VUELTA: Cobo takes the leaders jersey from Wiggins

Stage 15: Jose Cobo wins the stage up the Angliru mountain to take the leaders jersey from Wiggins who drops to 3rd. Froome stays second overall.

Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins are second and third respectively in the overall standings after Juan José Cobo (Geox) climbed to victory on an epic stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana to take the leader’s red jersey. Cobo made his move with just under seven kilometres remaining on the extreme final climb of the Alto de L’Angliru.

He finished 48 seconds ahead of Wout Poels (Vacansoleil), Denis Menchov (Geox) and Froome, with that trio a further 33 seconds in front of fifth-placed Wiggins and Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in sixth. It all means that going into the second rest day Cobo leads the GC by 20 seconds from Froome, with Wiggins 46 seconds back in third and Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) 1:36 adrift in fourth.  He now has six stages to defend his lead before the finish in Madrid next Sunday.

Chris Froome said afterwards “The plan for today was to try and keep Bradley right up there going into that final climb. With those gradients it was basically a time trial from the bottom to the top and both of us were poised in really good positions on the road. We gave all we had all the way up there but today Cobo proved to be stronger than both of us. We’ve lost the jersey, which never leaves you with a nice feeling, but there’s still a week of racing to go and we’ll do everything in our power to keep battling and keep right up there in the standings.”

“This second rest day couldn’t come at a better time for me, just like the first one couldn’t, because I’m absolutely shattered and tomorrow will be a welcome time to take things easy and recharge the batteries.”

Steven de Jongh, Team Sky Sports Director: “You can see that our guys took time from nearly all the other GC contenders which was a great effort but unfortunately Cobo was just a bit too strong and put in a lot of time to both Brad and Chris; fair play to him for that. We’re still second and third overall and the boys did an amazing job. We can be really proud of their performances because that final climb was incredibly steep – even the cars were struggling with it.

“We’ll now take it day by day now – as we have been doing – and maybe opportunities will arise which we’ll do our best to take. Second and third on the GC is also something significant to defend so it’s going to be an exciting last week. Before then the riders will all look to get some well-deserved rest tomorrow – they’ve done a fantastic job controlling things over the last week.”

Tom Boonen out of Vuelta
Tom Boonen was involved today in a group pile up before the Alto del Cordal. Boonen finished the race regardless, but he suffered a serious contusion to his left hand due to the fall. The Quick-Step rider was taken to the General Hospital in Gijon (Spain) for further tests, that evidenced a fracture to his left scaphoid. As a consequence of his hand fracture, Boonen won’t be on the start line for the 16th stage of the Vuelta on Wednesday, September 6.

“I was twentieth in the group when in the span of a moment I found myself on the ground, due to a sudden movement of the peloton. I immediately understood that my problem was serious, but I wanted to finish the race and then evaluate what to do together with the team’s medical staff. I didn’t even manage to hold the handlebar, I had a lot of trouble getting to the finish line. It’s a really tough moment for me. I was doing really well in the past few days and, as we’re getting closer to the World Championship, it was perfect. The entire scenario changed in a moment. I am very disappointed.”

<<< Previous Stage

1    Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC    4:01:56
2    Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    0:00:48
3    Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC
4    Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
5    Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling    0:01:21
6    Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7    Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team    0:01:35
8    Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek
9    Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
10    Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
11    Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo

1    Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC    59:57:16
2    Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling    0:00:20
3    Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling    0:00:46
4    Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    0:01:36
5    Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek    0:02:37
6    Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC    0:03:01
7    Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek    0:03:06
8-    Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    0:03:27
9    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    0:03:58
10    Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    0:04:13
11    Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team    0:04:32
12    Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    0:04:50
13    Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team    0:05:17
14    Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team    0:05:56
15    Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    0:06:08
16    Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo    0:06:42
17    Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    0:07:50
18    Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    0:08:02
19    Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team    0:09:13
20    Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale    0:09:16

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