La Vuelta Stage 10: Quintana Powers To The Top

Quintana flies up Lagos de Covadonga for the stage win and red jersey

Quintana flies up Lagos de Covadonga for the stage win and red jersey

The climb to Lagos de Covadonga has a special place in La Vuelta's history. Famously, in 1985, a group of Spanish riders teamed up against Robert Millar on this deceptive mountain with steep sections mixed up with flatter gradients that make for a tactical race to its peak. That year Pedro Delgado was the winner, but Millar came back to grab a stage victory here the following year. The Covadonga is to the Spanish, their Tourmalet or Alpe d'Huez.

This year it was Nairo Quintana who showed great form, blasting his way past the other GC contenders in an all out attack that he was able to sustain, bringing him both the stage win and the red jersey.

Earlier, Chris Froome had his British supporters worried as he fell off the back of the red jersey group. In fact, it turned out he was riding a well-timed and paced ascent up this tarmacked goat track to nowhere, one that he has failed to deliver on in the past. Learning from his mistakes he rode his own race, then breezed past Contador and Valverde, both struggling to stay on his wheel after they'd spent their energy on the earlier part of the climb.

Quintana's attack saw the race in pieces with five or six km to go from the finish, the peloton strung out all over the mountain. The tiny Colombian looks on excellent form and he has a good lead of just under a minute. He'll want to build on that before the time trial where Froome will want to reel in the Movistar rider's advantage.

Tomorrow there's a much needed rest day for the riders who'll be catching their breath after a dramatic opening of this fantastically entertaining race. In the meantime,  you can catch up on the action with these great montage videos from on-board cameras. Here's Stage 9 and 10: