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Vuelta a España - Avilés - Alto de l'Angliru


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  1. 0km - They're arriving in drips and drabs now. Here's Nibali, who crosses the line 2:36 down. There is going to be a massive shake up tonight - but Cobo will be the man in red after that magnificent performance.

  2. 0km - Wiggins crosses the line with Igor Anton, 1:20 down. So, that's effectively a 1:40 drop to Cobo.

  3. 0km - Here come the others - and Wiggins is not there! Poels takes second, Menchov third and Froome fourth. They were 48 seconds down.

  4. 0km - What a win for Spain's Juan Jose Cobo!

  5. 0.2km - The gap is 1:10 now we're hearing...

  6. 0.5km - We have no idea what is happening with the Wiggins group - the time bonuses for them could be crucial. If Menchov can take second, that may end Team Sky's reign on top.

  7. 0.8km - Cobo still has to tame a 18% section before the finish. He looks concentrated, but in quite serious pain.

  8. 1km - Just 1km to go for Cobo now. What a ride this is for the Spaniard.

  9. 1.5km - The gap is 43 seconds apparently. With 20 seconds bonus, that will be enough: he's only 55 down in the GC.

  10. 1.5km - Cobo is now onto another 20% section. He's surely in red tonight - especially with the time bonus.

  11. 1.5km - We have no idea how Wiggins and Froome are doing because the motorcycle that went down was carrying the TV camera trailing them...

  12. 2km - Cobo passes the 2km-to-go banner. The road flattens out a little and, thankfully, there are very few spectators on this segment. I say flattens out - it's still 11 percent!

  13. 2km - Another TV motorcycle falls over - the gradient is too steep and there are too many people on the side of the narrow roads!

  14. 2km - Both Froome and Wiggins look like they're cracking. Poels and Menchov rides on, but the red jersey is almost on the floor.

  15. 2.5km - Further back, Mollema almost comes to a standstill when a motorbike comes to a sudden stop in front of him.

  16. 2.5km - We're onto the section which has the 23.5% gradient. It's brutal - and the fans love it. Wiggins looks to be suffering - and Froome looks much stronger.

  17. 2.5km - Cobo has 40 seconds now. Froome is out of his saddle ahead of Wiggins, with Menchov doing his Silent Assassin thing with aplomb, and the young Poels hanging in well.

  18. 3km - Loads and loads of fans now - and they're getting very close to Cobo as he starts another 20% section.

  19. 3km - Rodriguez is doing his best to return to the chasing group - he has it in his sights, but it may be too big an ask for the green jersey.

  20. 3km - Cobo is onto a 15% section now. The fans are out in their droves now. It's nothing like the Tour, but the endless "Venga, venga, venga" is defeaning.

  21. 3.5km - Rodriguez is being distanced now by the chasing group...

  22. 3.5km - The road ahead is shrouded in mist as Cobo passes a fan dressed up in a gorilla suit. Surreal.

  23. 4km - This is a superb ride for Cobo, who now has 30 seconds. If he continues at this rate, he'll be in red tonight. Follow Blazin' Saddles on Twitter

  24. 4km - Just five riders now in the chasing group: Wiggins, Froome, Rodriguez, Poels and Menchov. Lone leader Cobo has 26 seconds now.

  25. 4.5km - Wout Poels is there for Vacensoleil, but Jakob Fuglsang is not in this chasing group of six riders, which has just dropped Anton.

  26. 5km - Cobo has 13 seconds at the moment as he passes the 5km-to-go banner. Rodriguez is still there, as is Menchov, but Mollema has been dropped.

  27. 5.5km - Sastre now dropped by the main group. Froome and Wiggins still setting the pace. Anton is being caught by them - and Cobo is not that much further ahead. Martin beginning to sink back.

  28. 5.5km - Cobo catches Anton. But further back, Nibali has been dropped by the Wiggins group.

  29. 6km - Froome comes to the front to help pace Wiggins. It will be interesting to see if Froome rides for himself if Wiggins pops. He's only seven seconds down on his team-mate in the GC...

  30. 6km - Attack by Cobo! The Spaniard breaks clear of the pack... and Wiggins cannot follow.

  31. 6km - Wiggins moves to the front to shadow Cobo, the danger man. They're catching Martin and Sastre. Anton has about 17 seconds. It's 23% now!

  32. 6.5km - David de la Fuente (Geox) looks like he's in tears as he's dropped by the main group. Meanwhile, Dan Martin (Garmin) attacks off the front in pursuit of Anton.

