we're hearing that David Arroyo has crashed in the peloton. He won't be the last to hit the deck today in these conditions...

108km 

We have a dozen riders up the road now with 10 trying to bridge over. One of the Yates brothers are in this break, and two from Caja Rural.

110km 

Stefan Denifl of Aqua Blue Sport, who won a couple of days ago at Los Machucos, is trying to force a break now as he rides on the front of a cluster of riders trying to extricate themselves from the peloton.

111km

The road is going uphill now on an early uncategorised climb. We have around 10 riders with a small gap over the peloton - including Marc Soler, who would love to open the account for both Movistar and the host nation. But the peloton is not giving them much leeway.

112km

It's a huge day for this man, who bids to become the first man in history to win a Tour-Vuelta double in that order. Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil have done the double before, but they did so when the Vuelta was held in April over two weeks. Froome leads Vincenzo Nibali, his nearest rival, by 1'37" in the general classification.

114km

One rider we can expect to attack today and give it his all is Alberto Contador, who retires tomorrow in Madrid. He hasn't given up hope of a podium finish - and winning today would be the perfect way to bow out. He'd also become Spain's first stage winner of the race...

115km 

We have some early moves off the front - firstly from one of the remaining three Dimension Data riders. There are about a dozen or so riders trying to get away, with the peloton all strung out behind.

117km

The riders will be pleased to know that the weather at the finish on the Angliru is currently sunny but a fresh 7C. Anything is better than this apocalyptic rain...

117.5km

They're off!

13:20

Right, we're ready to go - and the heavens have just opened! The roads are a cascade of water - and there's debris everywhere with grit, stones and foliage blown from trees.

13:15

The remaining riders are currently zipping up their gilets and rain capes as they plod through the neutral zone ahead of today's official start... it's going to be fast and frantic from the outset!

13:10

Here's what the riders have to tackle today - and they also have to do it in wet and windy weather, making it all the more dramatic.

13:05

Yesterday, Belgian Thomas De Gendt completed a career grand slam with victory in Stage 19 of La Vuelta in Gijon from a select breakaway of nine riders, while Team Sky weathered an Alberto Contador-inflicted storm to deliver Britain’s Chris Froome to the line to retain his red jersey lead with two stages remaining. Read more about it below...

13:00

Hola and welcome to live coverage of Stage 20 of the Vuelta a Espana - the all-important final day in the mountains with two Cat.1 climbs ahead of the fearsome ascent of the Alto de l'Angliru in a short-but-very-sharp 117.5km ride from Corvera de Asturias.