Gaudu, prince of Asturias
October 31 st 2020 - 17:51 [GMT + 1]
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) is the first winner of a gruelling week-end of climbing in the Asturias. The young Frenchman won stage 11 of La Vuelta 2020 atop the Alto de la Farrapona ahead of his breakaway companion Marc Soler (Movistar), who gained 4 places in the overall standings thanks to a long range attack. In the favourites group, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) were unable to open differences. They are still tied ahead of the infamous climb of the Angliru on Sunday!
The uphill start from Villaviciosa opens a huge battle for the breakaway. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) leads the first attempt over the Alto de la Campa, where he takes 3 KOM points. The battle keeps going on the valley, with 11 riders joining Wellens at the front and Cofidis driving the bunch to put Guillaume Martin in a position to defend his polka-dot jersey with four cat-1 climbs ahead of them. The gap is only up to 45’’ at the bottom of the Alto de la Colladona (km 49).
Soler on the move
Wellens tries to push his avantage but the peloton catches him on the climb. Five attackers get away: Niklas Eg (Trek-Segafredo), Mark Donovan, Michael Storer (Sunweb), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar). Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) bridges the gap at the summit. And tow more riders join the front group on the downhill: David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Tim Wellens again.
Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers work together to control the gap under 2 minutes ahead of the third climb of the day, Alto de la Cobertoria (summit at km 95.2). Marc Soler (Movistar) makes the most of the ascent to join the early attackers. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) can’t keep up with the leaders’ pace. Guillaume Martin collects the 10 KOM points at the summit and Wellens is eventually reeled in by the bunch on the following downhill, with 61km to go, while the attackers push their advantage over 3’.
Martin defends the polka dots, Soler chases La Roja
The gap hits a maximum of 3’20’’ at km 122, ahead of the Puerto de San Lorenzo. Jumbo-Visma react to contain Marc Soler’s threat - the Spanish all-rounder only trails by 3’52’’ in the overall standings. The gap is down to 2’20’’ when Guillaume Martin takes 10 more KOM points. Niklas Eg is dropped ahead of the summit.
The gap increases again on the downhill towards La Farrapona: 3’08’’ at the bottom of the final climb (16.5km at 6.2%). Bruno Armirail and Nelson Oliveira are quickly dropped after they helped their breakaway companions for the whole stage. Marc Soler accelerates 5km away from the summit and David Gaudu is the only attacker able to follow him.
Roglic and Carapaz remain tied
The two attackers work together all the way to the final 200m, where Gaudu makes the most of his punchy abilities to take his first Grand Tour stage victory. He is also the first Breton rider to win a La Vuelta stage since Warren Barguil took his first Grand Tour wins in 2013.
Jumbo-Visma control the ascent for Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) attacks from the GC group inside the last 2km. And Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) accelerates in the final kilometre. Enric Mas (Movistar), Richard Carapaz and Primoz Roglic follow him. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) lose 7’’ on the line.