The break are attacking each other and that’s keeping the pace at over 50kph. The gap goes out again to 20 seconds.
Up front and Cort Neilson has kicked again as he looks to bring another group from the first portion of riders. 174km to go.
Caja Rural are chipping in and giving them a hand.
It’s starting to come down, and the gap is at 16 seconds, so Movistar are correcting the situation.
The peloton though remain lined-out and Movistar can only hope that there are too many passengers in the attack and they start to miss turns and sit up. This looks really dangerous though.
Movistar do have Erviti in the move but they might call him back to help close the gap, which is at 28 seconds.
Movistar have missed this 25 rider move and they’re having to race full throttle for the opening 15km of the stage. Jumbo then complain that the race motos are helping the Spanish squad. It’s all kicking off.
Luis Leon Sanchez is back with the medical car. It doesn’t look like he has fallen but he’s not in a good way. The magic spray comes out but this could be touch and go for the veteran.
Kuss is in the break! He’s 4’59 down on GC and the best placed rider in the move. Movistar can’t let this go and they’re the ones chasing. They can’t wait for Intermarche to handle this.
De la Cruz is only seven minutes down so that will be a concern for the GC teams at this point. The bunch remain on high alert and haven’t sat up with the gap at around 25 seconds with 180km to go.
Bardet is in the move. Sivakov, Craddock, Trentin, de la Cruz too.
LL Sanches is part of the group that has been dropped as up the road Caruso is in the break. Can’t see Bardet just yet.
Ineos, Lotto, AG2R, Bora, QuickStep and EF are well represented in the front group but more and more riders are attacking from the peloton. Riders have been dropped from the peloton already – that’s how rapid the race has been.
Now both of the front two groups have merged with 187km to go as the entire peloton lines out. This has been a really tough start to the race.
188km to go
About 15 riders off the front but there are another 12 riders chasing as the attacks continue.
The trio don’t have time gap yet and the pace is still incredibly high as we head through the opening kilometers of stage 15.
No rest for Bardet, and yesterday’s stage winner has gone on the attack once more. He’s off the front with his teammate Michael Storer and Magnus Cort Neilson. They’ve won five stage between them in this year’s race so this would be a good move to follow if you wanted to get into the day’s break.
We’ve completed the neutralized zone and we’re racing on stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Here’s a photo of Bardet enjoying his first Vuelta a Espana stage win, and his first Grand Tour stage win since 2017. Team DSM have really turned their season around in the last month.
The first climb of the stage, the Alto de la Centenera, is some way off, peaking out 85.1km into the stage. The first hour or so will be totally flat but we’re likely to see another major fight to get into the break. It worked yesterday for Romain Bardet and perhaps Damiano Caruso will have a go today. He needs to do something after losing the KOM jersey to the Frenchman. Bardet has 50 points, Caruso 31.
One non starter today and it’s Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education Nippo). So we’re down to 163 riders on the start line for the 197.5km stage.
As I mentioned, it’s an early start today and the riders have just rolled out through the neutralized zone.
Here’s the GC picture coming into today’s stage. There wasn’t much action on yesterday final climb between the main favourites other than Lopez’s late attack. Today should see some much bigger gaps. All eyes on Roglic but also Eiking, who remains in the leader’s jersey after another dogged ride on Saturday.
General classification after stage 14
1 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 55:03:17
2 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:00:54
3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 00:01:36
4 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:02:11
5 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 00:03:04
6 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 00:03:35
7 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 00:04:21
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:04:49
9 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 00:04:59
10 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:05:31
A bit of housekeeping before we get underway, as it’s an early start. Richard Carapaz was a DNF yesterday. The Olympic road race champion is heading home to rest after a grueling season. Here’s the story.
Here’s what Peter Cossins wrote in his stage preview for today:
This is a very long day in the mountains for the Vuelta, running from the western end of the Sierra de Gredos to this massif’s most easterly point at El Barraco, a town long associated with 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, who first raced for the local club which was run and is now named after his father Víctor.
It’s another day in the mountains for the riders in this year’s race. It’s not quite a summit finish with a short descent to the line in El Barraco but it’s another brute of a stage with four categorized ascents, including the first cat climb of Puerto de Mijares, to contend with. Here’s a picture of the stage profile if you don’t believe me.
Good morning and welcome to our live race coverage from stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana.