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03/09/16 - 11:04
Dantxarinea - Col d'Aubisque
Vuelta a España • Stage14

Dantxarinea - Col d'Aubisque
Vuelta a España - 3 September 2016

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:04 on 3 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Here's confirmation of the new top ten, with Valverde and Contador both dropping out the top five thanks to Yates and Konig.


Yes - Yates is up to fourth and Konig is now fifth on GC. Valverde drops out with Quintana leading Froome by 54 seconds and Chaves by just over two minutes. Superb day for Orica-BikExchange - and not bad from Sky either, all things considered.


Gesink's team-mate Bennett took fourth ahead of Yates before Zubeldia, Bakelants, Talansky, Chaves, Konig and Rolland. Then Quintana came home with Froome in his wheel. It's going to take some time to work out but Yates could be up to fourth today, what with Contador and Valverde losing time on the Aubisque.


Quintana attacks on the home straight and Froome digs deep to cross the line right in his wheel about 1:49 down on the winner today. Contador recovers to come home 2:07 down so he lost time, but not too much time.


Elissonde pips Silin for second place a few seconds back... and then Yates comes home 39 seconds down. What an effort from the Briton, who is replicating his twin brother Adam's Tour form here in France.


Victory for the big man! Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) rides the entire final 100 metres out of the saddle to drop both his rivals and take a superb victory.


Now Gesink dances on the pedals! Elissonde is on his wheel...


Elissonde is weaving all over the place as the three leaders start to play cat and mouse. Silin comes to the front now with Gesink on his wheel.


Quintana, Froome and Moreno ride with Losada, who has been caught from the break, with Sanchez grappling to hold on...


Yates is about to catch Bakelants and Berard. But he won't get a second win because Elissonde and Gesink will battle it out. Hang on - Silin has caught them! Just under the flamme rouge...


Yates is struggling to eat into the lead of the Bakelants and Gesink - he's still 45 seconds down, although has some of the other escapees in his sights. Scrap that: Elissonde has switches spots with Bakelants - so it's little and large up front.


Quintana jumps again - from the wheel of Moreno. Froome manages to hold on - and they catch Sanchez.


Contador attacks just as Froome veers to the right - there's almost a collision but Contador manages to swing round then pull clear. Quintana leads the chase, with Froome on his wheel. They catch, pass and drop Contador - who hammered a nail in his own coffin there.


Chaves rides clear of the others and passes Moreno, who will be able to help Quintana for a small while. So Orica now fighting on two planes through Yates and Chaves. What a stage for the Australian team. Sanchez attacks again as the big GC men mark each other out.


Froome and Contador are battling back, prompting Quintana to attack again. But they reel in the red jersey just as they pass Sammy Sanchez. Chaves has managed to join the party - and then the Colombian attacks!


Yates has zipped past this four-man chasing group, which includes Rolland. He's one minute behind the leaders and riding very, very well.


Quintana attacks again! No reaction from the other favourites, who are being led by Andrew Talansky of Cannondale. This could be the move.


Yates has almost caught the chasing group - at this rate, he'll win the stage. Although Gesink remains a real danger man.


Valverde almost a minute back now... age - and a full season - catching up with the veteran Spaniard.


Astana have three riders in this main group of a dozen - including the veteran Scarponi.


Yates update: he's 1:25 down on the leaders and two minutes clear of this red jersey group - so he's still going very, very well.


Bakalents has caught Gesink. A bit further back Elissonde is given some water from the Katusha team car - a nice touch.


Sammy Sanchez (BMC) attacks the main pack of favourites. He's in 10th on GC so has some time to make up.


Gesink attacks! The Dutchman doesn't linger long with the leaders and has zipped clear with Bakelants in pursuit.


Froome has Kennaugh with him, while Leopold Konig seems to have ridden a bit up the road. Contador and Dombrowski are in this group, as is Chaves.


Quintana attacks! The red jersey rides clear of a splintered main pack - but Chris Froome is able to reel him in. All the big guns appear to be in this group - except Valverde...


Gesink has bridged over to the leaders - including his team-mate Bennett. So, two LottoNL-Jumbo riders, with Silin, Bakelents and Elissonde.


Bakelants, Elissonde and Bennett have edged ahead. Silin will bridge over but De Clercq, Bernard and Molard are struggling. Meanwhile, Gesink has attacked from the chasing group.


