Spains Jess Herrada became the overall leader while Alexandre Geniez won stage 12 with a nail-biting sprint to pip Dylan van Baarle
The Spanish rider Jesus Herrada became the overall leader of the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday while the Frenchman Alexandre Geniez won stage 12 with a nail-biting sprint to the finish line as he pipped Team Sky’s Dylan van Baarle to victory.
Cofidis’ Herrada took the red jersey from Britain’s Simon Yates after joining a second breakaway group that finished 2min 32 sec behind Geniez and over nine minutes ahead of Yates and the other general category hopefuls.
Herrada holds an impressive lead of 3min 32 sec over Yates, who slipped to second place, while Alejandro Valverde is now third, a further second behind, and Nairo Quintana is down to fourth.
Geniez edged ahead in the final few metres of the 180.1 km flat stage from Mondonedo to Faro de Estaca de Bares to beat Van Baarle by half a wheel and grab a third victory at the Vuelta after winning stages in 2013 and 2016.
There was further ache for Van Baarle, who looked visibly frustrated at narrowly missing out on the stage win and crashed into a photographer shortly after crossing the finish line.
The Vuelta returns to the mountains in Friday’s stage 13, a 174.8 km route from Candas Carreno to La Camperona with a summit finish.