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28/08/16 - 12:27
Cistierna - Alto del Naranco
Vuelta a España • Stage9

Cistierna - Alto del Naranco
Vuelta a España - 28 August 2016

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:27 on 28 August 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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David de la Cruz now sits atop the standings with a 22-seconds lead over Nairo Quintana.


Confirmation that stage 9 winner David de la Cruz has moved into the race lead after his victory on the Alto del Naranco today.


Kennaugh has been caught by the main favourites, who then pass Fraile. Sammy Sanchez attacks, is followed by Brambilla and Valverde, with Froome, Quintana, Chaves and Contador all in pursuit. They cross the line but we have no times as yet so we won't know if De le Cruz has done it or not. I think he may miss out by a matter of seconds...


Great scenes as Devenyns approaches de la Cruz and congratulates the Spaniard for his win. A classy touch from the Belgian.


A resigned Dries Devenyns takes second place about 20 seconds later, with Moreno Moser not far off before Luis Leon Sanchez leads the others over...


Victory for David de la Cruz of Etixx-QuickStep! Now, can he take the red jersey... those 10 bonus seconds will help...


He timed it to perfection - bravo, David!


De la Cruz attacks and leaves Devenyns for dead! He could take both the stage and the red jersey...


Under the flamme rouge go the two leaders with Devenyns leading in the saddle and De la Cruz dancing away behind. Oddly, it's Devenyns' IAM team-mate Frank who leads the chase behind...


Back with the main pack and Sky have sent Peter Kennaugh up the road, with Omar Fraile of Dimension Data latching on to his attack.


De Gendt kicks on but he's about to be caught by the others. And it looks like they all made a hash of it because one of the two leaders is going to take this - so it will be a second win for IAM or a third for Etixx...


Seven of the escapees are back together now with Bilbao and Teuns on the front. They are about to reel in De Gendt and are 45 seconds behind the leaders. The pack trails at 3:30 and so it's going to be tight for De la Cruz and his red jersey quest.


The leaders are onto the steepest part of the climb. They have 45 seconds. Teuns leads the others back to the wheel of Bilbao, with De Gendt still somewhere in between them and De la Cruz and Devenyns.


Now Moreno Moser attacks from the break in pursuit of the leaders. We haven't seen De Gendt for a while... Moser is reeled in before Sanchez has a pop, sparking a reaction from the others. Huzarski is struggling...


Now Luis Leon Sanchez comes to the front to try and control things but these guys are writing their own death certificate because the two leaders are opening up their lead, which is now one minute.


BIlbao is the latest rider to attack from the break in pursuit of De Gendt and the other two leaders.


Devenyns and De la Cruz have 40 seconds to play with as the other escapees start attacking one another.


Here we go, they're onto the Cat.1 Alto del Naranco (5.7km at 6.1%) which starts with a gentle gradient before ramping up to 8% before a final kilometre of 6%. Not the steepest climbs the riders have done this past week, but it will be a test for weary legs.


De Gendt attacks the reformed group of nine chasers - his energy knows no bounds. Just when you think he's blown, he returns with a bang.


The storm clouds are gathering as the riders continue their descent towards the foot of the final climb. The two leaders have 20 seconds now as they pass through Oviedo on a wide highway lined by fans.


Devenyns has attacked again - this time with De la Cruz - on the descent. They have about 10 seconds on five chasers, including Sanchez and Bakalents.


There's an attack from a Katusha rider off the front of the peloton, which is an odd one. The team has been hampered by illness but Lagutin's stage win yesterday was a welcome boon. Perhaps they believe they can hijack today's stage? On the front it's Geniez, I think, who takes maximum points over the summit with De Gendt not in the top three. It will be interesting to see which one of those two is in polka dots tonight...


The three leaders have been reeled in by the main bulk of the break - and still Movistar control things on the back of the pack, with many riders being spat out of the back of the peloton.


Teuns has attacked the other escapees. De la Cruz responds first and the others soon follow. Clarke has amazingly managed to get back with this break on the descent. And now Teuns draws level with the two leaders, Bakelants and Devenyns.


The two leaders are onto the Cat.3 Alto de la Manzeneda (3.6km at 6.9%).


The two Belgian leaders have 25 seconds on the other escapees and 4:40 on the break. It's going to be touch and go for De La Cruz in his pursuit for the red jersey, what with that steep climb of the Alto del Naranco after this next Cat.3 climb.


Over the top goes Devenyns with Bakelants right on his heels. IAM Cycling are trying the old one-two. But the gap is small - just 14 seconds - and this break may yet come back together.


Geniez and Bilbao are back on but Clarke is nowhere to be seen. Devenyns attacks and provokes a reply from Bakelants. Two Belgians out ahead as De la Cruz leads the chase.


Geniez and Bilbao are also struggling to hold on after this injection of pace from De Gendt, who is succeeding in thinning out this break. Teuns now comes through before Sanchez has a dig. It's all happening.


