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04/09/19 - 11:51
Saint-Palais - Dantxarinea
Vuelta a España • Stage11

Saint-Palais - Dantxarinea
Vuelta a España - 4 September 2019

Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:51 on 4 September 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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The Jumbo-Visma team of red jersey Primoz Roglic cross the line 18'35" down. So, no major changes in any of the classifications today - except those three extra points for Madrazo in the polka dot jersey standings.


Angel Madrazo has just crossed the line, on his own and well behind Ben O'Connor. He's still 1.5km ahead of the peloton.


Meanwhile, the Jumbo-Visma-led peloton are still over 8km from the finish. Still in France, in fact.


What a Vuelta the wildcard teams are having: Burgos-BH have a stage and the polka dot jersey with Madrazo, Cofidis their stage through Jesus Herrada and one day in red with Nicolas Edet, and now Euskadi-Murias have a win on their own turf. Just Caja-Rural now - they were runners up today, and a few days ago, too...


Today's stage result as Iturria takes his first ever pro win.


Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) pipped Lawson Craddock (EF Education-First) and the other chasers for second place six seconds down. They came close but not close enough.


Victory for Mikel Iturria (Euskadi-Murias) - and a quite spectacular one, too.


Magical stuff...


He's not giving up! The gap came down to a few seconds - but he's now on a downhill ride towards the finish after the flamme rouge.


Howson and Ghebreigzabhier ride clear and have Iturria in their sights.


Howson and Craddock are the strongest through a roundabout - but they still trail Iturria by 10 seconds.


The chasers are starting to look at each other - and that's never a good sign.


And still, it's 11 seconds for Iturria out ahead. He's entering Urdax Dantxarinea and riding like a man possessed.


The five riders should be able to combine to reel in the lone leader - unless people start to become passengers...


Still 12 seconds for never-say-die Iturria over the five chasers.


Before the finish we have, quite inexplicably, the intermediate sprint. Which no one cares about and I have no clue who wins. Well, I do, it's Iturria, by default, but I don't know what happens behind. Why they placed it here is anyone's guess.


Just 12 seconds now for Iturria as Craddock joins the chase party behind.


Cavagna has been defeated buy this climb. Lastra, Howson Bidard and Ghebreigzabhier continue the chase. But Iturria still has 15 seconds.


Ghebreigzabhier zips right past the two others, who in turn are soon joined by Howson and Bidard.


Our lone leader Mikel Iturria is onto the final uncategorised climb that takes the riders back into Spain. He has about 20 seconds over what is now a chasing trio.


It's actually Lastra, not Aranburu, with Cavagna. They're being pursued by the interminably named Ghebreigzabhier.


The chasers come back together but there's no cohesion. Aranburu attacks again - and then Cavagna, back from his puncture, powers past the others in pursuit.


Still 32 seconds for Iturria. What a story this could be for the rider from the Basque team...


That Fabbro move came to nothing and it's now Aranburu who kicks clear. Thomas, who was dropped, is back on - but there's a split now in this chase group thanks to Aranburu's dig.


Cavagna punctures! Fabbro attacks!


The gap is up to 43 seconds for Iturria. He has never won a race as a pro, although he finished sixth in a stage in the 2014 Tour of Qinghai Lake.


This is 27-year-old Iturria's second appearance in the Vuelta and he's never finished a stage higher than 15th place. With just 12 left in the frame, he'll beat that today. But can he win it? He has 35 seconds to play with - and clearly knows these roads like the back of his hand.


Behind our lone leader Iturria, the remnants of the break are all back together - that's 11 riders, with just O'Connor and Madrazo from the original 14-man break done and dusted. The gap is 20 seconds with the pack now at 16'30".


Bravo, Mikel Iturria! The Basque rider now only rejoins the leaders but catches them dozing and zips clear.


The seven leaders are Bidard, Izagirre, Craddock, Howson, Ghebreigzabhier, Aranburu and Lastra, who managed to bridge over on the descent. Fabbro is no longer there because he's picked up a flat at the worst possible moment. Tough luck for the Katusha rider. Oh, and we're now back in France by the way.


We're back to having seven riders out ahead as the leaders zip through Dantxarinea.


The leaders will soon passed through Urdax-Dantxarinea, where the finish of today's stage will be. They're off on a loop back into France before returning for the finale. The peloton are 15 minutes down now.


Aranburu, who picked up the final 1pt over the summit, has joined Craddock and Howson. Bidard, Izagirre, Ghebreigzaghier and Fabbro follow, with Arcas, Cavagna, Thomas, Lastra and Iturria further back. The peloton is 14 minutes in arrears.


Howson has zipped clear to take the maximum 3pts over the top of the Col d'Otxondo ahead of Craddock, with the others just behind.