  33. 6.5km - Anton must have refound his legs because he looks good. Sastre is struggling to hold his wheel.

  34. 7km - Attack by Igor Anton of Euskaltel! He catches Sastre.

  35. 7km - Barredo is swept up. Amets Txurruka is on the front for Euskaltel. They're returning on Sastre on this 20% section. This is brutal.

  36. 8km - Sastre passes the 8km-to-go banner. He's on a slight downhill section. Barredo is 11 seconds down and the peloton another five seconds back.

  37. 8.5km - The gradient is still a comparatively low 9% at the moment - it will increase to 20+ soon. Barredo is being caught by a group of about 20 riders including all the big race favourites.

  38. 9km - Barredo looks in good nick - unlike Moncoutie, who has finally been dropped by the leading group.

  39. 9km - Sastre has 11 seconds over Barredo, who is about 6 seconds ahead of the Euskaltel-led peloton.

  40. 9.5km - Sastre is grimacing somewhat as he continues his ride on the front.

  41. 10km - Attack from Rabobank's Carlos Barredo. His jersey is totally unzipped.

  42. 10km - Sastre has about 15 seconds on the pack, which is still being led by Liquigas's Peter Sagan, the double stage winner making his debut appearance in the Vuelta.

  43. 11km - Polka dot jersey David Moncoutie is tiring. The Frenchman is on the back of the main group.

  44. 11km - Nibali has two team-mates, including Sagan, helping him on the front. Wiggins is there, as is Cobo, Mollema, Fuglsang and the other favourites. Geox's Carlos Sastre makes the first dig on the front and pulls clear.

  45. 12km - Liquigas set the pace on the front as Bruseghin is reeled in. Wiggins, who lost a bit of time on the descent, has to pull forward to join them. He's there with Sky team-mate Chris Froome.

  46. 13km - We're onto the final climb of the day, the HC Alto de l'Angliru - one of the most demanding in professional bike racing. The steepest part has a gradient of 23.6 percent (that's no typo), and the final 6km has an average of 13.1 percent.

  47. 14km - Bruseghin has dropped the others on the descent. But the bunch is just 10 seconds down now.

  48. 15km - The four previous winners on the Angliru have all been pure climbers: José María Jiménez, Gilberto Simoni, Roberto Heras and Alberto Contador. Who is going to be the fifth winner atop the legendary climb?

  49. 16km - Bruseghin and Martin have caught Moncoutie and Sastre.

  50. 17km - No surprises: it's Liquigas leading the descent on the front of the slimmed-down peloton.

  51. 18km - The peloton has splintered somewhat on this descent. The two leaders of Moncoutie and Sastre have 10 seconds.

  52. 19km - There are a few drops of rain as the peloton starts their descent. Moncoutie leads Sastre on the downhill. The French veteran doesn't like technical downhills.

  53. 20km - Order over the top of the Alto del Cordal: 1. Moncoutie (10pts), 2. Sastre (6pts), 3. Martin (4pts), 4. Bruseghin (2pts). Moncoutie looking good for a fourth successive KOM title. The peloton passes 23 seconds down.

  54. 21km - Moncoutie starts to ride away from his fellow escapees. Only Sastre can hold his wheel on this 10 percent section. Martin is holding on, but Bruseghin is fading.

  55. 21km - Moncoutie leads the break. They still only have 14 seconds, but all the French veteran will be after is the points atop the climb. He knows that he has no chance in winning this stage.

  56. 22km - Chavanel, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) and Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) are dropping back with a load of others. Cancellara too, now.

  57. 22km - Wiggins, riding a very small gear, is looking very comfortable as he holds Ligthart's wheel on the front of the pack.

  58. 23km - Bruseghin is the best-placed rider in the GC of these four leaders, 4:40 down on Wiggins.

  59. 23km - The four-man group have 15 seconds as Ligthart leads the chase. Cancellara (Leopard) and Sagan (Liquigas) are right on his wheel.

  60. 23km - Polka dot jersey David Moncoutie has joined Breseghin and Sastre. Dan Martin is there too.

  61. 23km - Bruseghin was on the offensive yesterday and here he is again, his shoulders and head swaying as he tries to find a rhythm. Sastre is doing his best to keep up. Off the back of the bunch is Rein Taaramae, yesterday's winner, who draws a finger across his neck with a smile.

