Sunday September 3rd, 2017

Stage 15Alcalá la Real / Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil

Start 13h49 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary03.09.2017

Superman Lopez strikes again

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) claimed a second stage victory at La Vuelta 2017, on Sunday atop the alto Hoya de la Mora. The young Colombian dominated the last climb of an action-packed day to get back to Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and solo away to victory ahead of Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb). Fifth of stage 15, Chris Froome (Team Sky) retains the red jersey and gains six seconds on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the eve of the rest day. Lopez, who...

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Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo): “We have to be brave, to try. It's true that Sky have a very strong team, it was difficult. I knew it was risky but I wanted to try and see what could happen. In the end it was too long for me but you can't have regrets on what you've done. That's my style of racing. We drove the race, we pulled hard and in the end I paid it. One has to ride in a way that appeals him. I enjoy myself like that. I've lost time but the important thing now is to recover. The...

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Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), most aggressive rider: “It was quite fast in the beginning. It was a short stage and a very hard one. I wanted to be at the front so I could get in my own tempo. We hoped it would be a bigger group and a bigger gap before the first climb. I knew it would be hard to stay in front but still I kept my own pace. I managed to get quite far but not far enough. First (Steven) Kruijswijk, (Adam) Yates and (Romain) Bardet joined me. They were quite fast. I could follow...

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Chris Froome (Team Sky), overall leader: “It's an amazing feeling to finish off today and to lead three competitions, the red (overall), the green (points), the white (combined) and to have survived a stage like today. I can't thank my teammates enough. First of all, there was the attack from (Alberto) Contador and (Miguel Angel) Lopez. When they went, that was really the danger moment for us to try and control things. My teammates were incredible. I feel incredible. If anyone had told me...

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Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), stage winner: “It's been a magnificent day. The whole team has been up to the challenge and I didn't want to fail on them. Yesterday they were really good also and I had to deliver. We decided to attack with (Alberto) Contador. We had doubts because it was quite a long climb but in the end I was strong enough to make it. It's the third win for the team thanks to everyone's work, we all rely on it.”

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Newsflashes (Local time)

17:23Top 5

Results at Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

2. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), +36"

3. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), +45"

4. Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), +47"

5. Chris Froome (Team Sky), +47"

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) dropepd 6 seconds.

17:20Lopez strikes again!

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) takes his second stage win at La Vuelta 2017 soloing away from everyone in the mythical Sierra Nevada!

17:17Zakarin attacks, Contador is dropped

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) accelerates with 1.5km to go. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) is dropped from the Froome group.

17:15Lopez maintains his lead

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) still enjoys a 1'05" gap over the bunch led by Wout Poels (Team Sky) with 2km to go.

17:10Lopez flies away

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) joins Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and quickly drops him. The Froome group gets back to Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) one minute behind.

17:05Lopez goes, Contador can't follow

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) accelerates 6km away from the summit. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) tries to follow but he's dropped as well as Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

17:02Yates' lead decreases

With 7km to go, Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) is 1' away from the 4 man chasing group. The gap with the peloton: 1'37".

16:56Nibali is caught

The Froome group gets back to Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) with 11km to go.

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) is 10km away from the summit. He maintains a 1'15" lead over his first chasers and 2'05" over the bunch.

16:48Nibali attacks

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) attacks from the bunch 13.5km away from the summit. Mikel Nieve sets the pace for Chris Froome (Team Sky).

16:434 chasers behind Yates

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) is caught by Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) with 15km to go. Their delay is still up to 1'15". Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) is chasing 30" further behind. The peloton is at 2'30".

16:37Yates dominates the alto del Purche

Results atop the alto del Purche:

1. Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), 10pts

2. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), 6pts

3. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), 4pts

4. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), 2pts

5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), 1pt

Yates summited with a lead of 33" over Kruijswsijk, 1'06" over Contador, Lopez and Bardet, 1'45" over the bunch.

16:28Fernandez abandons

Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) is out of La Vuelta 2017.

16:23Yates opens gaps

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) enhoys a 19" lead over Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) 23km from the finish.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) are 28" further behind. The delay of the Sky-led bunch increases to 1'24".

16:18Yates goes alone

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) drops Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and then Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) with 25km to go.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) have a delay of 35".

At 1'05", David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) is suffering at the back of the bunch.

16:13Contador attacks with Lopez

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) accelerates 26km away from the finish. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) goes with him.

16:12Sierra Nevada, a classic at La Vuelta

La Vuelta has had stage finishes in Sierra Nevada on 14 occasions, tackling the climb from different sides and to different altitudes. Felipe Yanez was the first rider to win there in 1979. Two individual time-trials were set in the Sierra Nevada: Giovanni Battaglin won in 1981, on the way to the overall victory, and Santi Perez claimed the win in 2004. Alvaro Pino's victory in 1986 and Tony Rominger's in 1994 were defining moments of the race. On the last occasion La Vuelta visited the...

16:10Armée is caught

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) catch Sander Armée with 27.5km to go. The gap with the peloton is down 1'04".

16:05The alto del Purche

Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) are dropped from the chasing group in the first slopes leading to the alto del Purche (8.5km, 8%). Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) are only 25" behind Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal). The peloton is at 1'20".

