Sánchez flies to victory
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the fastest in Friday's stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, ahead of Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) in that order. The Basque climber proved excellent descending qualities as he split off the favourites' group in the last downhill stretch after the race's main showdown at the Alto del Castillo in Cuenca. With 7 kilometres to go, Sanchez attacked and managed to hold onto his advantage of 8 seconds until the very end, where he sat up to let himself be carried into the finish by the cheering crowd.
The day saw no changes to the top of the overall classification, still owned by Alejandro Valverde, although the last climb, the Alto del Castillo with 12 kilometres to go, was battled out by GC favourites.
The breakaway of the day, which took off in the second climb of the stage, the Alto de Córcoles, saw Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Lars Ytting Bak (Team CSC), Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) and Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) reach a maximum lead of close to eight minutes, before Quick.Step, Milram and Liquigas took over the pacemaking in the bunch and caught them 20 kilometres from the finish line.