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01/09/16 - 11:51
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Los Corrales de Buelna - Bilbao
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Vuelta a España • Stage12
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Los Corrales de Buelna - Bilbao
Vuelta a España - 1 September 2016

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:51 on 1 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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16:58

Thumbs up from today's winner - Jens Keukeleire of Orica-BikeExchange.

16:55

Here's how Keukeleire won the bunch finish today...

0km

Confirmation of the top ten today...

0km 

Maxim Bouet (Etixx-QuickStep) took second place and Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) third.

0km

Victory for Jens Keukeleire (Orica-BikeExchange) in a very messy finish. He caught the others by surprise and won by a handsome margin in the end.

0.2km 

Orica have men in numbers here... and it looks like it will pay off!

1km

It's all back together as the pack zips under the flamme rouge. Those four riders have been pegged back and we'll have a finish between 35-odd riders in Bilbao now...

2km 

It's all over for Devenyns as three riders - including Yates - bound clear of the pack and almost close the gap on the Belgian.

3km 

Still 15 seconds for Devenyns as Zeits is swept off the front as Direct Energie and Trek move men to the front.

4.5km 

George Bennett is about to be caught by the pack as Zeits attacks once again. Now Simon Yates is on the front with an Ag2R-La Mondiale rider. 15 seconds for Devenyns.

5km 

It looks like the chasers have been reabsorbed by the pack, which is about 50-strong after that climb and descent.

6km 

Still 30 seconds for Devenyns, who is riding very well but has reached the flat roads now and faces quite a test.

8km 

Bennett is one of the chasers and he's now pulled out of the others on the descent...

11km 

There's an attack from an Orica-BikeExchange rider on the descent - possibly Chaves, because it's been covered by some of the big teams.

12km 

A seven-man chasing group has formed and it includes Devenyns' IAM team-mate Mathias Frank who, needless to say, isn't doing anything to help. Sanchez is there, Jan Bakelants too, and Davide Formolo of Cannondale.

13km 

Numerous riders attack ahead of the summit - including Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana.

13.5km 

Devenyns approaches the summit and he still has 30 seconds to play with despite the flurry of activity behind.

14.5km

Now Contadot attacks! He sparks a response from Valverde, first of all, and some other of the GC favourites. Just before Contador's move, it looked like Tejay Van Garderen was preparing something - but he's impoded now. What a shoddy race he's having...

15km 

Zeits can't keep up with Bennett - although both riders are soon swept up by the pack. A few others zip clear... Devenyns has 35 seconds.

15.5km 

Now Astana attack through Andrey Zeits. He has George Bennett of LottoNL-Jumbo on his back wheel.

16km 

Devenyns already has 30 seconds on the pack, which is being controlled by Rojas. No one else seems prepared to have a dig - probably because it's quite a big pack still so it could well come down to sprint of sorts.

17km

It's Dario Cataldo and Jose Rojas on the front for Astana and Movistar as an IAM Cycling rider, Dries Devenyns, dances clear. The Belgian came close last week but missed out to David de la Cruz on the Alto de Naranco.

17.5km

We're onto the second ascent of the Cat.2 Alto El Vivero (4.2km at 8.5%). Brambilla and Meintjes have stayed on the front of the pack as the road heads uphill.

18.5km 

The five escapees are on the verge of being swallowed up by the peloton just ahead of the final climb. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

23km 

Astana are still drilling it on the front of the pack, which has really strung out ahead of this fourth and final climb - the second ascent of El Vivero. 27 seconds now - and Simon Yates is right on the back of the peloton, so either he's struggling or he had a mechanical. Still in the top ten is the Briton...

25km 

The riders are onto the preliminary rise which sweeps out of Bilbao in two dramatic hairpins. The road then flattens out before the second ascent of El VIvero, where it should all happen. The gap is back to 35 seconds for the five leaders.

29km

The break swings over the finish line - one lap to go then it'll be for something more than the buzz of the expectant crowd. Their lead is just 25 seconds, though, so expect these leaders to be swallowed up on the next climb before a showpiece finale in Bilbao.

32km

More Astana riders come to the front of the pack - the Kazakh team have clearly been given orders to do something today. Perhaps Vino isn't happy with their showing so far in this race. The gap for the five leaders is 50 seconds and I suspect Romain Hardy has been caught.

35km 

Brambilla and Kennaugh are on the front of this break, with Meintjes and Elissonde just behind. Lopez has managed to ride back into contention too. He looks like a giant set against Elissonde. The gap is down to 1:25.

38km

Astana now with two men on the front - Vanotti and Cataldo. They clearly fancy setting something up for, perhaps, Luis Leon Sanchez today. Still surprises me that Fabio Aru didn't make their team - the defending champion has had a poor season indeed. Maybe his focus is already on the centenary Giro d'Italia next year after disappointing in the Tour this July.

42km

Vanotti leads the peloton over the top some 1:53 down on the break - and now it's dress rehearsal time for that final descent.

43km

Elissonde is out of the saddle and sprinting for the summit - and it's the pint-sized Frenchman who takes maximum points ahead of Brambilla and Kennaugh, with Meintjes in fourth. Lopez has been dropped after the FDJ rider's acceleration.

45km 

Elissonde drives the break on the steepest section of this climb, with Brambilla behind and out of his saddle. Next up is Meintjes then the Sky duo. Hardy nowhere to be seen for now. The gap is still around 1:45.

46km 

That Astana rider - Alessandro Vanotti, I think - has been pegged back but still sets the tempo ahead of Movistar's Jose Joaqium Rojas.

46.5km

Astana have sent a man onto the front of the pack - and he's managed to open up a small gap over the Movistar-led peloton.

47km

Hardy is struggling on this climb and the Frenchman is first to be dropped by the leaders, who have Brambilla pulling on the front. Lopez is content to sit on the back and do very little. Meanwhile, there's some Elissonde graffiti on the road - which will be a boon to the most diminutive rider of this leading group.

48km

We're onto the first ascent of the Cat.2 Alto El Vivero (4.2km at 8.5%) which will - second time round - no doubt act as a springboard for whoever wants to take the win. As it is, the break has a lead of two minutes.

53km

American Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) comes off on a tight bend after clipping an Ag2R-La Mondiale rider. Nothing too bad and he'll be on his way - but the self-styled Pitbull has been pretty underwhelming in this, the main target of his season. Talansky is currently 11th on GC some five minutes down on Quintana.

55km

A reminder that this was a seven-man group until Darwin Atapuma crashed on the last descent and never made it back with the escapees. Here's the moment he hit the deck...

56km 

The peloton is entering the centre of Bilbao and has just zipped past the world-famous Guggenheim art museum with its shiny facade. The gap is still 2:37 for the six leaders so it's nicely poised with the first of those two ascents coming up.

60km

We have two former Vuelta stage winners in this group in Kenny Elissonde - who famously won atop the Angliru in 2013, the year Chris Horner (remember him?) astonishingly won the Vuelta - and David Lopez, who won stage 9 in Alcoi from a break in 2010.

65km

This break is working well again as they approach the outskirts of Bilbao ahead of the two laps of the city centre, which includes the dual ascent of the Alto El Vivero. The gap is 2:25 for the six leaders.

70km

Quintana, the hog, is also leading the KOM standings with 21 points but it's second-place Spaniard Omar Fraile of Dimension Data - the defending KOM champion - who wears the blue polka dot jersey. He's one point behind the Colombian in the standings.

75km

Valverde is in the green jersey with a tally of 81 points - 19 more than his team-mate Quintana. Double stage winner Gianni Meersman of Etixx-QuickStep is in third place on 60pts ahead of Froome on 59. Froome, it's worth adding, is in the white combined jersey, although it's still Quintana who leads that competition.

80km

GC recap: After his win yesterday Chris Froome (Team Sky) now trails Nairo Quintana (Movistar) by 54 seconds on GC with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dropping to third at 1:05. Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) complete the top five – although both riders slip further behind despite a spirited attack by the former on Wednesday’s decisive climb.

85km

Atapuma, who crashed on that last descent, never made it back in with the leaders and he has just been caught by the peloton, so we're down to six men out ahead - with a lead of 1:55 over the Movistar-led pack.

90km

Fabrice Jeandesboz (Direct Energie) has just withdrawn from the race. The Frenchman is the second rider to quit today after Florian Sénéchal (Cofidis) also pulled out earlier on.

95km

The riders have been through the feedzone and the gap has stretched out to 2:15 accordingly. The next two climbs are in fact one and the same - that of El Vivero as the riders tackle two laps of a finishing circuit around Bilbao.

100km

Movistar's pacing has seen the gap come down to 1:30 for the seven leaders so it looks like this one will not be given too much leeway. Kennaugh is the dangerman in terms of GC - the Briton is 6:32 down on red jersey Quintana in 15th place on GC.

102km

CRASH: Leading the break on a tight hairpin, Atapuma - the former red jersey - hits the deck after losing his front wheel on a ratty piece of tarmac. He's a bit bashed up - with a bloody elbow and a sore wrist - but nothing too serious, and gets back on his bike after taking stock of the situation.

- -

Over the second climb of the day, the Cat.3 Alto la Escrita, the leaders held a gap of 2:24 as Elissonde took the maximum 3pts ahead of Lopez and Atapuma. And it's on the descent of that climb where we pick up the race now...

- -

This break formed near the top of the first climb of the day, the Cat.1 Puerto de la Alisas. Lopez crested the summit in pole position to take 10pts in the KOM competition ahead of Meintjes, Brambilla, Atapuma and Kennaugh. That said, it was Hardy who made the first move and forced the break to formed. They were joined by Elissonde on the descent. Movistar reacted but then cooled things off when Alejandro Valverde picked up an inopportune puncture.

105km

So, the seven leaders are: Peter Kennaugh and David Lopez (Team Sky), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ), Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep), Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) and Romain Hardy (Cofidis).;

110km

We join the race live with 110km remaining and there's a break of seven riders with a lead of over two minutes over the peloton. Most interestingly, there are two Sky riders in the break... Chris Froome is either planning a move or is worried that Alberto Contador may try something sneaky like he did in Fuente De four years ago...

13:50

Yesterday, Britain's Chris Froome pipped rival Nairo Quintana to win stage 11 at Peña Cabarga to steal back some precious seconds on the Colombian in the battle for the Vuelta's red jersey. The two outstanding GC riders of the 71st edition of the Vuelta exchanged blows on the steep double-digit gradients of the 5.6km climb before Froome accelerated around the final bend to take the spoils and snatch four bonus seconds over Quintana, who settled for second place in the 168.6km stage from Colunga in northern Spain.

13:45

Hola and bienvenido to live coverage of stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana - a 193.2km ride from Los Corrales de Buelna to Bilbao which features four categorised climb before a fast downhill finish in the Basque port - ideal terrain for a break to go the distance...