Vuelta a Espana 2016: Stages 9-14 Final KM

The organisers said the second week of the Vuelta would be the toughest, and boy they were right. From the Alto del Naranco and La Covadonga to the fearsome queen stage finishing atop L’Aubisque, the peloton have done nothing but face climb after climb after climb …
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Vuelta a Espana 2016: Stage 14 – Gesink rides to glory on the Queen stage

What a Queen stage! 196km in la belle France, three category one climbs before the fearsome Aubisque, a massive 41-rider break, and it all came down to three riders for the win. Strongest of the mismatched trio was Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) who distanced Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) and Katusha’s Egor Silin in the last metres to take his first ever Grand Tour win. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Chris Froome (SKY) attacked each other all the way up the last ascent but neither gave an inch or a second – the Colombian still holds red by a margin of 54secs. Best plan of the day award goes to Orica-BikeExchange, who end with Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates in third and fourth place overall. 

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Vuelta a Espana 2016: Stage 10 – Quintana conquers Covadonga, takes back red

On arguably the most difficult of a triptych in the mountains, on the iconic slopes to Lagos de Covadonga, Nairo Quintana took his first victory in the Vuelta and showed he’s the strongest rider in the race. Countering an attack by Alberto Contador whom he later left behind, he moved smoothly into top gear to overhaul Robert Gesink, the last man left standing from the break, who finished second just ahead of a resurgent Chris Froome, initially distanced on the climb. The stage shook up the GC, with the victor resuming rightful ownership of the red leader’s jersey.  
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