VUELTA’20 Stage 12: Crusher Carthy on l’Angliru!

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Vuelta Stage Report: The fireworks that was expected on the summit of l’Angliru, did not disappoint. The lead group was down to the bare essentials when Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) blew past the others on the steep ramps for the stage win and 3rd overall. Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was in trouble and lost time to the repeat overall leader, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers).

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A strong showing from Hugh Carthy – Stage and 3rd overall

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Hugh Carthy won on the mythical Alto de l’Angliru. The EF Pro Cycling Brit was the first to top the steep climb in Asturias after a short mountain stage of 109 kilometres, after a spectacle among the favourites. Richard Carapaz managed to out-pace Primoz Roglič in the final kilometres and recapture the leader’s jersey.

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A big day ahead

Stage 12. La Pola Llaviana/Pola de Laviana > Alto de l’Angliru – 109,4 km
Here comes L’Angliru! The peloton are facing a short but extremely demanding stage on the eve of the second rest day with two cat-3 and two cat-1 climbs before the summit finish on the mighty Alto de L’Angliru: 12.4km with an average gradient of 9.9% and slopes up to 23.5%.

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Stage 12 profile

Fernando Escartín’s Comment: “Short stage: 109 km with three 1st category climbs and two 3rd category. The final part connects La Mozqueta, El Cordal and l’Angliru. Until then, the leaders will try to control their rhythm and their strength. The Asturian colossus will, again, be the judge of La Vuelta, sentencing those who have a bad day and crowning those who continue to fight for the ultimate victory.”

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Asturias – Mining country

Julius van den Berg and Anthony Roux were the first attackers of the day in this short mountain stage, but they did not stay away for long. The flat opening section called for attacks and a group of 19 riders started the first climb of the day, the Alto del Padrún, with 2 minutes. In addition to Van den Berg, KOM jersey wearers Guillaume Martin, Luis Léon Sánchez, Kobe Gossens and Tosh Van der Sande were also there. Davide Formolo and Tomasz Marczynski had missed the move and counter-attacked. Just before the Alto de la Mozqueta (6.6km at 8.4%) they managed to catch the leading group.

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The early break

The leading group of the day:
Guillaume Martin, Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Robert Stannard, Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott), Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Alexandr Riabushenko, Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates), Luis Léon Sánchez (Astana), Andreas Schillinger (BORA-hansgrohe), Cameron Wurf (INEOS Grenadiers), Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ), Julius van den Berg (EF Pro Cycling), Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukasz Wisniowski (CCC), Kobe Goossens, Tosh Van der Sande, Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Jhojan García (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH).

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And the peloton

Jumbo-Visma drove the peloton and kept the difference with the front group between 2 and 3 minutes. On the Mozqueta there were more attacks from the peloton. David De la Cruz and Esteban Chaves counter-attacked together with Thymen Arensman. De la Cruz and Chaves were just outside the top-10 and therefore got some space, but only De la Cruz and Arensman were able to continue the attack. Chaves had to drop back to the peloton. Movistar had now taken over from Jumbo-Visma.

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Jumbo-Visma in control on the Alto del Padrún

The pace of Movistar reduced the lead to just over 1 minute at the top of the Mozqueta. The descent was dangerous, and there were by crashes by Formolo (in the leading group) and Andrey Amador (in the peloton). This did not stop Movistar in their chase. The blue armada put the peloton and the leading group under pressure, causing De la Cruz and Arensman to be caught.

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Pierre Luc Perichon (Cofidis) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) on the road to the Alto de l’Angliru

Martin, Périchon, Madrazo and Roux had broken away from the other escapees for a while, but just before the steep Alto del Cordal (5.4km at 9.3%) the leading group came together again. Movistar had narrowed the lead to 40 seconds. On the Cordal, Sánchez, Cattaneo and Martin stayed out front, and in the peloton, Esteban Chaves was the biggest loser. The Colombian was dropped early, putting an end to his GC dreams.

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INEOS Grenadiers also took their turn to chase

Just before the top of the Cordal it was Chris Froome who was at the head of the peloton in front of Richard Carapaz. The INEOS Grenadiers duo drove hard, forcing Robert Gesink to close the gap on behalf of Jumbo-Visma. Due to the acceleration of Froome, the favourites group was decimated, including Marc Soler (6th overall) who couldn’t hang on.

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The peloton on the descent of the Padrún

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The break had no chance, but pushed on

Soler managed to join the favourites group at the foot of the Alto de l’Angliru (12.4km at 9.9%), but it turned out to be a hopeless mission for the Movistar climber. Sánchez and Martin were still out front, until the six-man Jumbo-Visma train swallowed them at 10 kilometres from the finish line. Hard work by Gesink was followed by a high pace from youngster Jonas Vingegaard.

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The Jumbo-Visma mountain train was at full strength

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Jumbo-Visma pulled the break back in time for the monster climb of l’Angliru

Led by Vingegaard, only ten riders remained at the front on the first very steep slopes of l’Angliru: Primoz Roglic, Sepp Kuss, Daniel Martin, Hugh Carthy, Michael Woods, Enric Mas, Richard Carapaz, Wout Poels and Aleksandr Vlasov. Five kilometres from the finish, Carapaz and Mas looked to be cracking.

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Jumbo kept the pressure on

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No attacks until the 20% ramps

It turned out to be a bluff from Mas. The wearer of the ‘Best Young Rider’ jersey attacked 3.5 kilometres out, but there was no reaction. Kuss increased the pace for Roglič, but the Slovenian couldn’t go any faster. Kuss had to hold back and Carthy and Vlasov jumped to cross to Mas. Roglic was still accompanied by Carapaz and Martin under the three kilometre banner.

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The front group was about to explode

It was a real hand-to-hand fight on the ramps of over 20%. Carapaz tried to get away from Roglic just before two kilometres. The leader could not keep up with the pace and made Kuss wait again. Carapaz saw this and rode to Mas together with Carthy. The deficit of a toiling Roglic fluctuated between 10 and 20 seconds.

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Enric Mas was first to attack

Carthy regained his strength a kilometre from the finish; the Brit left Carapaz and Mas to solo to the top of the mythical l’Angliru for the stage win. Sixteen seconds later, Vlasov and Mas finished second and third, just ahead of Carapaz, who missed out on important bonus seconds.

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Carapaz saw his chance

Roglič, Kuss and Martin followed 10 seconds behind the group of Carapaz and so the INEOS Grenadiers leader takes back the red jersey from the Slovenian. The difference between Carapaz and Roglič is now 10 seconds. Thanks to his stage victory and the bonus, Carthy is now 3rd overall, 32 seconds from Carapaz. Daniel Martin is fourth at 35 seconds. Mas follows in fifth place at 1:50 from Carapaz. The difference to Wout Poels in sixth place is now more than 5 minutes.

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Carthy held them all off to the line

Stage winner, Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling): “It’s a dream come true to win any race. But to win in a Grand Tour, on a mythical climb, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s hard to put into words. It’s exciting. We have a close race going into the time-trial. Everything is still to play for.”

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Carapaz back in red

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “This climb made a natural selection. We already spent a lot of energy yesterday. And tt was a very hard stage today. I remembered it from 2017 but it’s been incredible. I tried in the end, Mas and Carthy also went for it and I continued with my pace and that gave me a 10’’ advantage. That’s great for us, we’re going towards the time-trial with the idea to give our best and defend the leadership. I’m very happy to wear [La Roja] again. It’s a good thing for me, for the team, and for everything we’ve been doing.”

# More Vuelta a España news in EUROTRASH and Ed Hood’s ‘Second Vuelta Rest Day Rant’ both on Monday. #

Vuelta a España Stage 12 Result:
1. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling in 3:08:40
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:16
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma at 0:26
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
8. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:35
9. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:15
11. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:15
12. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 2:54
13. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:54
14. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 3:31
15. David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 3:41
16. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 3:41
17. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 3:41
18. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 4:01
19. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 4:30
20. Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 4:30
21. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 6:12
22. Jan Hirt (CZ) CCC at 6:12
23. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 6:44
24. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar at 6:44
25. William Barta (USA) CCC at 7:07.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 12:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 48:29:27
2. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
3. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 0:32
4. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:35
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 1:50
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 5:13
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:30
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:22
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 6:41
10. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 6:42
11. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 7:40
12. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 8:27
13. David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 8:34
14. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 10:49
15. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 11:15
16. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 12:25
17. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 15:14
18. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 15:35
19. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 17:01
20. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 25:36
21. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC at 34:49
22. Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 39:55
23. Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 43:04
24. Gino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling at 43:58
25. William Barta (USA) CCC at 44:20.

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