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De Marchi Solos Home in Campoo; Aru Struggles to Expand Lead

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Jaime Reina, AFP/Getty

Alessandro De Marchi of BMC recouped a measure of morale for his team on the day their leader Samuel Sanchez left the Vuelta a España, escaping from the lead group inside the final 2km to win the 14th stage atop Alto Campoo in the Cantabria region of northern Spain. The victory was De Marchi's second Vuelta stage win in just over a year, having soloed away to a stage victory in 2014, and arguably his finest hour as a pro for the Italian domestique. The general classification saw some slight changes as leader Fabio Aru of Astana padded his lead over Tom Dumoulin of Giant, currently sitting in third place, while Movistar's Nairo Quintana bounced back from illness to reassert himself as a person of interest.

The day's breakaway was let go in search of stage success, leaving Mikael Cherel, De Marchi, Carlos Quintero, JJ Rojas and Salvatore Puccio on their own to show that they have some ability to survive over 215km and finish off a climb to boot. Cherel was particularly aggressive in the late stages of the race, but De Marchi had all the answers, waiting for his moment and making it stick.

In the favorites group, overnight leader Aru put his formidable Astana team on the front and paced the peloton inside the final 4km, where the Sardinian took matters into his own hand with an attack that quickly distanced all but Quintana, though Aru struggled to maintain and enlarge his gap over his rivals, eventually being reeled in by Katusha and second-overall Joaquim Rodriguez, as well as Esteban Chaves of Orica-GreenEdge. Dumoulin, once again, limited his losses to 19 seconds (provisional) and his time trialling ability remains the single biggest threat to Aru at the moment. That and Aru's own fitness, which didn't allow him to gain much on the day, try as he might. The Vuelta remains wide open at the moment, with much more to come in the next two days in particular.

Results

  1. DE MARCHI Alessandro BMC 5h43'11"
  2. PUCCIO Salvatore SKY 21"
  3. ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin MOV 32"
  4. CHEREL Mikael ALM 38"
  5. QUINTERO NORENA Carlos Julian COL 01'00"
  6. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOV 03'32"
  7. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim KAT 03'38"
  8. CHAVES RUBIO Jhoan Esteban OGE 03'39"
  9. ARU Fabio AST 03'39"
  10. MAJKA Rafal TCS 03'44"
  11. POZZOVIVO Domenico ALM 03'44"
  12. NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel SKY 03'51"
  13. VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro MOV 03'58"
  14. MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel KAT 03'58"
  15. DUMOULIN Tom TGA 03'58"
  16. MEINTJES Louis MTN 04'05" 0
  17. LANDA MEANA Mikel AST 04'11"
  18. JEANDESBOZ Fabrice EUC 04'21"
  19. CRADDOCK Lawson TGA 04'23"
  20. TORRES AGUDELO Rodolfo Andres COL 04'23"

GC

  1. Aru
  2. Rodriguez, at 0.26
  3. Dumoulin, at 0.49
  4. Chaves, at 1.29
  5. Majka, at 1.33
  6. Nieve, at 2.10
  7. Valverde, at 2.11
  8. Moreno, at 2.13
  9. Quintana, at 3.00
  10. Sicard, at 3.39