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02/09/15 - 12:30
Andorra la Vella - Cortals d'Encamp
Vuelta a España • Stage11

Andorra la Vella - Cortals d'Encamp

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The new GC has Aru in the lead by 27 seconds over Rodriguez and 30 seconds over Dumoulin. Majka is fourth at 1:28 and Chaves fifth at 1:52.


Froome comes home 8:40 down on Landa, who could well be his team-mate next season.


Quintana comes home a full 4:20 down after cracking on the final climb. Valverde was about three minutes down and behind the likes of Chaves and Dumoulin. We'll get confirmation later - plus the updated GC.


Moreno takes fourth and Rodriguez fifth - they were about 1:56 and 1:59 down respectively.


Third place for Team Sky's Ian Boswell - what a ride for the American, who comes home 1:39 down.


Fabio Aru crosses the line 1:22 down on his team-mate. Will he be in red tonight?


Landa all smiles - and with all the other escapees caught, it will be a one-two for Astana as Aru comes home...


Victory for Mikel Landa in the queen stage of the Vuelta a Espana!


Landa is out of the GC reckoning but he's saved his Vuelta today on a superb day for Astana, who could have Aru in red in a bit.


Just one kilometre to go for Landa, the lone leader, who will take the win today.


Dumoulin looks a picture of pain as he drags Chaves and Rosa up the hill. What a ride from the Dutchman.


The Purito duo are 2:15 down - we finally get a time check.


Landa has 1:38 over team-mate Aru and 2:50 over the red/green group of Dumoulin and Chaves. Rodriguez and Moreno are stuck in between.


Valverde has now been dropped by Chaves, Dumoulin and Rosa. Rodriguez could be in red tonight - or Aru. It depends on the next few kilometres...


Aru is now 1:35 down on his team-mate Landa and he's starting to really show his suffering... He's caught Boswell of Sky, who tried to cling on where Oliviera failed.


Chaves, Dumoulin and Astana's Diego Rosa momentarily drop Valverde, but the grimacing Spanish national champion manages to dig deep and back on.


Nieve and Majka are riding a bit further back from Katusha duo Rodriguez and Moreno. Meanwhile, Aru has passed the remnants of the break - first Poljanski and now Oliviera, who tried to cling on but will struggle.


Quinana is tiring and has been caught by Dumoulin, Chaves and team-mate Valverde. In fact, he's been caught and passed...


ARU ATTACKS: The Sardinian drops his Katusha colleagues and rides clear in pursuit of his astana team-mate, Landa.


Meintjes and Atapuma are with the Chaves-Valverde-Dumoulin group. Meanwhile, Landa still rides ahead with 2:05 over the chasing trio of his team-mate Aru, Rodriguez and Moreno.


Dumoulin and Chaves are pedalling back to Valverde and Quintana. The Colombian from Movistar then rides clear. So many permutations on the road out there.


Chaves ups the tempo in a bid to drop Dumoulin but the red jersey is hanging on. Quintana and Valverde cannot match the pace of the Aru group and are chasing back.


Aru is joined by Katusha pair Rodriguez and Moreno. Valverde cannot respond and rides with Majka, Nieve and Atapuma in pursuit. Chaves and Dumoulin are further behind.


ATTACK: Now Aru goes! The Sardinian is first to roll the dice just as this chasing group sweeps up Atapuma.


We're onto the final climb, the Cat.1 Alto Els Cortals d'Encamp (8.6km at 9%) and Landa has already dropped Oliviera.


ATTACK: Oliviera surges clear and takes Landa with him. They have two minutes over the main group of favourites and seven minutes on the Froome group.


Under the 10-to-go barrier for the leading five man group of Landa, Boswell, Sicard, Oliviera and Poljanski.


Luis Leon Sanchez setting the pace for Fabio Aru in the group of main favourites. They have Astana team-mate further up the road too, so it's looking good. The gap is 2:10 for the leading Landa group.


Oddly enough, we have an intermediate sprint coming up, which just about sums up the ridiculousness of today's stage.


The break looks destined to be reeled in. The gap is down to 1:52 now with that final climb still on the horizon.


FROOME UPDATE: The Tour winner rides in a small group with Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Sky team-mate Thomas a whole 7:05 down on the leaders - that's more than five minutes down on his GC rivals.


Superb ride from Tom Dumoulin: despite having no Giant-Alpecin team-mates, the red jersey has rejoined the main pack, which is being driven by Katusha riders Losada and Moreno for Joaquim Rodriguez, who is in the white jersey. He's actually third in the combined competition but Dumoulin is in red and Chaves in green.


