Thursday September 7th, 2017

Stage 18Suances / Santo Toribio de Liébana

Start 13h14 (Local time)

Armée finds his opening, Froome resists and even wins time

Stage summary07.09.2017Stage 18- Suances / Santo Toribio de Liébana

Stage 18 of La Vuelta 2017 favoured the attackers and Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) made the most of it. The Belgian dominated his breakaway companions to claim his first professional victory at Santo Toribio de Liebana, at 31yo. He got rid of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in the last climb to the finish, where Chris Froome (Team Sky) gained 21” on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida). The British leader of La Vuelta was able to match the many attacks from his rivals, mostly from Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and finally accelerated in the final kilometre of an action-packed stage.

With Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) out of the race due to illness, 161 riders tackled stage 18 of La Vuelta 2017 from Suances. The battle for the breakaway was immediately on and it took 58km for a group of 20 riders to get ahead: Julian Alaphilippe, Matteo Trentin (Quick Step), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott), Jose Joaquin Rojas, Marc Soler (Movistar), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Clément Chevrier, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Jérémy Maison, Anthony Roux (FDJ), Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Aldemar Reyes (Manzana-Postobon).

They extended their lead to an unprecedented level on this 72nd edition of La Vuelta: 13'15” as they entered the last 80km of the stage, a rollercoaster with 4 climbs including Collada de la Hoz, where Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) tore the race apart on his way to the win at Fuente Dé in 2012.

Alexis Gougeard and Sander Armée jumped ahead of the front group in that climb. They were joined by Marc Soler at the summit, then Julian Alaphilippe and Alexey Lutsenko bridged the gap in the downhill. Among the GC contenders, Alberto Contador accelerated on many occasions but Chris Froome's Team Sky controlled the situation. Fabio Aru (Astana) was able to get away and kept going with a solo effort to the finish, only to finish 12” ahead of Chris Froome.

Armée and Lutsenko got rid of their companions in the last downhill and battled it out for victory in the final climb of Santo Toribio de Liebana. The Belgian made the difference 600m away from the finish line. Froome accelerated at the same point. Only Contador and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) could follow while Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) lost 21”.

  • Armée finds his opening, Froome resists and even wins time

    Stage 18 of La Vuelta 2017 favoured the attackers and Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal) made the most of it. The Belgian dominated his breakaway companions to claim his first professional victory at Santo Toribio de Liebana, at 31yo. He got rid of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in the last climb to the finish, where Chris Froome (Team Sky) gained 21” on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida). The British leader of La Vuelta was able to match the many attacks from his rivals, mostly from Alberto Contador...

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Stage 18 Suances / Santo Toribio de Liébana

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