15:58Yates: “We need to try again, but at the right moment”

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) is on the move, most likely to prepare a later attack from Esteban Chaves. He spoke to lavuelta.com this morning: “If we can make up the time Chaves lost yesterday? Why not? He had good legs for the attack. Maybe it was a little bit early, but he has showed he has good legs. There's no issue with his condition. We have to try again, but try again in the right moment.”

15:5140km to go

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) have joined Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) in the downhill, 50" behind Sander Armée (Cofidis). The gap with the peloton is down to 2'40".

15:48Two hours

Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) has maintained an average speed of 41.6km/h since the start of the stage.

15:46Bardet: “Ideal for a rider like Froome”

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), who perfectly knows the area, described the stage for lavuelta.com: “The Sierra Nevada is a very high altitude place, it's interesting for training. You can go there early in the season because it's far in the South of Europe. This place has many advantages for good trainings. I know the last climb very well… But that doesn't mean I like it. It's a wide road, it's a nightmare for a lone rider. It's ideal for a rider like Chris Froome. The climbs before...

15:40Armée led the way to the summit

Results atop the alto de Hazallanas:

1. Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), 10 pts

2. Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), 6 pts

3. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), 4 pts

4. Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), 2 pts

5. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), 1 pt

Rossetto summited with a delay of 40", the Yates group 1'14", Majka 2' and the peloton 3'14".

15:31Armée goes alone

Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) has dropped Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) 2.5km away from the summit.

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) are 1'15" behind him.

Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) is chasing with a delay of 1'55" and the bunch is at 2'35"..

15:22Roche in trouble

Nicolas Roche (BMC) can't keep up with the bunch's pace.

At the front of the race, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) have a lead of 1' over Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale). The peloton is at 1'50".

15:17Rossetto goes alone

Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) has dropped all of his breakaway companions. Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) is right behind him.

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) are chasing together.

15:13Stetina on the move with Yates and Bardet

Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) jumps ahead of the peloton 7km away from the summit. Adam Yates joins him with Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale).

15:10Acceleration in the bunch

Trek-Segafredo up the tempo in the slight downhill section mid-way through the alto de Hazallanas. The gap with the front of the race is down to 1'35" with 63km to go. Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), leader of the KOM classification, has been dropped.

15:01Lopez: “I like these climbs”

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) spoke about his intentions ahead of stage 15: “It's a very difficult stage, very hard. We're going to stay calm. We need to wait, remain cool and see how the legs feel. These are similar climbs to all the ones we have in Colombia: long, with steady slopes, so I like them. The truth is I feel really good, but we need to go step by step. We have to wait and see how the others do and then see what we do. Yesterday I was thinking about the stage win because the team...

14:54First climb of the day

The attackers tackle the cat-1 alto de Hazallanas (16.3km, 5.5%) with a 2'27" lead. A rider from Bahrain-Merida help Astana drive the peloton.

14:47More than 50km in the first hour

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Trentin (Quick Step), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannoondale-Drapac), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Anthony Perez, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) have covered 51km in the first hour of racing. But the gap stabilises under 2'30".

14:44Astana pull the peloton

The gap slowly increases to 2'30" 50km into the stage.

14:38Intermediate sprint

Results at Granada (km 45):

1. Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)

2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac)

3. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)

14:33The attackers get together

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Trentin (Quick Step), Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannoondale-Drapac), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal) and Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) join Anthony Perez, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) at km 43.

The gap with the peloton is up to 1'35".

14:283 riders at the front, 5 chasers

Anthony Perez, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) are 20" ahead of the peloton after 38km. A group of 5 chasers, with Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), tries to bridge the gap.

14:2230km, no break

Cofidis lead a new attack at the front of the bunch. Every move has been unsuccessful so far.

14:12Back together

The bunch gets back to the attackers at km 25.

14:09A big group at the front

17 riders open the road at km 21. Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) are up there.

14:03Attacks keep flying

Many riders want to make the break and no one has been able to get away after 15km of battle.

13:54Many attacks

A 4 man attacking group has been reeled in at km 9. Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) now tries to get away.

13:49Villella and Trentin on the move

The leader of the KOM classification Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) and the leader of the points classification Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) are part of the riders trying to get on the early moves. The battle for the breakaway is still on 6km into the stage.

13:44It is on!

Riders attack as soon as the flag is dropped.

13:41"Sierra Nevada is always an enigma"

Fernando Escartín, technical director of La Vuelta, described today's challenges for lavuelta.com: “Sierra Nevada is always an enigma, mostly because of the altitude. It's not an excessively hard climb, but it's a short stage, with Hazallanas, and there's Monachil too, and it can be interesting. La Vuelta comes to Sierra Nevada as often as possible, because it's very important. I remember that, because of the altitude, you lack oxygen. If you have bad day you'll suffer, because it's a...

13:35The bunch is on the way

The 171 riders left in the race are on their way to the km 0.

13:27Welcome

Welcome to the official live of stage 15 of La Vuelta. The day will be action-packed with three major climbs on a 129.4km route from Alcala La Real to the highest finish of this year's race, atop the alto Hoya de la Mora, at Monachil, in Sierra Nevada (2,510m of altitude). The neutral start has been moved to 13:32. The proper start is set at 13:42.

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