The leaders are onto the next climb but this one - although probably the steepest - is not categorised. IAM are controlling things through Devenyns when De Gendt zips through with gusto and strings out the group. I wonder if he knows this one has no points over the top? He has Bakelants on his wheel and the others close behind. But Clarke cannot keep up and is off the back.


De Gendt does it again, taking the points over the summit - this time ahead of Clarke, with Geniez forced to settle for third place.


The leaders are onto the Cat.3 Alto de San Tirso (5.1km at 3.9%). Movistar are still setting the tempo back in the pack ahead of the Sky and Tinkoff trains. The gap is 4:44.


That's the way to regain their trust: De Gendt is pulling on the front of the break as they approach the foot of the next climb. Their advantage is up to five minutes. Perhaps Movistar aren't concerned, or perhaps they don't mind about De la Cruz taking Quintana's red jersey, for it would take the pressure off the team to defend the race lead.


Now De Gendt has decided to sit up and wait for the others. It will be interesting to see how they welcome him back into the fold...


Through the intermediate sprint De Gendt goes with 34 seconds over the rest of the break, who are led through by Huzarski of Bora-Argon18.


Yes, it's De Gendt time: the Belgian has ridden on and now has 25 seconds over the rest of the break on the descent.


De Gendt rides clear of Geniez and takes the 3pts over the summit and move ahead of the Frenchman in the battle for the blue polka dot jersey. Now, will the Belgian sit up and wait for his fellow escapees or ride on?


CRASH: A few riders come a cropper in the pack thanks to a touch of wheels. Nothing too bad there and they're on their way. It involved riders from Cofidis, Katusha and Direct Energie it seemed.


As expected, De Gendt and Geniez have ridden clear of the other escapees in search of those points over the summit. The others know exactly what this is about and they let the duo do their thing.


The 12-man break are onto the Cat.3 Alto de Santo Emiliano (6.2km at 4.7%). Expect a battle de luxe between De Gendt and Geniez for the points over the summit...


The leaders are about to hit the first of three back-to-back Cat.3 climbs ahead of the final slog to the finish. It's party time. They still have 4:30 over the pack and it's worth adding that Cannondale and IAM Cycling both have two riders in this break. Can they make it work in the same way that Katusha did yesterday?


Incredibly, Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez has never won a stage in his home tour. The 32-year-old has ridden eight Vueltas now and has finished 2nd and 3rd on numerous occasions but has never topped the podium. This year alone he has been particularly active and finished fourth in stage 5, second in stage 6 and came very close to victory in stage 7 before being caught by the pack with just metres to spare. Can the four-time Tour de France stage winner finally get that elusive home win today?


With victories on the Stelvio (2012 Giro d'Italia) and Mont Ventoux (2016 Tour de France), Thomas De Gendt is one Spanish win away from completing his clean sweep of Grand Tour stage wins. The Alto del Naranco is not quite in the same bracket as those mythical climbs but the Belgian won't be haggling.


It's a strong break, this. Geniez, of course, won last week on the Mirador de Ezaro and also won a stage for FDJ in 2013 in the Pyrenees. Meanwhile, Frank, Bakelants, Clarke, De Gendt and Sanchez have been spotted in numerous breaks in this race so far. This one stands a good chance at going the distance. The gap is currently 4:30.


It was a misty descent off the San Isidro earlier today and the weather is generally overcast with a threat of storms. Makes a change from the hot temperatures and sun we've had pretty much every other day besides those few hours of Galician rainfall.


The riders are currently powering through the feed zone with Movistar setting quite a fast tempo on the front of the pack. That's because one of the escapees, David De La Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep), is a threat to their man Quintana's red jersey. De La Cruz was just 2:50 down on the Colombian this morning so he is the virtual race leader for now.


Numerous withdrawals to report today: Igor Anton (Dimension Data) did not take to the start - the Spanish veteran has been suffering from stomach pains and illness. Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tony Hurel (Direct Energie) and Yoann Bagot (Cofidis) have all called it a day since today's stage start. So that's 17 riders now withdrawing since stage 1.


The leaders crested the Cat.2 Puerto de San Isidro (11km at 3%) with a lead of around five minutes over the pack and it was the Belgian Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal who took the maximum 5pts ahead of Geniez (3pts) and Clarke (1pt). That put both De Gendt and Geniez on 13 points at the top of the KOM standings currently led by yesterday's winner, Sergey Lagutin. So we have another tasty subplot for today's stage...


The break struggled to make some headway on the peloton today after Dimension Data led the chase. They eventually opened up a decent gap after a first hour in which the race covered a huge 47km ahead of the first climb.


The 12 leaders are: Dylan Teuns (BMC), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Jan Bakelants and François Bidard (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), David de la Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep), Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac), Mathias Frank and Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon18) and Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA).


Right, let's get going - we join the race live with 90km remaining and we have a break de luxe of 12 riders with a lead of over four minutes.


Hola and welcome to live coverage of stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana - a 164.5km schlep in the medium mountains from Cistierna to Oviedo, which concludes on the Aldo del Naranco.