This move has been pretty flawless by Orica-BikeExchange - the problem is that Yates may not have the legs to make anything of it. He's cut the lead of the six leaders down to 2:20 but the main pack is within 1:20 now - and once the attacks start coming, that will come tumbling down.


Earlier, just ahead of this climb, there was an audition of sorts from a young spectator...


The six leaders separated into three groups of two but they're back together now with Bakelants and Silin setting the tempo. They have 30 seconds on the chasers, who are being led by Cannondale's Davide Villela. Yates is 2:50 down and the main pack is being led by Movistar at 4:20. They've just caught Belgians Meersman and Armee, who were in the initial 40-man move.


Simon Yates has now dropped his two Orica team-mates Cort and Gerrans and ridden clear of the remnants of the break in pursuit of the leaders. He's still three minutes down but almost two minutes ahead of the main pack, which contains favourites Quintana and Froome.


Right, it's show time. We're onto the Cat.HC Col d'Aubusque (16.5km at 7.1%). It's a fairly steady climb with two ramps of 10% to spice things up along the way.


Just 30 seconds now for the six leaders who looked to have made a lot of effort for very little return.


Correction: it's not Gesink, but Bennett, in the leading group. Meanwhile, it's Bakelants who 'wins' the intermediate sprint in Larruns ahead of the final climb.


The six leaders, by the way, are: Gesink, Bakelants, Elissonde, Silin, Bernard and De Clercq. They have almost a minute now on the chasing group, which contains Van Garderen and Rolland. The Yates group is at 4:05 and the pack at 5:30.


Movistar have been forced to lend a hand in the pack now that Orica have shown their cards. The Yates trio have joined forces with the remnants of the break - the likes of Omar Fraile - and are still over a minute ahead of the peloton, which has a Tinkoff rider setting the tempo. It's Ivan Rovny, and he's causing a fair bit of chaos.


Cattle-grid alert: that could cause chaos when the peloton comes along. The Yates trio are still 4:15 down on the leaders with the pack now at 5:35. The six leaders have 25 seconds on the rest of the break. It's shaping up nicely ahead of the final climb.


Six of the escapees have managed to pull ahead of the others on the descent. Elissonde and Bakelants are among them. They have 25 seconds to play with.


Simon Yates crests the summit of the Marie Blanque and he's just about to catch one of his team-mates - either Gerrans or Cort. In fact, it's both of them! So Orica-BikeExchange are pulling off a real coup here today - or, at least, trying to. They have about one minute over the main pack and trail the leaders by 4:20.


Kenny Elissonde darts ahead to take the maximim 10pts over the summit. That puts him in second place in the polka dot standings and so he's pushing Fraile all the way.


Davide Villela has been dropped by the leaders so Cannondale only have Pierre Rolland left now - and he's struggling to hold onto the back.


Ian Boswell and Peter Kennaugh are burying themselves for Sky on the front of the pack, with Leopold Konig and Froome just behind.


ATTACK: Orica-BikeExchange clearly have a plan today. Jack Haig attacked from the pack a few minutes ago and now Simon Yates has bridged over. He's seventh in the GC - 3:25 down on Quintana - and so tensions will rise in the pack. The Australian team also have Esteban Chaves in the top five...


Around 15 riders in the lead now after another regrouping. Robert Gesink leads for LottoNL-Jumbo - the rangy Dutchman came very close to a maiden Grand Tour stage win last weekend at Lagos de Covadonga, denied in the final few kilometres by Quintana.


Van Garderen is bridging across to a five-man move that just edged ahead of the pack. Bennett or Gesink are also trying to make it for LottoNL-Jumbo. It's beginning to thin out now and Alberto Losada has been dropped. The Cannondale riders are trying to get in the mix but seem to be struggling...


Christian Knees of Team Sky has been dropped by the peloton. The big German has been doing a lot of the pace-setting for Chris Froome on the front.


Magnus Cort is the next Orica rider to hit the wall. He's grimacing as he nurses a can of Coke off the back of the break, leaving just Keukeleire ahead. They must have been preparing the terrain for team-mates Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates. The next riders to be dropped off the back are Pello Bilbao and Gianni Meersman, while David Lopez of Sky is right on the back.


It looks like Omar Fraile has been dropped from this leading group, along with Simon Gerrans. The Australian was working hard on the flat section, while the Spaniard took maximum points over the first two climbs to reignite his KOM campaign.


We're onto the third climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col de Marie-Blanque (9.2km at 7.5%). Tejay Van Garderen and Kenny Elissonde are on the front behind Orica's Jens Keukeleire, who won stage 12 a couple of days ago.


Orica-BikeExchange are really driving the tempo on the front of the break through Gerrans and Cort, or Keukeleire. They've increased the gap back up to 6:20 for the 30-odd men still here.


Odd Christian Eiking (FDJ) has been dropped by the break once again - I think Geniez is still there for Elissonde, but if so he is right on the back. The peloton is also strung out on these narrow country roads to the foot of the Marie Blanque, trailing the leaders by 5:20 as they sweep up Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Argon18), who were in the initial 40-man move.


Pello Bilbao is rooted to the back of this break with a spare water bottle tucked down his jersey pocket - no doubt for his Caja Rural team-mate Sergio Pardilla, who is also in this break.


Team Sky still lead the chase with Movistar (Quintana) and Tinkoff (Contador) tucked in behind. The gap is 5:45 for the leaders, who have regrouped at the bottom of this climb. They're down to about 30 riders, mind, having shed the dead wood on that second climb of the day.


So, Moreno is now the virtual red jersey - he was 5:38 down on team-mate Quintana this morning. Sergio Pardilla of Caja Rural is also a danger man - he was 5:55 down this morning.


Four riders have edged ahead of the break on the descent, with the gap ballooning to six minutes for the leaders.


It's one of the Trek-Segafredo riders - Julien Bernard or Haimar Zubeldia - who lead the break on this descent as the Team Sky-led peloton approach the summit of the Col de Soudet. They have caught one of the Cannondale riders who dropped back from the break - Moser or Villela.


Elissonde and Fraile are deep in conversation on the front of the break - presumably about the KOM points. When Fraile ups the tempo and looks behind, the Frenchman tells him so ease up. It's as if he's saying, 'Look, I'm not going to challenge you, but I still want to follow you.' The Frenchman - winner on the Angliru in 2013 - clearly has big ideas for the Aubisque later on. Fraile takes the 10pts to increase his lead and make him favourite for the polka dot jersey - for now.


Geniez is the latest rider to be dropped from this break - either that or he dropped back to pick up water for him and Elissonde from the FDJ car. The gap is down to 3:35 so it doesn't look too promising for this break, unless it splits to a more efficient fighting force.


Omar Fraile is preparing himself for an assault on the summit. The Spaniard, who has his Dimension Data jersey unzipped on another hot day in the Basque Country, leads the break now alongside Gerrans.


Numerous riders have been dropped from this large 39-man break, incuding Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff), Quentin Jauregui (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac) and Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Argon18).


Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExchange) has been pretty prominent on the front of this break alongside Victor Campanearts of LottoNL-Jumbo. The gap is down to 3:50 now for the leaders, who are all stretched out now. They're over halfway though this long 24km climb though, so the end is in sight.


A raft of withdrawals to report on the Col de Soudet: Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) have all clambered off their bikes and into their team cars.


No fireworks for now - we can expect those to come, hopefully, on the Marie-Blanque and then the final climb, the Aubisque. There are over 5,000 vertical metres on the menu for the riders today, so they can be allowed to take it easy over the first two climbs of the day, to be fair. Still, let's hope that this queen stage hots up and doesn't merely fizzle. The gap is still over the four-minute mark.


Chris Froome knows La Pierre-Saint-Martin well - it's where he won stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France to consolidate his grip on the yellow jersey that he wore all the way to Paris for his second Tour victory.


There's bound to be a shake up on this climb with some of the dead wood in this break being dropped and caught by the peloton. Already Cannondale and LottoNL-Jumbo are using their numbers to up the tempo and force a shake out.


The break has started the second climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col du Soudet (24km at 5.2%). It's a long one which starts gently but - despite one rasping 15% ramp - doesn't really get going until we reach La Pierre-Saint-Martin after 12km at the halfway point.


Van Rensburg is being treated by the race doctor but he's unable to hold the car with his left hand, which is resting on the top of his bars. He's clearly done something to his arm, shoulder of collarbone and should call it a day. But instead he's asking to be patched up and for some painkillers...


Confirmation that Fraile now has 30pts in the KOM competition with Geniez hot on his heels with 25pts and yesterday's summit snatcher Lagutin on 22pts.


There's a split in the break as around 10 riders edge ahead when someone fails to close the gap. Not so much an attack as some riders being dippy. The gap is down to four minutes now.


Yes, Van Rensburg is back with the peloton after that crash - and he looks pretty bashed up, nursing his left arm. The riders are now in the feed zone ahead of the second climb.


Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis) has withdrawn. He's been suffering with a stomach bug - and today's not the day to be grappling with something like that.


We're down this descent and heading towards the town of Tardets ahead of the Col du Soudet, otherwise known as the Col de la Pierre Saint Martin. The gap is 4:30 for the 39 leaders. No news on Van Rensburg other than that he's back on his bike - whether that's in the main peloton, with the leaders, or somewhere in between remains to be seen. The fact that we're down to 39 riders in the leading group suggests he's not there.


A gruppetto has formed off the back of the peloton but they're closing the gap on this descent, despite the pace-setting by Team Sky.


The gap is still 5:05 for the leaders - and so Dani Moreno is not quite the virtual red jersey. The Spaniard is currently 12th place and trails Movistar team-mate Quintana by 5:38 on GC. That would be an interesting turn up for the books...


Rojas is back with the leaders - he must have come off as a result of Van Rensburg's fall. No news yet on the South African, but it didn't look too promising. The gap is up to 5:10 for hte leaders.


Team Sky have just led the pack past that corner where Van Rensburg and Rojas crashes, and Geniez had to unclip to steady himself. There's mud on the road and bits of gravel, which makes picking a line on these narrow, twisting lanes even more difficult. The break have tackled an uphill segment in this descent, and those three leaders have been reeled in now after sitting up following Geniez's scare.


CRASH: Van Rensburg and Rojas lose it on the same corner moments later when the rest of the break passes by. We don't see it on the TV images - just the aftermath - and it doesn't look good for the South African from Dimension Data, who is lying in a heap on the side of the road.


CLOSE SHAVE: Geniez loses it on one of the narrow, tight bends and almost goes over the edge. Fraile passes and then tells his FDJ companions to take it easy - and the leaders decide to rein it in and slow the pace a little.


ATTACK: Elissonde and Geniez keep their momentum going over the summit and attack - taking Fraile with them. So the two FDJ riders are going for a long pop, with a sandbagging Spaniard (for now) in tow. It will be interesting to see if this one sticks or if they're caught on the descent...


Omar Fraile leads out the sprint for the KOM points and it's the Spaniard who takes the maximum 10pts to move back into the lead of the competition he won last year. Alexandre Geniez keeps in touch with second place ahead of his FDJ team-mate Kenny Elissonde.


Chris Froome, in the white combined jersey, has five Sky team-mates ahead of him as he looks to be toiling somewhat on this climb as Quintana, Valverde and a few Movistars ride behind, taking it relatively easy.


The break is onto the short downhill section before the final ramp to the summit - and there's a fair amount of cow poo which they'll have to content with. Luckily it's dry - wet cow dung is the worse when travelling at speed. Just like hitting a slush pile when skiing in spring snow... Back with the peloton and the odd rider has already been tailed off as Team Sky continue setting the tempo.


The gap is approaching five minutes now - and it will be interesting to see what happens at the summit with so many people on the hunt for KOM points. I'm thinking Omar Fraile, who is currently third on 20pts, and Alexandre Geniez, who is on 19pts. The leader of the KOM competition at the moment is Sergey Lagutin, who took maximum points over all four Cat.3 summits yesterday to move above Nairo Quintana with 22pts. There are reports that Lagutin is in this break today but I haven't seen the blue polka dot jersey and the Katusha riders listed are Silin and Losada.


It's a very coarse surface this narrow road, with a gravely crown in the middle and some rocky patches and distressed tarmac on the sides. They'll have to pay attention on the descent, that's for sure. Team Sky lead the pack, which trails the break by 4:20. Very scenic this road, which is now in a cutting on the side of the mountain with a quite breathtaking backdrop.


