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Vuelta a España - Faustino V - Peña Cabarga


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  1. 0km - The gap is 13 seconds - Cobo lost one second at the finish today. What a ride from Chris Froome. Wiggins finishes 39 back in 12th place to retain his 3rd place in the GC - but it's a two-horse race now.

  2. 0km - Froome collapses after that winning ride. He did all he could - and can't have any regrets. Cobo did such a stellar job to regain his composure and return in the final kilometre. This race is not over yet!

  3. 0km - Froome takes 20 bonus seconds to Cobo's 12 - which means he will be 14 seconds down tonight in the GC. How close is this Vuelta?!

  4. 0km - Cobo looks to have it in the bag, but Froome attacks on the final tight bend - and takes the win!

  5. 0.1km - Cobo is right back now - and it's going to be a sprint finish!

  6. 0.2km - Cobo has all the fans behind him - and he's returning on Froome!

  7. 0.3km - The British rider is riding into the race lead - he'll get 20 seconds bonus and how many more? Perhaps not many, because Cobo is finding his rhythm. And the Spaniard will get bonus seconds for second place as well...

  8. 0.5km - NOW FROOME ATTACKS! The Sky rider blasts clear and Cobo pops!!

  9. 1km - Now Cobo hits the front! Only Froome can follow him...

  10. 1.2km - The Belgian goes again, but Nieve reacts to Van den Broeck's attack.

  11. 1.5km - Van den Broeck has been caught and Wiggins looks to have been dropped. Cobo leads Nieve on the front.

  12. 1.5km - Van den Broeck blasts clear, catches the three leaders... Rodriguez has been dropped.

  13. 2km - Sorensen catches Martin and Bruseghin ahead of the short downhill section before the final steep push.

  14. 2.5km - Menchov and Van den Broeck are on the front, with Cobo just behind, shadowed by the Sky pair and Nibali.

  15. 3km - Bruseghin and Martin have 14 seconds on the pack under the 3km-to-go banner.

  16. 3km - Lampre's Marzio Bruseghin has now caught Dan Martin - and he tries to attack him immediately.

  17. 3.5km - Froome and Wiggins are side by side, seven riders back in the pack. Bruseghin catches and passes Sorensen.

  18. 4km - Superb riding by Dan Martin, who won stage 9 to La Covatilla last week. He ploughs forward in that trademark bouncing style of his. He has nine seconds on the chasers, and 12 on the pack. Bruseghin has joined Sorensen in pursuit.

  19. 4.5km - Txurruka can't keep up with Martin, and the Irishman pulls clear on his own. There's an attack further back from Chris Anker Sorensen of Saxo Bank.

  20. 5km - Garmin's Dan Martin makes the next attack. He's followed by a Euskaltel man.

  21. 5.5km - Carlos Sastre has already cracked. Euskaltel's Amets Txurruka leads the pack, with Cobo just behind.

  22. 5.5km - Attack by Rabobank's Steven Kruijswijk. But it doesn't last long and the Dutchman is pulled back.

  23. 6km - The peloton are on the final climb of the day to Pena Cabarga!

  24. 7km - It will take an almighty bonk by Cobo for the Spaniard not to be in red tonight. Of course, if Froome wins the stage and the Spaniard is a few seconds back, then the 20 bonus seconds will overturn things - but is that likely?

  25. 8km - Omega Pharma-Lotto are on the front now alongside Katusha. The Belgian team are yet to score a win in this year's race. Van den Broeck has been a bit underwhelming too. Perhaps today will change that?

  26. 9km - The peloton passes an unfinished roundabout. The workmen, in their hard hats and yellow jackets, stand on a bridge overlooking the road and watch the action pass by.

  27. 9.5km - That final climb is coming up in just three kilometres now... hold on to your seats.

  28. 10km - De la Fuente comes forward to do a policing job for the second intermediate sprint, which is uncontested. The Spaniard takes third behind two Katusha rider.

  29. 12km - Katusha still do all the work on the front. Today's stage is the final summit finish in this year's Vuelta - and the final destination of the red jersey could well come down to the next 20 minutes of riding.

  30. 13km - The pace has slowed down a bit now on a small rise ahead of the second intermediate sprint, and then today's eagerly anticipated finale.

  31. 15km - Igor Anton is on the back of the bunch at the moment. It was during the stage to Pena Cabarga last year that Anton, then in the red jersey, crashed out of the Vuelta. He'll be motivated for getting a result today...

  32. 16km - Van Avermaet doesn't have the legs to stay out in front and he's swept back up by Katusha.

  33. 17km - The peloton zips through a series of very pretty towns and villages. It's rather tense as a BMC rider pings off the front: it's Greg Van Avermaet.

  34. 20km - Geox have this totally under control - despite that hiccup on the opening TTT, the Spanish team have been superb in this year's race. Especially in the light of their disappointing Giro and their Tour absence. It's Katusha now who're back on the front. Despite hurting his arm yesterday, Purito wants to make it a hat-trick of wins.

  35. 24km - Before that final climb there is also the small matter of the intermediate sprint and its bonus seconds - that could be vital.

  36. 26km - The escapees have been swallowed up and it's back as one now - albeit, a very long, stretched out peloton, with multiple splits in it. Geox look strong. It's going to be a tall order for Sky today - especially seeing that neither Froome nor Wiggins are exactly what you'd call explosive riders.

  37. 29km - David de la Fuente is on the front ahead of his Geox team-mate Juan Jose Cobo. The peloton is coming back together a little after a series of small splits. Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez, winner at Pena Cabarga last year, is up at the front too. Lastras and Kashechkin are reeled back in.

  38. 31km - Pablo Lastras (Movistar) and Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) have pulled off the front of the bunch on this quick, long descent.

  39. 34km - The gap is still just over 30 seconds for the leaders, but no one has tried to break clear on the descent. It looks like it will all come down to that last climb to Pena Cabarga.

  40. 38km - The motorbike cavalcade is gingerly trying to pass the leading riders on these narrow downhill roads. A recipe for disaster!

  41. 42km - Real spectacular scenery for this zippy descent. The sky is blue, the sun is out, the rolling mountains steep and green, and the roads in terrible nick. Yup, this is north Spain all right.

  42. 45km - The peloton passed over just 39 seconds down. They are currently on an incredibly fast descent, which uses a very narrow road with sheer drops on one side. What's more, the road surface is pretty shabby: layered and bumpy.

  43. 47km - Order over the top of the Cat.2 Portillo de Lunada: 1. Bonnafond (5pts), 2. Moncoutie (3pts), 3. Bruseghin (1pt). Clear spoil tactics from Bonnafond there, ensuring his countryman doesn't take maximum points with his team-mate Matteo Montaguti in mind.

  44. 48km - Geox are keeping their man Cobo right on the front just in case there is any movement from Team Sky. With the leaders, Ag2R's Bonnafond breaks clear towards the summit.

  45. 50km - The race is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player: click here to subscribe

  46. 52km - Two more withdrawals to report - and it's two more Movistar riders: Sergio Pardilla and Ignatas Konovalovas.

  47. 53km - Three riders have jumped clear of the peloton in pursuit of the five leaders: Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar), Matthias Frank (BMC) and polka dot jersey David Moncoutie (Cofidis). They catch the break pretty quickly, so we have eight out in front.

  48. 55km - The four chasers catch Kaisen and so the break is back to five. They have 1:15 over the bunch as they approach the nursery slopes of the next climb, the Cat.2 Portillo de Luneda.

  49. 60km - Results of the first intermediate sprint: 1. Kaisen, 2. Van Avermaet, 3. Frohlinger. The Belgian Kaisen passes trough about 10 seconds quicker than the other remaining four escapees, with Chavanel now back in the bunch. No change at the top of the green jersey standings, with Joaquim Rodriguez still in green, 5pts clear of Bauke Mollema and 15 clear of fellow twi-time stage winner Peter Sagan.

  50. 65km - We're approaching the first intermediate sprint as Oliver Kaisen pings off the front. Meanwhile, Sylvain Chavanel has sat up and rejoined the peloton. News just in: Brian Nygaard has quit from his role as general manager of Leopard Trek. Nygaard confirms Leopard departure

  51. 70km - Vacansoleil have come to the front alongside Katusha, but the gap for the six escapees still stays just under the three-minute mark.

  52. 80km - If Wiggins and Froome want to do something on the final climb today, they're going to have to defy a whole load of Spanish supporters dressed up as bison. Rumour has it whole bus loads have arrived from Cantabria, the nearby region of race leader Juan Jose Cobo, and are donning the outfits in homage to the red jersey, whose nickname is 'the bison' due to his stocky build.

  53. 85km - The temperature is up to 26 degrees and it's Katusha yet again on the front of the peloton. Their man Joaquim Rodriguez won at Pena Cabarga last year - and despite a nasty fall yesterday, the Spaniard may be eyeing another stage victory today. The six escapees now have 2:50 over the bunch.