You couldn't make it up: the cause of Sergio Paulinho's earlier crash was a collision with a TV motorbike. The Portuguese veteran has abandoned and needed 17 stitches to a leg wound in hospital.


The dozen-strong chasing group - with the likes of Valverde, Quintana, Rodriguez, Aru, Majka and Chaves - is just over two minutes behind the six leaders. The red jersey Dumoulin is riding in a second chasing group alongside Nieve and Pozzovivo, amongst others - about 30 seconds further back.


Sicard, Boswell, Oliviera, Landa, Poljanki and Fraile still lead the race on this penultimate climb. Atapuma is in pursuit.


The leaders are on to the smallest climb of the day, the Cat.2 Alto de la Comella (4.4km at 7.8%). They have 2:30 over the chasing group, which also includes Quintana.


The Aru and Chaves group have joined the Valverde/Rodriguez group ahead of the next climb. Dumoulin and Pozzovivo ride a bit further back. It's all shaping up nicely.


Interesting... Valverde has joined Movistar team-mate Erviti while Rodriguez and Dani Moreno have joined their own Katusha team-mate Losada. So we have a five-man break containing two riders who are not the best of friends - Valverde and Rodriguez, who have already exchanged some barbed words.


Valverde and Rodriguez have managed to open up a small gap on the other favourites on this descent.


The red jersey group is now 3:40 behind a leading quartet of Landa, Poljanski, Oliviera and Fraile with Froome riding at 6:40. Boswell, Sicard and Atapuma must have dropped back a little on this descent.


Over the top goes Froome - and he puts on a gilet, so he's not going to give up just yet. Six and a half minutes down on the lone leader Landa, mind.


Once again Atapuma is struggling on the descent from the break, and has a TV moto right in his backside, which once again cannot help.


The Sky rider in the main pack is not Roche but Nieve, who will now take over Sky leadership it seems. Froome is back with Welshman Thomas. The pair are talking together - perhaps about the prospect of throwing in the towel. But then Froome takes on a musette near the summit - something you wouldn't do if you were going to give up.


Froome is back with the medical car and is given a pill of some sorts - perhaps something for pain relief. Remember, he crashed right at the start of this stage. "It looks like a day he has lost all hope of the general classification," says Sean Kelly.


Another 10 points for Omar Fraile, who goes over the summit in pole position in the break. The Spaniard has done a superb job today to make that polka dot jersey well and truly his own.


The main group is about a dozen strong but still contains the race leader Dumoulin, who is doing a stirling job. Chaves, Valverde, Quintana, Rodriguez and Roche are there as well - plus four Astana riders (one of which being Aru).


The shower is over but it's still raining on Chris Froome, who has four Sky team-mates with him as they trail the main pack by almost two minutes.


Poljanski and Fraile have joined the leaders so we have six men out in front. The pack is 4:30 back and Froome another 1:35 off the pace. That crash is taking its toll - or was he always going to struggle today after his efforts in July's Tour?


Niki Terpstra, inexplicably, is leading the main pack ahead of a trio of Astana riders. Further down the hill Froome has Thomas and Kiryienka to pace him. The end of this climb cannot come soon enough. He looks completely shot.


On the front Landa has been joined by Boswell, Atapuma and Sicard. Poljanski is in pursuit. The gap is five minutes back to the red jersey pack, with Froome riding 45 seconds further back.


Astana come to the front of the peloton and throw down the hammer. If that seems a little odd because of their man, Landa, leading the race, then the answer comes when you look further back down the road: CHRIS FROOME HAS CRACKED.


Atapuma leads the chase now, the Colombian edging ahead of the other escapees in pursuit of Landa. The rain is rather heavy now. The next descent should be rather tasty.


It's raining now as Christian Knees blows a kiss to the camera after his work for the day is done and the German drops off the back of the peloton...


ATTACK: Landa jumps out of the saddle and breaks clear. Sicard and Fraile lead the chase...


We now have eight riders on the front as a Landa-led quartet including Plaza, Fraile and Verona make the connection. Two more - Losada and Congalves - are in pursuit.


Tom Dumoulin, the red jersey, is still here. The big question is how long the Giant-Alpecin rider can hold on for. He doesn't seem ideally built for this kind of mountain monstrosity, but so far, so good. After all, the Dutchman even won a summit finish last week, outpsprinting Froome to the line.


Sky still set the pace in the pack through Knees, Thomas and Kiryienka. They're in a good position having Boswell further up the road in the break. Indeed, the gap is now 5:20 for the Boswell leading quartet.


