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On the scene for stages 12 and 13 of the Vuelta

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Stage 12 of the Vuelta finished at Faro de Estaca de Bares, a lighthouse station on a spit of land on the Galicia coast of northern Spain. The finish was on a road so narrow that for the last few hundred meters of drive up, I felt like I was threading the needle through the barricades, and I was driving a Fiat 500. Luckily, a break stayed away, so that a group of just six riders, rather than a mass bunch, contested the stage win. Unluckily for Dylan Van Baarle, who took the brunt of it, there was still a crash at a pinch point next to the photographers after the finish line, when someone from the race organization got in the way of the riders.

Alexandre Geniez won the small-group sprint just ahead of Van Baarle. The black blur in the lower left corner of my photo is the shoulder of the race official who tried unsuccessfully to outrun the riders past the photographers’ post.

I didn’t see Geniez hit the official, but I noticed Geniez yell and swerve toward us, and then I looked left and saw the official prone across the road, and then Van Baarle hit him and somersaulted over him. This is Van Baarle immediately after the crash, which was later determined to have broken his pelvis:

Geniez and points jersey leader Valverde on the podium:

Peter Sagan rockin’ some blingy shades as he prepares for the 7k ride to the team buses:

Stage 13 finished on the 8-kilometer climb to Alto de La Camperona. I walked the last three kilometers of the climb, and settled on a spot about 800 meters from the finish line, where there was a nice view of the surrounding hills.

Stage winner Oscar Rodriguez of the Euskadi Basque Country team was the first to appear, to the nearly-hysterical delight of some Basque fans.

Dylan Teuns and Rafal Majka were together when they passed me, but Majka later pulled away from Teuns to take second place on the stage.

De Plus and Kudus, 5th and 6th on the stage, were pulling some good faces.

Ben Gastauer:

Quintana and Simon Yates:

Enric Mas, the breakout star of this Vuelta:

Pinot, Valverde, Kelderman, and Kruijswijk:

Pinot, Uran, and Lopez:

David De La Cruz:

Richie Porte:

Floris De Tier whipped up some crowd enthusiasm for his 60th place ride.

22-year old Ivan Garcia Cortina was the wheelie star of the Vuelta. I rarely saw him not doing a wheelie.

For the ride back down to the team buses, several riders used whistles to alert the spectators as they whizzed by.