Fabbro and Bidard manage to join the leaders, so we have seven ahead.


We now have five riders out ahead after that duo bridged over. Bidard and Fabbro are trying to bridge over from the other five - Arcas, Cavagna, Thomas, Lastra and Iturria.


It looks like Cavagna is in some difficulty with the main break. Howson and Ghebreigzabhier, meanwhile, try to bridge over to the three leaders.


We're onto the third and final categorised climb, the Cat.3 Col de Otxondo (7.6km at 4.7%). Ben O'Connor has also been shelled out of the break, and rides 30 seconds back with Madrazo.


The leaders have company: Lawson Craddock is coming up behind and will soon make this a trio.


Basque duo Izagirre and Aranburu - who will be teammates at Astana next season - now have 30 seconds on the break and a whopping 12 minutes on the peloton, who are led over the top by Jumbo-Visma who have just done a mass musette collection of drinks and snacks. This angers Thomas De Gendt, who rides around and a few lengths clear.


The two leaders have about 15 seconds on the other escapees with Madrazo a further 10 seconds back.


The break are now back in Spain. The peloton, 10'33" down, are still in France, edging ever closer to better coffee but an absence of vegetables.


It's Aranburu who takes the maximum 5pts over the top ahead of Izagirre (3pts). Craddock leads the break over for the final point.


There's going to be no more KoM points for Madrazo today - the Spaniard has now been dropped after the latest of these accelerations.


Another attack from Gorka Izagirre, and it's covered by Alex Aranburu.


Now it's Ben O'Connor who throws down the hammer. There's a bit of a frenzy but it comes back together with Madrazo still hanging on the rear.


Izagirre ups the tempo on the front of the break and strings things out accordingly, with the man in polka dots, Angel Madrazo, holding on for grim life at the back. It's extremely pretty now that they have emerged from the trees and are following the ridgeline towards the summit, which is in Spain.


The break is onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.2 Col d'Ispéguy (7.2km at 7.1%), with the gap pushing nine 10 minutes.


We're a couple of kilometres away from the major test of the day, where we make see a shake out in the break. The gap is up to 9'18".


Jumbo-Visma, Movistar, Astana, UAE-Team Emirates: the teams of the top five on GC ride in that order - the order that reflects their positions on GC - as the peloton trickles along with a deficit of 8'30" on this 14-man break.


The peloton is passing through the feed zone. For many, this will be the third consecutive rest day after Monday's official rest day and yesterday's time trial.


There's a bit of movement in the break as three riders take advantage of a brief road to open up a small gap. It's not so much an attack as an acceleration, but it sparks a bit of a frenzy for the others to close the gap.


It's a strong break, this 14-man move, with multiple candidates for the stage win - most notably Izagirre, Cavagna, Madrazo, Aranburu, Lastra and O'Connor. The gap is still over eight minutes with Jumbo-Visma riding on the front of the pack.


It's that man Madrazo who takes the maximum 3pts over the top of the climb ahead of O'Connor (2pts) and Izagirre (1pt). The gap is up to eight minutes over the pack.


The break is onto the first climb of the day, the Cat.3 Col d'Osquich (4.9km at 6.1%). Some good info here from local journalist Pete Cossins, who notes that this climb was used on the Tour de France route in 1910 when the race first ventured into the mountains.


Video - Roglic: We have to be strong and focused every day


Having dropped to six minutes, the gap is back up to seven minutes now as we near the foot of the first climb. I'm just off to grab my lunch. I'll be back for the first of three categorised tests...


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Video - Doull: 'A day for the break'


Madrazo told this morning: "We’ve had almost two days to chill. We’ll try again today with Burgos-BH. There are points to take for the mountain standings but there are only two rivals who can take the jersey from us and I won’t get crazy chasing the break. There’s still a lot of ground from here to Madrid, with stages where it will be more important to be in the break to defend the jersey."


Madrazo is going to extend his lead in the breakaway competition today - and if he plays his cards right, the KoM classification too. The Spaniard, who won Stage 5 quite gloriously last week, has been in the polka dot jersey pretty much from start to finish. There are 11 points up for grabs today so he could move onto 40pts if all goes according to play. No one in the break is a rival to him in the climbers' competition, with the highest points tally being 3pts for both Lastra and O'Connor. I guess it all depends on whether this break splits up on the second and biggest climb of the three, the Cat.2 Col d'Ispeguy.


The race's top sprinter doesn't think he'll be in action today...

Video - Sam Bennett: ‘Today is about the breakaway’


A snap from the bucolic idyll that greets the riders at today's finish in Urdax-Dantxarinea.


We've got over the initial series of undulations that punctuated the opening third of this stage. Now we have a flat run to the foot of the first categorised climb, which comes up in about 20km. The gap is down to 6'50" but it still looks good for the break.


