Jesus Herrada powered to stage 11 victory in the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday with little change in the general classification stakes.
Herrada produced a late burst of energy to pass Jonathan Caicedo and secure his breakaway triumph on the category one summit finish through the trees at La Laguna Negra.
The main general classification riders, including last year’s champion Remco Evenepoel, three-time Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic and back-to-back Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard could not be split.
Sepp Kuss keeps the red jersey, leading by 26 seconds from Marc Soler.
“My goal was a stage win,” said Herrada. “I had to wait for the second week to make it happen, but we did it, now we can enjoy the rest of the race and keep fighting.”
Despite several attempts to attack there was no early break and the peloton was intact after 50 kilometres. Eventually a big bunch broke away and Jumbo-Visma, controlling the peloton, allowed them to build up a significant gap, which would not be bridged.
TotalEnergies rider Paul Ourselin made a move with 10 kilometres remaining but was pegged back by the chase, led by Tuesday’s time trial winner Filippo Ganna. Caicedo then attacked in the final kilometre but Herrada powered past him to clinch an impressive stage victory, the third of his career in La Vuelta. Romain Gregoire and Andreas Kron followed him over the line, with Caicedo finishing fourth.
Geraint Thomas was part of the breakaway and gained back five-and-a-half minutes, although he is 18th.
“I’m just disappointed I couldn’t finish it off. I just felt that I had no real gas at the end,” he said. “We gave it everything and that’s what we had on the day.”
Stage 12 takes riders over 151 flat kilometres from Olvega to Zaragoza on Thursday, with a bunch sprint finish and tricky winds expected.
🤩 Día para la fuga y victoria por todo lo alto para Jesús Herrada. ¡Revive los mejores momentos de la etapa 1⃣1⃣ en 1 minuto!
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) September 6, 2023