  62. 24km - Astana's Fredrik Kessiakoff, who lost time yesterday with a stomach upset, has already been dropped by the peloton. Those four tiders are back with the main bunch now, and Ligthart leads, with Wiggins tucked in right behind Cancellara. BMC's Matthias Frank has a pop, which is countered by Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar) and Geox's Carlos Sastre. They catch Geschke, who is now pedalling squares.

  63. 25km - Geschke has about 14 seconds on the peloton, which is being driven along by Dutch champion Pim Ligthart, who has actually opened up a small gap and taken three riders along with him.

  64. 26km - They're onto the punchy Cat.1 Alto del Cordal (5.3km at an average gradient of 6.6 percent). Geschke had popped off alone after the other two leaders sit up and are caught.

  65. 28km - Euskaltel and Vacansoleil on the front, with French champion Sylvain Chavanel looming. He tried to break clear four times early in the stage - each time in vain. The gap is just 15 seconds now.

  66. 30km - The trio have just 40 seconds now and so will be swallowed up in not so long.

  67. 32km - Jakob Fuglsang actually thinks that Chris Froome, and not red jersey Bradley Wiggins, will win the Vuelta. The Leopard Trek rider, currently fifth in the GC, said: "Chris Froome is the big favorite to win the Vuelta. He looks stronger than Wiggins on the climbs."

  68. 33km - At this rate, the three leaders will be caught before the start of the penultimate climb. The gap is down to just 1:28.

  69. 34km - The Vuelta is "ours to lose", Bradley Wiggins said after extending his lead to seven seconds on Saturday. After dropping nearest rival Vincenzo Nibali of Italy close to the summit of the Farrapona climb at the end of the 175.8-km 14th stage, the Briton now leads from compatriot and Sky team mate Chris Froome. Wiggins: Race is ours to lose

  70. 36km - It's Stijn Devolder who is setting the fierce pace for Vacansoleil on the front of the peloton, which passes through the sprint at Mieres 2:18 down on the three leaders. Their advantage is dropping fast.

  71. 38km - Order over the second intermediate sprint: 1. Talansky, 2. Champion, 3. Geschke. But it's fully uncontested.

  72. 40km - The gap is dropping - 3:30 at the latest check. Wiggins is safely tucked in amongst his Sky team-mates just behind a bunch of Vacansoleil riders on the front, plus a rogue Euskaltel man.

  73. 46km - Vacansoleil have come to the front of the peloton just as a whole host of riders decide to take a call of nature and pull up on the side of the road. The bunch is quite strung out now as they zip through the valley alongside a river. With the leaders, it's Greschke setting the pace as they enter a tunnel.

  74. 50km - The riders are onto a gradual uphill drag towards the second intermediate sprint before the final two deciding climbs. Saxo Bank and Euskaltel are on the front of the peloton, but there's no real interest to pull in the three leaders yet - the peloton is happy to keep them out, effectively neutralising the stage. The gap is 5:10.

  75. 55km - Order over the summit of the Cat.2 Alto de Tenebredo: 1. Geschke (5pts), 2. Talansky (3pts), 3. Champion (1pt). No change then in the KOM standings: David Moncoutie (Cofidis) is 12 points ahead of Matteo Montaguti (AG2R) as the French veteran bids to win a fourth-straight polka dot title in Madrid.

  76. 60km - The leaders are onto the first climb of the day, the Cat.2 Alto de Tenebredo. Rosendo has been caught by the bunch, who are five minutes behind Champion, Talansky and Geschke. Frenchman Champion is the best-placed rider of the three escapees - one hour and 34 minutes down on Wiggins in the GC.

  77. 65km - The three leaders pass through the feeding zone with a lead of 4:35 over the pack. Rosendo has pretty much given up on the chase now - he's about to be swept up by the pack.

  78. 70km - Finally, Spain's Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia), the lone chasing rider, is the most experienced Vuelta rider of the four out ahead of the peloton. The 29-year-old is in his fourth edition of the Spanish race, although he is yet to secure a stage win. In fact, Rosendo has just one UCI win to his name - and it came this year in the minor Rutas de America race in Trinidad. He's currently 1:42 down on the three leaders, with the pack riding at 5:22.

  79. 75km - Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) is riding his debut Vuelta, aged 25. The German won a stage in the Criterium International earlier this year. Garmin's Andrew Talansky, 22, is also riding his first Vuelta. The American has no wins to his name this year, but picked up the white jersey in the Tour of Romandie. France's Dimitri Champion (Ag2R) is riding his third Vuelta, but his first since 2008. His 28th birthday is just two days away, and Champion has no UCI win since 2009.

