Alexandre Geniez (FDJ.fr) won what was billed as the queen stage of the Vuelta a España. The Frenchman was part of a large breakaway that slipped away from the bunch after 28km of racing on stage 15. The group fractured over the hilly parcours, and Geniez was the only rider from the early escape to hold off the field.
Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) was the second rider to cross the summit finish line to Peyragudes, 3’03 behind Geniez. Nicholas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) rounded out the stage podium. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) successfully defended his race lead and retained his 50” advantage over Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard Trek) in second overall.
As expected, it was another day of survival for the ORICA-GreenEDGE squad. Michael Matthews briefly featured in the breakaway before falling back in the bunch up the second of four categorised climbs. Baden Cooke abandoned before the mid-point of the stage.
“Obviously, I’m really disappointed not to be able to finish the Vuelta. I have had a cough for over a week and after getting so cold yesterday, the cough seemed to move into my lungs. The doc has given me antibiotics for bronchitis. This Vuelta has been a success for the team so far with Michael’s win on stage five. I’m really upset that I can’t try to help him win again in Madrid.” - Baden Cooke
“When we’re in the mountains, which aren’t our strength, it’s easy to forget what we’ve already achieved and what we hope to accomplish in later stages. We might not have much to report from a day like today, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost focus. We’re here chasing stage wins on the flatter stages. Even with only five guys left, we have a chance to get Matthews up for the win in Madrid.” - Sport Director Matt Wilson
|1||Alexandre Geniez (Fra) - FDJ.fr||6:20:12|
|2||Michele Scarponi (Ita) - Lampre-Merida||0:03:03|
|3||Nicolas Roche (Irl) - Team Saxo-Tinkoff||0:03:07|
|4||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) - Astana Pro Team||0:03:20|
|5||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) - Movistar Team||ST|
|6||Christopher Horner (USA) - RadioShack Leopard||ST|
|7||Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) - Katusha||ST|
|8||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) - AG2R La Mondiale||ST|
|9||José Herrada Lopez (Spa) - Movistar Team||0:03:23|
|10||David Arroyo Duran (Spa) - Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||ST|
|58||Christian Meier (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:21:00|
|119||Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:35:09|
|124||Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|137||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|139||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|