It was reported that Britain's Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) was in the break but that's not the case - he is, in fact, rooted to the back of the peloton.


The break is onto the Cat.1 Col Inharpu (11.5km at 7.1%) which starts with a ferocious 14% ramp before a series of steep sections on very narrow lanes until a brief flattening out ahead of the final rise to the summit. It's a severe test and will see a first selection in this leading group of 41 riders.


We're approaching that first climb of the day as the gap grows north of four minutes. Back with the peloton and there's a mechanical problem for Alejandro Valverde of Movistar. The consistent Spanish veteran is wearing the green jersey as leader of the points classification: Valverde has 92 points to Luis Leon Sanchez's 65, with Quintana on 62 ahead of double stage winner Gianni Meersman on 60.


Thumbs up to the cameras from red jersey Nairo Quintana, who leads this race by 54 seconds over Chris Froome, with another Movistar rider, Alejandro Valverde, in third a further 11 seconds back. Quintana might well be happy - his team have pulled a stormer today by placing three men in the break, especially the dangerous Moreno. They have no obligation to chase down this large 41-man move and it's Froome's Sky team-mates who are doing the work on the front as the gap increases to 3:50.


So, it's a quality group with some solid climbers in the likes of Moreno, Lopez, Van Garderen, Gesink, Cataldo, Elissonde, Geniez, Zubeldia, Rolland, Fraile, Frank, Carthy and Sicard. The gap is up to 3:20 so they're going well.


Here they are: Ruben Fernandez, Dani Moreno, Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff), David Lopez (Team Sky), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), George Bennett, Victor Campenaerts, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Gerrans, Jens Keukeleire, Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange), Dario Cataldo (Astana), Kenny Elissonde, Odd Christian Eiking, Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Haimar Zubeldia, Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Bakelants, Quentin Jauregui (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Alberto Losada, Egor Silin (Katusha), Bart De Clercq, Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep), Moreno Moser, Pierre Rolland, Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Omar Fraile, Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Mathias Frank, Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Romain Hardy, Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Argon18), Pello Bilbao, Hugh Carthy, Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Romain Sicard and Pierrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie).


Over two minutes now for this break so it looks like this one is here to stay - although just how much leeway they will get once the road heads uphill on the first of four climbs is anyone's guess.


The gap is increasing as the leaders now hold a 1:20 gap over the pack on this false flat ahead of the first climb of the day. Cannondale have a few riders in this break, including potential danger man Pierre Rolland. Tinkoff has a rider here for Alberto Contador, while there's a heavy presence of Direct Energie, Ag2R-La Mondiale and FDJ riders - no surprise given the fact that we're raving in France today. The Sky rider in the break is David Lopez, while stage 12 winner Jens Keukeleire is there for Orica-GreenEdge.


The gap is up to 40 seconds for the leading group, which includes three of Nairo Quintana's Movistar team-mates in Ruben Fernandez, Dani Moreno and Jose Joaquin Rojas. That's precisely why Team Sky are leading the chase. They do have a man in the break, mind. We'll get confirmation of the riders in the break soon, but Omar Fraile looks like he's there - the Spaniard who won the polka dot jersey last year and lost it to Sergey Lagutin yesterday.


We now have a huge group of around 40 riders which has managed to open up a small gap over the peloton, which is being led by Chris Froome and his Team Sky army in black.


Katusha, Orica-BikeExchange, FDJ and Caja Rural have all been fairly busy trying to force a break but nothing has stuck as yet.


Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) have been very prominant in an active opening few kilometres as numerous riders try to force a break.


And they're off!


Here's what the profile looks like - it should be quite some queen stage, that's for sure. The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone and heading to the border with France...


Yesterday, the longest leg of the race also proved the most uneventful to date as a dozen riders broke clear 20 kilometres into the 213km stage from Bilbao to build up a commanding lead over four categorised climbs ahead of two circuits around the town of Urdax-Dantxarinea, near the border with France. Italy's Valerio Conti rode clear of the break to win stage 13 as a rather lackadaisical peloton rolled home more than half an hour down.


Hola and bienvenido to live coverage of stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana – and it’s the big one: a monster 196km stage that takes place almost entirely on French soil and features three back-to-back Cat.1 climbs ahead of a HC summit finish on the famous Col d’Aubisque.