  80. 80km - Katusha and Euskaltel are combining on the front of the peloton in a bid to keep the gap at a reasonable level. It's still around the six-minutes mark.

  81. 85km - Cruelly separated on Friday by Vincenzo Nibali's crafty bonus-second sprint, British combo Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome restored their historic one-two at the top of the Vuelta standings on Saturday. So, it's official - Friggins are the new Frandy, only more explosive and exciting - and being British, infinitely more beefy and macho. Oh, and they might win something too. Blazin' Saddles: Friggins back on top

  82. 90km - Rosendo isn't making much headway: the Spaniard is still 1:30 down on the three leaders, who's gap to the peloton has increased to just under six minutes.

  83. 95km - Talansky takes the intermediate sprint ahead of Geschke and Champion. No change in the green jersey standings, with Joaquim Rodriguez leading Bauke Mollema by three points, with Peter Sagan lurking another three points behind. The average speed for the first hour today was 42.5 km/h.

  84. 100km - As they approach the slight uncategorised climb before the intermediate sprint, the trio have a lead of 1:10 over lone chaser Rosendo and a huge five minutes over the peloton.

  85. 105km - We have a break that has stuck - and Chavanel is not in it! Simon Geschke (Skil-Shimano) has another pop at breaking away, and takes with him Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo) and Dimitri Champion (Ag2R). They have a minute over the bunch, with Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia Caja Grande) in pursuit.

  86. 110km - Horrach and Kangert are reeled in on a zippy descent, but Chavanel maintains a small gap on the front. He's joined by Skil-Shimano's Simon Geschke and they build up a 10-second gap. But it doesn't stick - and once again Chavanel will have to make do with riding in the bunch.

  87. 115km - More movement off the front of the peloton: Astana's Tanel Kangert opens a small gap, prompting a reply by that man Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step). Katusha's Juan Horrach joins them as Liquigas, Garmin and Euskaltel combine on the front of the peloton in a bid to pull them back.

  88. 120km - Today's stage will build slowly until the big showdown on the Angliru. We have an intermediate sprint after 45km, and then after the feeding zone, the first climb of the day, the Cat.2 Alto de Tenebredo. After a second intermediate sprint, there's the Cat.1 Alto del Cordal, which has an average gradient of 9.6 percent. Then, to conclude matters, the brutal Alto de l'Angliru: 12.2km long at an average gradient of 10.2 percent and a maximum slope of a staggering 23.5 percent.

  89. 125km - France's Sylvain Chavanel is mighty determined to get away today - he's just had a third pop at breaking clear. He takes Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano) with him this time. BMC's Martin Kohler and Omega Pharma-Lotto's Gert Dockx join the two riders, but Ag2R lead the chase and bring it back together.

  90. 130km - Spain's Egoi Martinez has a pop, but the Euskaltel veteran is reeled in. Chavanel has another go at breaking clear, but once again he's thwarted by the bunch. A reminder of the GC: Red jersey Bradley Wiggins leads Sky team-mate Chris Froome by seven seconds, with Dutch youngster Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) in third, at 36. Spain's Juan Jose Cobo (Geox) rose to forth yesterday, just 55 seconds down, but the defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) dropped to seventh. Vuelta standings and results

  91. 135km - Yesterday, Estonia's Rein Taaramae soloed to a strong win in the mountainous stage 14 of the Vuelta as red jersey Bradley Wiggins cemented his race lead. The 24-year-old Cofidis all-rounder secured the first Grand Tour victory of his career after breaking clear from a 15-man escape group on the second of three climbs in the 176-km stage from Astorga to La Farrapona - Lagos de Somiedo. Report: Taaramae reigns in Spain

  92. 140km - And straight away we have an attack from Quick Step. It looks like French national champion Sylvain Chavanel... and he's joined by Lampre's Przemyslaw Niemiec. But Movistar lead the chase and bring it back together as one.

  93. 142km - They're underway! In four hours' time we'll have a very good idea who is going to win the 66th edition of the Vuelta.

  94. 12:40 - We have 178 riders who have taken to the start today. Yesterday saw the retirement of Michele Scarponi (Lampre), who didn't sign on, and Karsten Kroon (BMC), who dramatically fell down a wooded ravine and broke his arm.

  95. 12:35 - It's another cooler day in north Spain, with the sun peaking out between the clouds and temperatures in the high teens. Weather report for Aviles

  96. 12:30 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 15 of this increasingly thrilling Vuelta a Espana, the queen stage, a 144km ride from Aviles to the legendary summit finish of the Angliru in northern Spain.