2016 Vuelta a España

Stage 10: Lugones to Lagos de Covadonga

We return to one of the most legendary climbs of the Vuelta two years later. The climb up the Lagos de Covadonga never goes unnoticed in the race and, in this occasion, it could well make big differences to the general classification. The first part is a pleasant ride through the Asturian coast, departing from Lugones, that will become much less relaxed as we arrive at Fito Peak, a 6.2km climb with an inclination of 7.8%, 40 kilometers from the finish. After this, the main attraction will be the spectacular climb up the Lagos de Covadonga, one of the most iconic Vuelta climbs with a route of 12.2km and an inclination of 7.2%, including the famous La Huesera stretch, with a slope of 13%. If the weather is good, this stage could provide some spectacular images. Asturias is always a natural paradise.

vuelta stage 10

Nairo Quintana won his first career Vuelta stage Monday and reclaimed the red leader's jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Despite a crash early in the stage, Nairo Quintana climbed back into the overall lead Monday at the Vuelta a España. Movistar’s Colombian cracked Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador on the summit finish at Lagos de Covadonga in stage 10, winning the 188.7km day in Spain. LottoNL – Jumbo’s Robert Gesink out-sprinted Chris Froome of Sky for second place, not far behind.

“A day like this gives me great confidence to continue,” Quintana said. “We have a deserved day’s rest [on Tuesday] then we will prepare well and continue on the same road.”

Stage 10, top 10

  • 1. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 4:50:31
  • 2. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :24
  • 3. Christopher FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :25
  • 4. Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :28
  • 5. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :28
  • 6. Michele SCARPONI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :28
  • 7. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at 1:02
  • 8. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, TINKOFF, at 1:04
  • 9. Simon YATES, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at 1:09
  • 10. Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:11

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 38:37:07
  • 2. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :57
  • 3. Christopher FROOME, TEAM SKY, at :58
  • 4. Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at 2:09
  • 5. Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO, TINKOFF, at 2:54
  • 6. Leopold KONIG, TEAM SKY, at 2:57
  • 7. David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 3:03
  • 8. Simon YATES, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at 3:06
  • 9. Michele SCARPONI, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 3:14
  • 10. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:20

As usual, a large breakaway of opportunists animated the early kilometers of the race.

Over the day’s first categorized climb, Alto del Mirador del Fito, Dimension Data’s Omar Fraile and the “Andalusian Lynx,” Luis Angel Mate of Cofidis, attacked the day’s escapees. Fraile was first to the top, and moved into the lead in the mountains classification after stage 10. The duo descended off the category 1 climb but were soon caught in the valley before the hors categorie finish.

Froome was dropped about 10 kilometers from the top of the finish climb, but the Brit wasn’t done fighting, not yet. Movistar’s Ruben Fernandez set a fierce pace up the Mirador de la Reina, eventually dropping the red jersey, David de la Cruz (Etixx – Quick-Step), as well.

Inside of the final nine kilometers, Pierre Rolland slipped off the front of the quickly disintegrating breakaway. About one kilometer later, Robert Gesink of LottoNL – Jumbo joined the Frenchman on the front and then cracked the Cannondale – Drapac rider.

Contador and Quintana attacked out of the remainder of the GC group on the climb’s steepest slopes. Quintana made his move about 4km from the top, going into a slight descent toward the top of the climb. He caught and passed Gesink in short order.

Contador had Fraile for company into the final three kilometers. Froome was not far behind, having found a second wind, and towed Quintana’s teammate, Alejandro Valverde back up to the two Spaniards.

Just before the final two kilometers, Froome dropped Contador and Valverde. The Sky rider seemed to grow stronger as the 12.2km climb continued. However, he could not get the better of Gesink at the line when they sprinted for second-place bonus seconds.

“[Froome] continues to be very close given what is to come,” added Quintana, who said he will only be comfortable with a three-minute lead ahead of the time trial. “We have to look to continue what we have done until now to distance ourselves from him because if he stays at this time [behind] he is still the favorite.”

The Vuelta will enjoy its first rest day Tuesday before diving right back into the mountains with a category 1 uphill finish in stage 11.

2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Peloton
Stage 10 was 188 kilometers from Lugones to Lagos de Covadonga and finished with two categorized climbs. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Crash
Early in stage 10, there was a crash in the peloton that involved many riders. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: The breakaway
A large breakaway group formed early on stage 10. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Broken wheel
Markel Irizar tacoed his wheel in the pile-up. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Irizar crash
Irizar also suffered an injury to his face. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Reza medical
Kevin Reza received medical attention on the road. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Terpstra wheel change
Niki Terpstra called for help, needing a wheel change. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Boaro off the front
Manuele Boaro was riding crosseyed off the front of the race. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Gesink in the break
Robert Gesink was in the break on stage 10 and made a move on the final climb. The Dutchman rode on the front, going for a stage win until he was caught by Nairo Quintana. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Cannondale in the break
Cannondale had three riders in the break on stage 10. Moreno Moser led Pierre Rolland up one of the climbs with Joe Dombrowski hanging at the back of the group. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Hermans in the break
Ben Hermans led the break, followed by Dimitriy Kruzdev and Rolland. Rolland attacked out of the break late in the stage but was counter-attacked by Gesink. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Dombrowski in the break
Dombrowski rode in the break in support of Cannondale – Drapac teammate Rolland. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Team Etixx
Team Etixx – Quick-Step protected race leader David de la Cruz, but the Spaniard ultimately lost the red jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Chaves
Esteban Chaves finished seventh on the stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Peloton
The peloton hit some steep pitches while riding away from the coastline. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Rolland solo
Rolland made his move once the breakaway had been reduced to a handful of riders. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Gesink attack
Gesink was quick to respond to Rolland and made his own attack. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Froome isolated
The pace on the final climb was high enough that Chris Froome was distanced from the other GC riders, but he was able to pace himself back and finished in third place on the stage. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Quintana at the line
Nairo Quintana attacked late with Alberto Contador. Quintana and Contador rode together, picking off breakaway riders until Quintana put in another big effort, dropping Contador and riding solo to victory. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Quintana wins
Quintana won stage 10 of the Vuelta a España and claimed the overall lead. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Gesink finish
Robert Gesink looked to have a shot at a stage victory but finished second to Quintana on stage 10. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Bunch sprint
Peraud, Silin, and Talansky sprinted to the line. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: De la Cruz finish
David de La Cruz was in the hurt locker and lost the leader’s jersey to Nairo Quintana on stage 10 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com