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Cycling

La Vuelta | Stage 14

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Gracias, adios

Stage 15 is punchy and looks tough. It's another long 230km slog with five categorised climbs, and a lot more gritty looking ones in between.
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Top results

Stage 14
1. Tim Wellens
2. Michael Woods
3. Zdenek Stybar
4. Dylan van Baarle
5. Marc Soler

GC
1. Primoz Roglic 53:57:05
2. Richard Carapaz +39
3. Hugh Carthy +47
4. Dan Martin +1:42

Roglic retains red

Tim Wellens collects a second stage victory in this Vuelta a Espana, while Primoz Roglic retains red after a quiet day for the GC battle.

Tim Wellens wins Stage 14!

Wellens pipped Woods to the line, but the tactics from the Lotto-Soudal rider were perfect as he hugged the racing line, as the road wound around the corner to the finish line.

Woods back the front

Woods is back at the front, Dylan Van Baarle comes up the side but Tim Wellens is lingering, and now they're all looking at each other with just 500m to go.

1km to go

Back to a group of six, nobody wants to tug at the front as the gradient increases for an uphill finish.

Roundabout heaven

The gap between the two groups is a matter of metres, there's a few roundabouts to navigate before the finish.

2km to go

Both Wellens, Stybar, Soler, and van Baarle, Woods, Arensman groups are working hard to stay away, but is it too late?
Roglic looks safe in red for more day.

Wellens goes for it!

Attack! On that little descent there Tim Wellens went for it, Woods and Van Baarle couldn't stay with them, so it's now a three-man lead group of Wellens, Zdenek Stybar, and Marc Soler.
There's just 9km left in this race, the three of them have 11 seconds over Woods, van Baarle, Thymen Arensman, and the peloton stay 3:49 behind.

Into the last 20km

What did Michael Woods have for dinner last night? He's still on the front and the break have increased their gap to 2 minutes 48 seconds and counting. Woodsy collects the KOM points on offer, but Guillaume Martin is safe in that polka dot jersey, a storming 46 points ahead.
Meanwhile EF Pro Cycling team manager Jonathan Vaughters has lost his mind.

24km to go

Ahhhh, fabulous. It's almost like they heard me. Cresting the summit of the final climb, Michael Woods from the lead group attacked and those who can hang in there went with him. Six remain after they shed Pierre-Luc Perichon from Cofidis.
The gap is now 1 minute 55 seconds.

30km to go

The pace is moving on now, with just one more berg to go until the finish. The gap has reduced once again to 2 minutes 14, and the teams are starting to work at the front now.
Attack looming? Come on, someone please.

Bike change for Roglic

And just as I type that, Roglic gets a puncture on his way back to the peloton after getting some fresh bottles, and the change was just as swift as a Red Bull F1 pitstop.

45km to go

The gap has come down to 3 minutes 52 seconds. Total Direct Energie have led the peloton to make a start on catching up to the leaders. It's been a quiet day so far for the jerseys, with plenty of action to come later.

65km to go

One climb down, onto another category three, the Alto de Guitara. There's no change in the gap to the leaders, the peloton have let them run free, for now at least.
We have some abandonments today, Sunweb's Martin Salmon, Israel-SN's Alexis Renard and Alexander Kamp from Trek-Segafredo.

'Everyone is really tired'

Willie Smith from Burgos BH is hoping for a breakaway in the final week of the race, but he says he doesn't see much change in the GC anymore.
The top three are separated by a maximum of 47 seconds:
1. Primoz Roglic
2. Richard Carapaz
3. Hugh Carthy.

Willie Smith hoping for a breakaway in final week of La Vuelta

92km to go; crash

Anyway, back to today. There's 92km to go, and the riders are ascending their first category climb of the day - one of three category three's the Alto de Escairon, which is 8.8km with a 3.8% gradient. The gap remains at around five minutes.
There has been a little collision - Niki Terpstra from Total Direct Energie was down alongside Subweb's Max Kanter who was struggling to put his chain back on, but both are on their way again.

Tour de France though...

As for predictability... a small part of me wants to believe Chris Froome is sandbagging and will make a 2018 Giro style comeback this week. However two-and-a-half hours behind is one hefty margin, and journalists aren't allowed to live in a dream world.
He does have faith in next year's Tour de France route though...

Froome fires Roglic warning, 'pleased' to see Tour route

'Keep it predictable'

"Primoz has shown that he's really good at these little finishes and little kickers at the end, so might be a good day for him," says Jumbo-Visma team-mate Robert Gesink who says today's stage is likely to be a breakaway day, but for the Killer Wasps' sake, let's keep the rest of the race predictable!

Robert Gesink backs Roglic to take more seconds ahead of big final weekend

Breakaway

We're about 80km into the stage and there's a seven-man breakaway including Michael Woods, Tim Wellens, Dylan van Baarle and Marc Soler, who have a lead of about five minutes.
TV coverage will be starting on the Eurosport app at 13:35 GMT.

Hola, Buenas tardes!

Good afternoon and welcome to Stage 14 of La Vuelta a Espana.
Two weeks in already... I know right!?
Primoz Roglic is back in red, but he holds the leader's jersey for just 39 seconds ahead of Richard Carapaz. Today's 204.7km lumpy stage could sort that right out, so let's be having it.

'CARTHY'S PUTTING UP A GREAT FIGHT' - VUELTA STILL UP FOR GRABS SAYS KELLY

Sean Kelly told Dan Lloyd on the latest episode of The Breakaway that he expected Hugh Carthy to lose more time in Tuesday's time trial. Primoz Roglic won the Stage 13 race against the clock to move back into the red leader's jersey, but Carthy and Ineos' Richard Carapaz remain in contention in the general classification.
Carthy was neck-and-neck with the leading riders in the world for much of the stage, but Roglic put in an impressive performance on the final climb to move back into the overall lead of the race as expected.
“It was looking very interesting on the intermediate check points and we did see Hugh Carthy put up a great fight," Kelly said. "He started very fast and was very much in the running to upset Primoz Roglic.
"But then slowly Roglic got it together and clawed his way back slowly and on the final climb he was still able to put in that effort and pull back time from everybody.
"I was expecting Roglic to really crush the time trial and GC standings and he didn’t do that, big-time, so it’s good for the race.
"We very much have a race on our hands and when you look at the top of the overall standings, the top three places certainly, one little thing could change that totally in the final week.”

HOW TO WATCH LA VUELTA LIVE – TV & LIVE STREAMING

The Vuelta a Espana is live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport App.
Each day Eurosport.co.uk will stream uninterrupted coverage of each stage. We will also have rolling coverage online on the website and our social channels.
And don't forget, we are bringing you podcasts from the Bradley Wiggins Show - check in with your podcast provider for the latest show.
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