  54. 90km - The six leaders have 1:12 on the bunch. A reminder of who they are: Sylvain Chavanel (QuickStep), Johannes Frohlinger (Skil Shimano), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2R) and Evgeny Petrov (Astana). Off the back of the bunch, young German John Degenkolb (HTC) needs some medical assistance.

  55. 95km - Poels manages to fight his way back into the peloton but another break forms off the front. It includes that man Chavanel again, as well as Johannes Frohlinger (also present in the initial break), Greg Van Avermaet, Olivier Kaisen, Guillaume Bonnafond and Evgeny Petrov. They have about 20 seconds on the bunch.

  56. 100km - The break has been reeled in by the peloton, but the group off the back - which includes Wout Poels and a handful of his Vacansoleil team-mates who have come to the young Dutchman's aid - is now more than a minute.

  57. 105km - The riders pass through the feeding zone. The fierce pace set on the front of the peloton by Katusha has caused some splits. Wout Poels, currently 10th place in the GC, is 47 seconds down in a small chasing group. Meanwhile, the escapees see their lead slashed to 30 seconds.

  58. 110km - The gap drops below the one-minute mark with the feeding zone stil to come. Of course, the big news this morning was the announcement that Team Sky had captured the signature of Riche Porte. The Australian, 26, will join the British-based team at the end of the season. With Porte coming in, will that spur on both Wiggins and Froome to do their best today - their days could well be numbered... Team Sky snap up rising star Porte

  59. 115km - The average speed for the second hour of racing was 45.5 km/h as Katusha start to lay down the hammer on the front of the peloton.

  60. 120km - The lead creeps up to 1:32. /// The general consensus below is that Sky will go for the jugular on the final climb, with Wiggins preparing the way for a counter attack by Chris Froome. Remember, there are 20 bonus seconds up for grabs for the winner - although you'd think the winner will be an out-and-out climber as opposed to one of the Sky pair.

  61. 125km - Those four riders who were dropped on the climb have been caught by the peloton, which is still riding at 1:17. Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin) has a mechanical problem on the descent and is forced back into the bunch, so we now have 16 escapees out in front.

  62. 128km - Order over the top of the Cat.3 Portillo de Bustos: 1. Montaguti (3pts), 2. Caruso (2pts), 3. Lastras (1pt). No surprise there as the former polka dot jersey Montaguti picks up maximum points on the first climb of the day. The Italian is now 19 points behind David Moncoutie in the KOM standings - too much to overturn today, but the next two days feature a whole host of lower-category climbs, so not impossible.

  63. 130km - France's Sylvain Chavanel sets the pace on the front of the leading group, causing a handful of the escapees to be dropped. Those distanced are Oliviera, Vigano, Saramotins and that man Rosendo, who was the most aggressive rider in yesterday's stage.

  64. 132km - The riders are onto the Cat.3 Portillo de Bustos climb. It will be interesting to see if Sky make a move now, or wait until the next climb. Presumably the latter - although they could put in a few testing digs, or send a man up field.

  65. 135km - Another withdrawal to report: Spain's David Lopez of Movistar has thrown in the towel. The gap is 1:18 with Katusha, Euskaltel and Vacansoleil leading the chase.

  66. 140km - It was a tale of two Juan Josés in the Vuelta on Tuesday as JJ Haedo broke his Grand Tour duck while JJ Cobo increased his lead at the top of the GC. If anyone had told Saddles a few weeks ago that, five legs from Madrid, Cobo would be in red the day Haedo actually won a major stage, he would have spluttered 'you must be j-joking'. Saxo Bank's Haedo is a speedster so sluggish he has earned the moniker "The Slowmotion Sprinter" from Danish sports commentator Joergen Leth. Blazin' Saddles: Pay day for JJs

  67. 145km - The gap is 1:15 as we approach the first climb of the day. So, who do you think will win today's stage? Will Sky pair Wiggins and Froome attack? Is Cobo's 22-second lead in the GC enough for the Spaniard to win the Vuelta? Send in your thoughts in the comment box below...

  68. 150km - The best placed rider in this break is Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) - the Croatian is 15:10 down on the red jersey Cobo. It's interesting to see Matteo Montguti (Ag2R) here. The Italian is currently second in the KOM competition - but although there are points up fpr grabs today, surely it's too much for him to overturn a deficit of 22 points and take the polka dot jersey from David Moncoutie. That said, coupled with an attack tomorrow and on Friday, it's theoretically possible...

  69. 155km - The average speed for the first hour of racing today was a very high 48.5 km/h. The lead is up to one minute now, so it's hardly growing fast.

