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La Vuelta Ciclista a España. Stage 14. A strong 2nd place for Miguel Angel Lopez on Les Praeres

The stages at the Vuelta a España are becoming harder and harder. In the second day in a row in the mountains Miguel Angel Lopez was very close to a victory, taking a solid second place atop the final climb of stage 14 Les Praeres in Nava. The Astana leader was one of the strongest in the leading group of GC contenders. He made a few attacks on short and very steep climb and, finally, finished second, just 2 seconds behind the Britton Simon Yates.

- Today I had a good opportunity to win the stage, but from the other hand, on the final climb I did my best and in that situation inside the last kilometer it was difficult to do something more. I felt really good and I can say this climb suited me perfectly. But, also, my rivals were strong. There were many attacks in our group and I tried to control it. For a few times I closed the gap, but, for sure, it was impossible to catch all moves. In the end I counterattacked to try to reach Yates, but was able to finish second. Anyway, I can be happy with this day and with the way our team did it. I am happy I was up there in front with the other contenders. Tomorrow will be another day and another hard race. I hope to continue improving heading into the third week of the Vuelta, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.

Stage 14 with the start in Cistierna had a hard profile with five categorized climbs, including the final 3,5-km-long Les Praeres with some parts over 24%. A group of 6 riders broke away in the beginning of the day, but the peloton never gave them too much space, so on the penultimate climb this group was caught. A few teams increased the pace in the group dramatically, doing a huge selection in the peloton and dropping the current red jersey Jesús Herrada and some other favorites. On the final climb there were a few attacks of the favorites, but nobody could get an important advantage. Just in the final it was Simon Yates, who could break away to win the stage, followed by Miguel Angel Lopez and Alejandro Valverde 2 seconds later.

Yates became the new overall leader having 20 seconds on Valverde, 25 seconds on Nairo Quintana and 47 seconds on Miguel Angel Lopez, currently 4th in the general classification and still the leader of the best young rider classification.

The second week of the Vuelta a España will end with another very tough stage 15 from Ribera de Arriba to the iconic climb Lagos de Covadonga (178,2 km).

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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