Robert Gesink wins Queen Stage in Vuelta a España
Sep 04 2016 12:27 am CET

Robert Gesink wins Queen Stage in Vuelta a España
Robert Gesink wins Queen Stage in Vuelta a España

Robert Gesink of LottoNL-Jumbo has won the 14th stage of the Vuelta a España, finishing ahead of Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) and Egor Silin (Katusha).

A group of around 40 riders including three of Movistar jumped away from the peloton early on the day and forced Team Sky to set a relatively high pace in the peloton.

Omar Fraile, Alexandre Geniez and Kenny Elissonde went on to attack from the front group near the summit of the Col Inharpu with Fraile taking most of the Mountain points at the top.

The three continued ahead of the rest of the group on the descent but were slowed down by a near-crash for Geniez, who only just managed to stay on his bike after missing a curve.

A bit further back however, an actual crash occurred involving Jose Joaquin Rojas and Jacques Janse van Rensburg. The latter appeared to have suffered serious injuries as he was seen lying motionless, but the Dimension Data rider recovered quickly and got back onto his bike in order to continue his race.

The three leaders were soon reeled in by the rest of the original breakaway and it wasn't until the Col de Marie-Blanque, the penultimate climb of the day, that the true action began with one after the other being dropped in both the front group and the peloton.

The bravest move of the day came from Orica-BikeExchange as Jack Haig launched an attack for Simon Yates, seventh in the General Classification. The two built a gap of more than a minute with the peloton by the time they reached the summit. As Haig began to lose touch with his teammate, Yates was joined by both Simon Gerrans and Magnus Cort Nielsen who had previously formed part of the breakaway.

Yates soon lost his remaining teammates as well but continued to ride well ahead of the Red Jersey group while catching one former escapee after the other.

At the front, the lead group was reduced to five riders but soon joined by Robert Gesink who subsequently attacked on the final climb of the day, the Aubisque. The Dutchman was first joined by Jan Bakelants although the Belgian was soon replaced with Kenny Elissonde and, later, Egor Silin.

In the final kilometer, Gesink launched his final attack to secure the victory in this year's queen stage. Elissonde and Silin finished at about seven seconds.

In the battle for the Red Jersey, Nairo Quintana launched several attacks which eventually reduced the group of favorites to just himself and Chris Froome. The two ended up finishing together with Alberto Contador about 20 seconds behind.

Alejandro Valverde, who began the day in third place in the General Classification, finished almost 11 minutes behind the stage winner and as such dropped several spots in the standings.

Esteban Chaves, who finished ahead of Quintana and Froome, moves from fourth to third place. His Orica-BikeExchange teammate Yates jumps from seventh to fourth.

Photo of Robert Gesink (cropped) by Lotto NL-Jumbo.



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