The 14th stage of the Vuelta a Espana saw the break of the day succeed with Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) 1st across the line. Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky) was 2nd and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) was 3rd.
It was a break of 5 riders that would headline the longest stage of this year’s Vuelta a Espana as they reached a maximum lead of just over 10 minutes during the course of the day. Astana set a moderate tempo for the duration of the stage, only upping the pace somewhat when we reached the final climb of the day, the 18km out of category Alto Campoo.
With a lead of 8’30” at the start of the climb it was always going to be the break who would decide the stage on the misty slopes, De Marchi proving to be strongest. Back in the peloton, the GC contenders only sprung to life with around 4km to go. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and race leader Fabio Aru (Astana) were first to attack. All the favourites followed as best they could, including our Louis Meintjes.
In the end Louis would finish among all the main contenders in 16th, pulling back a few seconds on the riders directly ahead of him on the GC. Louis is still in 12th on GC but now only 1’02” from the top 10 once again.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
It was the longest stage today at 215km but also the neutral zone was also 16km making for over 230km. So it was a pretty long and hard stage after 13 stages of the Vuelta already. There was quite a battle to get into the break today. At first Songezo was in the break of 10 guys, they had 20 seconds and then the peloton closed them down. 5 guys then went away and Astana controlled up to the last climb. Louis did a good job, he moved a bit closer to the top 10 once again which is good motivation for the next tough stages.