That man Cyril Barthe has been reabsorbed by the pack after his botched attempt to reach the break. As we mentioned, these are his home roads. La Vuelta's official website reports that Barthe told today's L'Equipe: "The stage will be ridden on my training roads. It’s never really flat, even quite demanding. The climbs of Osquich, Otxondo and mostly Ispéguy aren’t so easy and the road surface is not perfect. It’s a stage that can favour a puncheur-climber in the break."


A snap of the break - and most notably Spaniards Lastra and Aranburu - from Caja-Rural.


The gap continues to grow. It's 7'05" at the latest check with that man Barthe yet to be reeled in. The 14 leaders are: Jorge Arcas (Movistar Team), François Bidard (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Gorka Izagirre (Astana Pro Team), Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Lawson Craddock (EF Education First), Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data), Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Alex Aranburu, Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Mikel Iturria (Euskadi-Murias).


I think it's fair to day that it's a day for the breakaway. Even I could have told you that before the whistle...


Thomas and Lastra have now caught the break and so we have 14 riders out ahead with a growing gap of six minutes on the peloton. The break has gone over a short but steep hill - another uncategorised amuse-bouche to the larger cols ahead - and have completed the zippy descent.


An update on the former red jersey Nicolas Roche, who was forced to withdraw only his second Grand Tour in 22 attempts. It turns out that his injuries were worse than first expected...


There's no threat to the red jersey from any of these twelve riders in the break and so the Jumbo-Visma team of Primoz Roglic won't be overly concerned about chasing this down. Ben O'Connor is the best placed on GC but he's over 37 minutes down.


Barthe may be riding on his training roads, but he's not been able to use his local knowledge to close the gap. He gives up chasing potatoes and waits for the pack. The 23-year-old Grand Tour debutant will be disappointed with that because it's not often that the big races come to these Pyrenean foothills.


Cavagna is not chasing with his teammate Stybar - it's actually the Frenchman Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ). In any case, Cavagna is now with the main break, while Thomas still chases with Lastra around 30 seconds back. Barthe, the only Frenchman in the Basque Euskadi team, is a further 15 seconds back. The peloton trails by 3'30".


A reminder of who leads all the different classifications: Roglic leads the overall and points classifications - although Quintana will wear the green jersey because the Slovenian is in red. That's a straight swap between the pair, with Roglic leading the Colombian by 89pts to 70pts. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) still leads the youth classification but his gap over Tadej Pogacar is down to 54 seconds after the TT. Meanwhile, Angel Madrazo leads the KoM standings by 29pts to Geoffrey Bouchard's 21pts. The Spaniard was docked 4pts last week for drafting following a puncture.


More riders are trying to join the break: Deceuninck-QuickStep duo Zdenek Stybar and Rémi Cavagna, with Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). They're around 20 seconds down with another rider, Cyril Barthe (Euskadi-Muria), in hot pursuit. The peloton is two minutes back now, so it looks like this is how it's going to settle.


We now have 11 riders out ahead - so either that initial break was bolstered by the arrival of six more bodies, or a new move formed. They are: Jorge Arcas (Movistar Team), François Bidard (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Gorka Izagirre (Astana Pro Team), Lawson Craddock (EF Education First), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data), Matteo Fabbro (Katusha Alpecin), Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Mikel Iturria (Euskadi-Murias).


That nameless five-man group looks to have been reeled in as the pack crests the top of the uncategorised hump that gave this stage a stinging start.


A quick reminder of the little-known breakaway classification, which is being led by Angel Madrazo of Spain, who has notched 451km in front of the peloton so far in this race. He's followed by compatriot Jesus Herrada on 310km, then the Belgian Dylan Teuns on 276km, Spaniard David de la Cruz on 271km and Colombian Sergio Henao on 266km.


Attacks from the outset as five go clear!


They're off! The remaining 166 riders zip through the French Basque Country at the start of today's stage...


Here's what's in store today...

Video - La Vuelta profile stage 11


Here's the new-look general classification with Roglic sitting pretty at the top of the ski jump ramp with a gap of almost two minutes to his nearest rival, the veteran Alejandro Valverde, 10 years his senior.


Yesterday, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) took control at La Vuelta after a storming time trial victory on Stage 10 moved him into red. He crushed the 36km course – oddly situated entirely in France, the third time in history this has happened in La Vuelta – to finish first in 47'05". Patrick Bevan took second in 47'30", but all eyes were fixed on a weary Nairo Quintana as the Colombian in red came home in 50'11" to wrap up the day's action.


Hola and welcome to live coverage of Stage 11 of La Vuelta as the race returns to Spanish soil for an undulating 180km ride from Saint Palais to Urdax-Dantxarinea - ideal breakaway terrain with three lower category climbs and a technical finale.