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
|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
|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''|