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Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana won Stage 11 of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday, as the heavens opened during the extreme climbing to Calar Alto. 

Bad weather compounded the racing, but a highly tactical affair saw a dramatic dash for victory on a punishing stage.

Red jersey holder Chris Froome was impressive in the final moments, grabbing second place to maintain his overall performance in the general classification. 

Per Le Gruppetto, here is the latest stage result and general classification: provided details of the stage, with a gentle start followed by heavy gradients:

After setting off from Lorca, the peloton was soaked during difficult conditions, challenging the riders as the temperatures dropped at higher altitude.

Fabio Aru suffered an early puncture, with the pack developing a rapid pace in the early part of the stage, but the Italian quickly found his spot back in the field.

Romain Bardet split the peloton as a group of riders used his pace to stretch the field, and Michael Woods followed the AG2R La Mondiale cyclist.

However, the attack was neutralised, and Simon Clarke led a breakaway from the peloton with 14 riders putting their collective foot on the gas. Bardet and Bob Jungels made up the numbers as they stretched the leaders.

The group attained an advantage of three minutes as they pushed on, with Team Sky working hard to support Froome in the peloton.

Bardet continued his sterling work at the head of the race, but Froome was settled and content with his GC contenders within view. 

Simon Yates made his move, departing from the peloton to chase the leader, and he soon made ground with 40 kilometres remaining.

Astana's Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez celebrates while crossing the finish line after winning the 11th stage during the 72nd edition of 'La Vuelta' Tour of Spain cycling race, a 187,50 km route between Lorca to Calar Alto on August 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO /

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Bardet and Yates led the stage with Dimension Data’s Igor Anton and Aldemar Reyes of Manzana Postobon joining them, crossing the punishing summit together at Alto de Velefique.

The rain finally abated as the leaders held an advantage of over a minute, and the moisture quickly evaporated as the chilly conditions gave way to improved temperatures.

Darwin Atapuma made a challenge as he latched onto Bardet and Yates during the heavy climbing, and the 29-year-old took the lead during the descent with 15 kilometres remaining. 

Sky led the red-jersey group, as they set their own pace with Froome, and Yates lost touch with Atapuma and Bardet as his legs began to fail.

Froome and Co. stepped through the gears with impressive ease as they chased hard, and the gap to the leading pair was reduced to only 56 seconds with 10 kilometres on the clock.

Team Sky appeared powerful and motivated as the gap evaporated to the front of the race, and a win for Froome was suddenly a reality after perfect timing from his team-mates.

Sky's British cyclist Christopher Froome celebrates wearing the leader's red jersey on the podium after winning the 10th stage of the 72nd edition of 'La Vuelta' Tour of Spain cycling race, a 164,8 km route between Caravaca to Alhama de Murcia, on August

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Franco Pellizotti took responsibilty at the front, stretching the GC pack, but it was Nibali who exploded for the line with two kilometres to go.

A frantic finish saw Froome give chase as Nibali climbed out of his saddle, and the Tour de France champion was powerful as he produced a magnificent cadence.

However, it was left to Lopez to claim victory by 14 seconds as he jumped to the front near the end, with Froome running out of energy in the final kilometre.

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