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Chaves Again Proves the Strongest, Retakes Red

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Esteban Chaves swapped white for red , winning his second stage of the Vuelta. He was the first to attack on the Alto de Cazorla and beat Dan Martin by 5 seconds.

Jose Jordan, AFP/Getty Images

The break took a long time to get away, as 46 kilometres were ridden in the first hour. When a group finally did pry itself away from the peloton, it was after 60 kilometres, and Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Peter Velits (BMC) and Steven Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) got away. They were pursued by Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia), who after a long hard slog in no-man's-land, including a crash, he caught the group after 82 kilometres.

After all that effort though, again, the break never got enough leeway to take victory due to the pace of race leader Tom Dumoulin's Giant-Alpecin team, and Alejandro Valverde's Movistar.

As the uncategorised part of the climb began with 20 kilometres to go, Movistar were doing most of the work, tapping away and gradually eroding the break's lead. The break saw this, and Rubiano gave a desperate attack. Cummings immediately followed, caught and passed the Colombian, and went on solo. Dutch champion Niki Terpstra attacked in pursuit, but Cummings was doing a good job by himself, extending his advantage to 50 seconds over the peloton, and even reaching a minute by 8 kilometres to go.

With 6 left, most of the teams with an interest in the stage were at the front, and Cummings' gap fell. The hill was slated to start at three kilometres to go, but they were climbing with five left, as the speed fell and the group became one line.

White jersey Esteban Chaves was the first to attack the peloton, on the early slopes of the climb, sailing past Cummings as the road climbed to sixteen per cent. Giant, naturally put a man on the front to protect Dumoulin's race lead, and it was indeed Dumoulin who attacked on the flatter section. Dan Martin was the next to go, attacking the peloton with Navarro and Moreno, cracking them on the steep slopes and chasing the now struggling Dumoulin. He did catch him, outsprinting him to the line, but it was Chaves who would take the stage, and indeed the red jersey. He won by five seconds, and now leads by ten from Dumoulin.

"I can't believe it," he said. "It's unbelievable." "Neil (his directeur) told me to go, I had really good legs, the team in fantastic. They stayed with me all day. They put me in a really good position, it's unbelievable. I'm really happy."

Stage Results:

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