This leading quartetr has 22 seconds on the Landa group and 5:00 over the peloton, which is just about to catch a lone Team Colombia rider.


Coppel has been joined by Poljanski, Boswell and Sicard. Landa leads the chase in a group of about eight riders, the others struggling off the back.


Jussi Veikkanan (FDJ) has withdrawn from the race.


Jerome Coppel rides ahead of the break now, the IAM Cycling man throwing the dice early.


The break is, well, breaking up on this fourth and hardest climb. Sky still lead the chase, but surely even their programmed wattage will take a hit some time soon.


We're onto the collosal Cat. HC Collada de la Gallina (11.7 km at 8.5 %) which has a maximum gradient of 17%. We should expect some initial skirmishes in the pack of main favourites I should think.


Erviti, Hardy and Montaguti have riden clear of the break towards the bottom of the descent, but their gap is small.


Erviti's foray on the front is over and the break now rides as one down this descent. There's a bit of moisture in the air with the odd rain drop falling. It was that man Fraile who took second place over the summit to consolidate his lead in the polka dot jersey competition. The pack is 4:20 down.


All teams seem to be taking on musettes now instead of waiting until the bottom of the climb for the feedzone, which comes just before the fourth climb when things might get feisty.


Erviti has 45 seconds to play with going over the summit. He took a musette near the summit so he will ride straight through the feed zone later, it seems. Behind him the break has reformed after that trio broke clear. The Sky-led peloton is still 4:30 down with Christian Knees on the front for practically the entire climb.


OIiviera and Landa ride clear of the break, joined later by Bennett. Some more are trying to bridge the gap. Erviti is approaching the summit.


Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff-Saxo) also crashed on the first climb - perhaps in the incident that involved Dombrowski of Cannondale-Garmin. It didn't look nice...


A reminder of the 18 riders behind Imanol Erviti (Movistar): Nelson Oliveira and Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Matteo Montaguti and Mikael Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Javier Moreno (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Omar Fraile and José Gonçalves (Case Rural-Seguros RGA), Pawel Poljanski (Saxo-Tinkoff), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Mikel Landa (Astana), Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEdge), Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling), Romain Hardy (Cofidis), Carlos Verona (Etixx-Quick Step), Ian Boswell (Team Sky) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo).


There's an upping of the tempo in the break as Erviti's lead comes down to under a minute. Some of the escapees are struggling a little. Sky are still keeping the peloton at exactly 4:30.


Froome is the last man in the Sky train on the front of the pack, with Movistar riders Sutherland, Rojas and Quintana in his wheel. The peloton is still about 120-strong and so it has certainly eased up since that frenetic opening climb.


The sun is shining sporadically through the clouds but there's a 75% chance of rain later on for the final climbs, so they're getting all but the kitchen sink out there in Andorra today.


We've hit a little stalemate now with lone leader Erviti pressing on with a 1:05 gap over the break and the pack riding at 4:30. It was very frantic at the start, what with Froome crashing on the first climb and then having to fight back from over a minute down. But Sky have regrouped and the status quo has returned.


After that big scare this morning with Chris Froome's early crash, it's business as usual for Team Sky who have all their riders - bar escapee Boswell - on the front of the pack, driving the pace.


The breakaway is in disarray with no-one ready to commit to the chase - probably because of the succession of climbs that are still on the horizon. Without this dynamic playing out, Erviti is able to ride on at his own pace and make some decent headway.


Erviti is making some headway here: the 31-year-old Movistar rider - a double Vuelta stage winner (2008 and 2010) riding his 16th Grand Tour - has 1:10 over the break and 4:30 over the pack.


The leaders are onto the Cat.1 Coll de la Rabassa (13.8 km at 6.6 %). This is the third of six climbs on today's menu (which features bowl after bowl of gruel)


It looks like the peloton has decided to let this group go: Sky have come to the front and the gap is now more than four minutes for the 18 leaders, who trail lone rider Imanol Erviti by 35 seconds now.


Erviti has 22 seconds over the other escapees and 3:20 over the pack.


Spaniard Imanol Erviti (Movistar) has opened up a small gap ahead of the break thanks to some daredevil descending skills.


Puncture for Fraile's Caja Rural team-mate Jose Goncalves in the break. He needs a rear wheel change.


Atapuma is taking this decent very gingerly, his rear wheel slipping on one tight bend. He's been dropped by the break and has a TV camera on him, which can't help matters.


It's Romain Hardy (Cofidis) who leads the break down this descent, hitting speeds of 80kmph and getting dangerously close to the TV moto in the process. The gap is 2:35.


The gap for the leaders is 2:15 as the peloton crests the summit. After one more tiny rise there's now a long 25km descent before the third climb.


