Vuelta a Espana: David Gaudu wins Stage 11 after start is delayed

Primoz Roglic
Primoz Roglic's victory in Stage 10 was controversial

France's David Gaudu won Saturday's 11th stage of the Vuelta a Espana after the start was delayed following a protest led by Ineos Grenadiers.

It followed a decision by stewards on Friday that put Primoz Roglic back into the overall lead.

Groupama rider Gaudu pulled away from Spaniard Marc Soler of Movistar in the final metres of the 170km stage, which finished on the Alto de la Farrapona.

Roglic maintains his lead at the top of the standings.

The Jumbo-Visma rider is on the same time as Ineos' Richard Carapaz but has the red jersey on better stage placings so far.

Ireland's Dan Martin remains in third place, 25 seconds behind Roglic.

Sunday's 12th stage will finish at the top of the challenging Angliru - a 12.4km ascent at 9.9% with the last seven kilometres averaging a gradient of 13% and featuring a section above 20%.

Saturday's start from Villaviciosa was delayed following the protest.

After Slovenia's Roglic burst clear to win Friday's stage, stewards decided that the first eight finishers had created a large enough gap to split finishers on time.

It meant Carapaz lost the overall lead, but Ineos were angry as the rules were changed after the stage.

The rules state that on stages expected to finish in a bunch sprint, time gaps are counted if there is a gap of three seconds or more between groups.

Friday's stage finished with a 1.5km, 5.9% climb but was initially given the three-second cut-off.

However, that was later changed to the usual one-second gap found on mountain-top finishes, causing Ineos to protest as the riders did not know about the change.

Carapaz came in behind a gap in the finishers and was adjudged to have lost three seconds.

That, combined with his 10-second bonus for winning, was enough to bring Roglic level on time and put him in the overall lead.

Several other riders in the top 10 also lost time, including fourth-placed Briton Hugh Carthy, whose Education First team lodged a protest against the decision.

Ineos complained they had been "stung" with Chris Froome, who has won seven grand tours including the Vuelta twice, leading the protest. Other teams joined in and the whole peloton waited before setting off.

It follows rider protests at the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia earlier this season.

Stage 11 result

1. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama - FDJ) 4:54:13

2. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +4secs

3. Michael Storer (Aus/Sunweb) +52secs

4. Mark Donovan (GB/Sunweb) same time

5. Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +55secs

6. Aleksander Vlasov (Rus/Astana) +58secs

7. Dan Martin (Ire/Israel Start-Up Nation) +1:03

8. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) same time

9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) same time

10. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo - Visma) same time

General classification after stage 11

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 45hrs 20mins 31secs

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) same time

3. Dan Martin (Ire/Israel Start-Up Nation) +25secs

4. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Pro Cycling) +58secs

5. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +1min 54secs

6. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 44secs

7. Felix Grossschartner (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3mins 31secs

8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 44secs

9. Wout Poels (Ned/Bahrain-McLaren) +3mins 54secs

10. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) +4mins 43secs