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Fabio Aru wins again - Quintana abandons

After bad luck came worse luck for Movistar's big Vuelta-favorite Nairo Quintana as he crashed again and was forced to give up with a broken scapula. Astana's young Fabio Aru escaped the group of favorites in the final kilometer of the day's steep final climb to take another grand Tour stage win to add to his stage in the Giro in May.

JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images

With a difficult final climb on the day after an eventful timetrial for many of the top riders there were some nerves in the peloton on stage 11. Already after about twenty kilometers Quintana was involved in a crash that appears to have involved a photo-motorcycle and suffering pain in his shoulder he was forced to abandon this years Vuelta. He wasn't alone as the stage claimed three more victims. Maxim Bouet and Steve Morabito also crashed out while FDJ's Thibaut Pinot finally gave in to the illness that has plagued him since the eve of the race.

After a hectic start it took a long time to establish the breakaway of the day and once a group of four got away after more than 60 kilometers they were never given much rope. Vasil Kiriyenka of Sky was most active and he left the others behind but his attack only lasted as far as the very bottom of the final climb. There were just too many among the favorites who were looking for a stage win today. Sky set the early pace on the climb, surging on to the point where absurdely they were dropping their own captain Froome, who was visibly suffering, off the back of the group of favorites. Once they realized their mistake and eased off the attacks began.

First to go was Warren Barguil, who has time to make up after his poor TT, but his attempt didn't get far as he was chased down by Robert Gesink who mounted a strong counter. The Belkin rider held his lead for a long time as Dan Martin launched himself trying, and ultimately failing, to join the Dutchman. Froome had clawed himself back from his early weakness and tried to make his presence felt at the front but a surge from Albert Contador put him in trouble again and also spelled the end for Gesink's attack.

With the favorites gathered again it looked as if there would be few changes in the top of the GC, in the end only Winner Anacona dropped a few places in the top 10. With the charge of Contador nullified the explosive climber Aru launched an all out attack  in the final kilometer that no one had an answer to. He soloed to the win and grabbed a handful of seconds plus the bonus to keep himself very solidly in the fight for a podium spot in his second consecutive GT. This year has certainly proved a confirmation of the high expectation's many had on Aru and it's also shaping up to be a triumph for the Astana stageracing squad.

TOP 10 Stage 11

OS. NAME TEAM TIME
1. ITAARU, Fabio 21 Astana Pro Team 3h 41' 03''
2. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 151 Movistar Team 3h 41' 09'' + 6''
3. ESPRODRIGUEZ, Joaquin 131 Team Katusha 3h 41' 09'' + 6''
4. ESPCONTADOR, Alberto 201 Tinkoff - Saxo 3h 41' 09'' + 6''
5. GBRFROOME, Christopher 191 Team SKY 3h 41' 09'' + 6''
6. COLURAN, Rigoberto 177 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step 3h 41' 16'' + 13''
7. ESPSÁNCHEZ, Samuel 41 BMC Racing Team 3h 41' 18'' + 15''
8. IRLMARTIN, Daniel 102 Garmin Sharp 3h 41' 18'' + 15''
9. ESPNAVARRO, Daniel 71 Cofidis Solutions Crédits 3h 41' 19'' + 16''
10. NEDGESINK, Robert 34 Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3h 41' 24'' + 21''

TOP 10 GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

POS. NAME TEAM TIME
1. ESPCONTADOR, Alberto 201 Tinkoff - Saxo 40h 26' 56''
2. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 151 Movistar Team 40h 27' 16'' + 20''
3. COLURAN, Rigoberto 177 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step 40h 28' 04'' + 1' 08''
4. GBRFROOME, Christopher 191 Team SKY 40h 28' 16'' + 1' 20''
5. ESPRODRIGUEZ, Joaquin 131 Team Katusha 40h 28' 31'' + 1' 35''
6. ESPSÁNCHEZ, Samuel 41 BMC Racing Team 40h 28' 48'' + 1' 52''
7. ITAARU, Fabio 21 Astana Pro Team 40h 29' 09'' + 2' 13''
8. COLANACONA, Winner 2 Lampre Merida 40h 29' 18'' + 2' 22''
9. NEDGESINK, Robert 34 Belkin Pro Cycling Team 40h 29' 51'' + 2' 55''
10. ITACARUSO, Damiano 65 Cannondale Pro Cycling 40h 30' 47'' + 3' 51''