Omar Fraile ups the tempo near the summit and takes Plaza with him - and it's the Spanish veteran Plaza, a stage winner on the Tour, who takes the maximum 10 points over the summit ahead of second-place Fraile, who nevertheless increased his lead in the polka dot jersey standings.


CORRECTION: Plaza (Lampre) and Verona (Etixx) are still with the leaders in this 19-man group.


Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) is with the medical car. The American also crashed earlier today in a separate incident to Froome's.


The gap is 1:40 for the escapees as Astana and Movistar refuse to give them too much leeway.


A couple of the escapees appear to have been caught - Plaza of Lampre-Merida and Verona of Etixx-QuickStep. Here's today's stage in a nutshell...


Atapuma is the driving force of this break, which leads the peloton by 1:35. Dutch national champion Niki Tepstra is the latest rider to be dropped from the pack. It's going to be a long day for many...


A reminder that Dumoulin holds a 57-second lead over Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on GC, with Colombia's Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) third at 59 seconds. Then we have the likes of Roche, Aru, Valverde, Quintana, Froome, Majka and Pozzovivo all within two minutes to complete the top ten. Local boy Rodriguez is many people's favourites for victory in his own Catalan back garden today...


Good to see Mikel Landa in the break - the Spaniard was so explosive in the Giro, winning two stages en route to finishing third. But he's had a subdued Vuelta for Astana ahead of his expected departure for Sky next season. Landa is currently 37th on GC over 25 minutes down on the race leader Dumoulin. So he's clearly there to act as a foil for Aru - and will help to support his team-mate later on if need be.


There are 16 riders out ahead now after the two leading groups came together and were joined by some other counter-attackers. They are: Nelson Oliveira, Darwin Atapuma, Matteo Montaguti, Javier Moreno, Romain Sicard, Omar Fraile, Pawel Poljanski, Alberto Losada, Mikel Landa, Damien Howson, Jerome Coppel, Cyril Lemoine, Imanol Erviti, Carlos Verona, Rubén Plaza and Ian Boswell. The gap is just over a minute.


The Astana team of Fabio Aru are on the front of the main pack.


Froome is finally back with the main pack after that early scare. He looked fairly clattered, but no apparent cuts from his tumble. He was angry with some of the race motorbikes for getting too close when he was chasing back on. But he'll have a chance to regain his composure a little now.


We're onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.1 Coll d’Ordino (9.9km at 7%).


It has regrouped a bit on the descent. The five leaders have just 10 seconds over a group of seven chasers, with the red jersey pack a further 20 seconds back. Froome is not quite back with the favourites but should be by the time they start the second climb.


Omar Fraile takes the maximum 10 points over the top of the Cat.1 Collada de Baixalis to consolidate his lead in the polka dot jersey standings.


A group of eight riders is in pursuit of the leaders as they approach the summit: Ian Boswell (Team Sky), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R - La Mondiale), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Ruben Plaza (Lampre - Merida), Javier Moreno (Movistar), Damien Howson (Orica - Greenedge), Alberto Losada (Katusha) and Pawel Pljanski (Tinkoff - Saxo).


Red jersey Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) rides in the group of main favourites. All the big guns are there except Froome, who crashed very early on today.


Romain Sicard (Europcar), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Omar Fraile (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA), Nelson Oliveira (Lampre - Merida) and Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling) are out ahead.


Froome is still trying to get back to the group of main favourites. He's with Kiryienka and some others, battling his way passed those dropped early on this opening climb.


After it comes back together on the front there's an attack from Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Darwin Atapuma (BMC).


We're straight onto the Cat.1 Collada de Baixalis climb - 6.5km at 8.7%. Froome is chasing back with Sky team-mate Vasil Kiryienka.


CRASH: Chris Froome overcooks a right-hand uphill corner and rides into a wooden barrier and comes off. He looks a bit dazed as he gets back on his bike and on his way.


Around a dozen riders are ahead of the pack...


From the outset there's an attack from Spaniard Omar Fraile (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) - no surprise there, he's the polka dot jersey and will look to consolidate that today. Fraile has 18 points so far, with Dutchmen Tom Dumoulin and Bert-Jan Lindeman both on 13. Given today's route, it's a huge chance for anyone to take the initiative in the king of the mountains competition, for sure.


We're under way in Andorra! Today is going to be quite brutal...


One rider did not take to the start today - Russian Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha).


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana - a gruelling mountain sufferfest in Andorra, a 138km ride from Andorra La Vella to Cortals d'Encamp that includes six - SIX - back-to-back climbs.