  70. 160km - The leading 21-man group now has 52 seconds on the bunch. The riders are: Kiserlovski (AST), Chavanel (QST), De Greef (OLO), Le Mevel (GRM), Losada (KAT), Barredo (RAB), Frohlinger (SKS), santambrogio (BMC), Caruso (LIQ), Montaguti (ALM), Rosendo (ACG), Lequatre (RSH), Oliveira (RSH), Mori (LAM), Velits (HTC), Sorensen (SBS), Marangoni (LIQ), Vigano (LEO), Cazaux (EUS), Saramotins (COF).

  71. 165km - Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) has withdrawn from the race. The Estonian won stage 14 at La Farraponga but was way down in the GC after a troubled opening week dealing with a fever.

  72. 170km - Finally, a large group forms off the front and opens up a bit of a gap. We have around 20 riders, including French national champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), stage three winner Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Spanish livewire Jesus Rosendo (ACG) and HTC's Martin Velits. Full details coming up.

  73. 175km - Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) and Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) break clear of the bunch. Bakelendts was involved in that large breakaway the other day when HTC's Michael Albasini won the stage. The Belgian crashed into a piece of road furniture on a tight left turn after a roundabout. Anyway, they're both reeled in - but it's attack after attack today.

  74. 180km - Today's stage should be a belter. We have the Cat.3 Portillo de Bustos climb before lunch, then the first intermediate sprint at the foot of the Cat.2 Portillo de Lunada. At the foot of the second climb, there's the second intermediate sprint, before the final steep 6km climb to Pena Cabarga, which has a maximum gradient of 18%. It's only been used twice before in the Vuelta - and last year, Joaquim Rodriguez took the spoils. Injured yesterday, can 'Purito' come back and win again?

  75. 185km - Those 28 riders were reeled in by the Liquigas-led peloton but another eight have now pinged off the front. But they're pulled back in turn by Euskaltel. It's a very active start to the stage, with speeds of up to 70 km/h. The temperature has also risen to 25 degrees.

  76. 190km - Froome and Wiggins are definitely going to give it a go today, you'd think. Earlier this morning, Wiggo tweeted: "How do you play it? Conserve 3rd or throw everything at winning at the risk of loosing all? stupid or brave? What would you do?" The general consensus was: attack! Meanwhile, just before the start today, Froome threw in a slightly provocative two cents with this gem: "I wouldn't want to be trying to defend the red jersey on a finish like today's ;) " Follow Bradley Wiggins on Twitter

  77. 195km - Aussie veteran Stuart O'Grady has just tried another attack, but once again the Leopard Trek rider (soon to join GreenEDGE) was thwarted by the bunch. Tanel Kangert of Astana has a pop as well, but once again to no avail - although when he's reeled in, a 28-man group forms off the front of the bunch.

  78. 200km - So, Spain's Juan Jose Cobo increased his lead at the top by a few seconds yesterday. The Geox rider now leads Chris Froome by 22 seconds and Bradley Wiggins by 51 seconds. The British Sky pair will try and put the red jersey under pressure today - it could well be the last chance for them to shake up the podium a little. Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) is fouth, 1:41 down. Vuelta standings and results

  79. 205km - An active start sees an attack from Stuart O'Grady (Leopard Trek) and Markel Irizar (RadioShack) but both riders are not allowed to break clear.

  80. 210km - Two overnight withdrawals to note: as expected, Swiss powerhouse Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) has pulled out of the Vuelta to focus on preparing for the world championships. Saxo Bank's Rafal Majka also didn't sign in - the Pole could well have been involved in that big pile up yesterday. Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was, but he takes to the start today...

  81. 211km - They're off! This key stage in northern Spain is underway... prepare for fireworks.

  82. 11:20 - The remaining 174 riders are in the neutralized zone at the start of today's stage. The sun is out and the temperature is around 20 degrees.

  83. 11:15 - Argentina's Juan José Haedo of Saxo Bank took stage 16 of the Vuelta a España following confusion on the final bend before the finish. Haedo won the 204-km stage in subdued circumstances after poor road markings caused a split in the peloton and effectively gave the 30-year-old carte blanche to take the biggest win of his career. Splits in the peloton saw red jersey Juan José Cobo (Geox) finish two and five seconds faster than British Team Sky pair Christopher Froome and Bradley Wiggins. Report: Confusion as Haedo wins stage

  84. 11:10 - Welcome to live coverage of stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana, a potentially decisive 211km ride from Faustino V to Pena Cabarga. It features two lower category climbs and then a final 6km ascent to the finish.