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Complete Live Report
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Hola! Back into the mountains we go...
It's stage 13 of La Vuelta and in store today we have the first in a trio of summit finishes in the mountains of Castile y Leon and Asturias in the north of Spain. Coming up at the weekend: Les Praeres and Los Lagos de Covadonga. But first, this 175km stage finishing atop the first-category Alto de la Camperona. It's still tight on GC but this is where it should start to take shape.
Here's the stage profile
Before we go anywhere, some essential reading for you. Alasdair Fotheringham has written a big preview of this trio of mountain stages, with insight from a certain Alberto Contador.
Yesterday the red jersey changed hands with Simon Yates losing the overall lead to Jesus Herrada, who was in the big breakaway. Here is Herrada this morning, alongside former teammate Alejandro Valverde in the green points jersey and current teammate Luis Angel Mate in the mountains jersey.
To catch up on yesterday's action, which saw Alexandre Geniez take his third career stage win at the Vuelta, here's the link you need. Includes report, full results, and a photo gallery.
The riders have rolled out of Candas and are currently making their way through the neutralised zone.
Before the flag drops, here's a reminder of the overall standings.
1 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 50:28:56
2 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:03:22
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:36
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:39
6 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:46
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:49
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:03:54
10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:05
11 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:09
12 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:04:37
13 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:04:55
14 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:03
15 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:11
16 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:05:12
17 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:05:32
18 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:05:42
19 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:06:46
20 Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data 0:07:04
The scene on the start line a few moments ago...
Here we go!
The flag drops and the race is waved underway. Here comes the fight for the break.
It's full gas in the opening kilometres as riders try to attack and the peloton stretches.
Four riders open up a small gap but now more attacks come from behind.
Coming up shortly, and a possible breakaway shaper, is that early climb.
Alto de la Madera
There's a large group of 30 off the front now, with Team Sky chasing behind.
- 160.8km remaining from 174.8km
30 seconds is the gap as the riders hit the Alto de la Madera.
Some familiar names in this move. Ben King already has two mountaintop stage wins at this Vuelta - surely he's just getting greedy now? Bauke Mollema has two runner-up finishes from breaks and is desperate for a win. The ever-reliable Thomas De Gendt is also in there for a second time in two days. Full list of names on the way.
Interestingly, Herrada himself was off the front. He got a fair bit of rope yesterday but, already leading the race by more than three minutes, he's not going to be given much more. He drops back to the peloton, along with Sepp Kuss (LottoNL) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar).
The 30-strong break starts to pull away over the top of the climb. Seeing this, some of those who missed out decide to jump from the peloton in a desperate bid to get across.
Here we go then. The 32 breakaway riders are as follows
Sander Armee, Thomas De Gendt, Bjorg Lambrecht, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal)
Bauke Mollema, Nicola Conci, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo)
Marcus Burghardt, Rafal Majka, Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Eduard Prades, Garikoitz Bravo and Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias)
Joseph Rosskopf, Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team)
Laurens De Plus, Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors)
Ben King, Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data)
Ilnur Zakarin, Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha Alpecin)
Alex Aranburu, Cristian Rodriguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
Gorka Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida)
Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale)
Imanol Erviti (Movistar)
Sergio Henao (Team Sky)
Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb)
Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates)
Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH)
Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis)
KOM results at Alto de la Madera (km 21)
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), 3 pts
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), 2 pts
3. Ben King (Dimension Data), 1 pt
No points at that first climb for Maté but he'll have his sights firmly set on the rather larger prize that awaits at the top of the first-category Alto de Tarna after 105km.
- 142km remaining from 174.8km
The gap moves out to two minutes. Cofidis come to the front of the peloton to assume their duties and try and control proceedings.
Ben King is the best-placed on GC of the breakaway riders, by the way. He's at 7:04.
- 139.8km remaining from 174.8km
The gap increases to 3 minutes on a short uncategorised rise.
44.8km were covered in the first hour of racing.
- 125km remaining from 174.8km
The gap grows out to 4:15 but now appears to have stabilised.
Fair play to Lotto Soudal for getting no fewer than 5 of the their 8 riders into the break.
Yesterday's stage ended on a slightly sour note as winner Alexandre Geniez and runner-up Dylan van Baarle crashed just beyond the finish line after a collision with an errant race official. Yes, really. Sadhbh O'Shea has the story:
- 113km remaining from 174.8km
The breakaway's advantage is in fact continuing to rise. 6:15 now, and counting.
- 100km remaining from 174.8km
With 100km to go, the gap between the 32-rider breakaway and the peloton has increased to 7:15, and with that we have a new virtual leader for the third time in as many days, in Ben King.
Our latest podcast has just landed. It doesn't touch the Vuelta but is well worth a listen nonetheless. My colleagues Daniel Benson and Kirsten Frattini are in Canada for the Quebec and Montreal one-day races and as well as a preview of the action there's also an exclusive interview with Greg Van Avermaet, who talks about his season and the new dawn coming under CCC. Click here to listen.
The has extended to 9:30 in a short space of time.
Cofidis aren't doing much to stop this break disappearing up the road, and GC teams have now started to get involved at the head of the peloton. Movistar and Mitchelton-Scott are both up there, as are LottoNL and even EF-Drapac.
The breakaway riders are approaching the first of the two Cat-1 climbs, the Puerto de Tarna. This is what it looks like.
- 87km remaining from 174.8km
The fresh impetus in the peloton has seen the gap start to come back down. 8:30 now.
The breakaway riders have hit the lower slopes of the Puerto de Tarna.
The gap continues to fall as the peloton hit the climb. Movistar have taken control with three riders on the front, and the gap has come down to 7:23.
It had looked like it would be another day for the breakaway but now it's not so certain...
Alberto Contador has told us that this climb "won't do much". But it's a different story when it comes to La Camperona. Here he is in our stage preview.
Movistar are setting a strong tempo here, and that's evident on two fronts; the gap is coming down all the time - 6:30 now - and the peloton is fragmenting.
- 75km remaining from 174.8km
With 75km to go, the gap is down to 6 minutes.
It's Winner Anacona doing all the damage here for Movistar. Andrey Amador is on the wheel. Cofidis are tucked in behind them.
Van der Sande and Bravo have lost contact with the break 4.5km from the top of the climb.
Astana have taken over from Movistar now. The gap is still 6 minutes.
The breakaway riders come to the final kilometre of the climb.
Maté wears the KOM jersey, while King is another rider up there in the standings.
De Gendt opens the sprint for the banner
King responds but De Gendt takes maximum points. Maté comes across in a more distant third place.
That was a hell of a sprint from De Gendt, and he and King have a sizeable gap as they begin the descent.
- 63km remaining from 174.8km
The peloton crests the Puerto de Tarna 6:22 in arrears.
A reminder of the stage profile. It's not much of a descent.
KOM results at Puerto de Tarna (km 105)
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 10pts
2. Ben King (Dimension Data) 6pts
3. Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) 4pts
4. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 2pts
5. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) 1pt
Here are is the updated overall KOM classification after that climb.
1 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 64 pts
2 Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data 40
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 30
4 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 29
5 Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 26
- 50km remaining from 174.8km
With 50km remaining, the gap has stabilised at 6 minutes. Movistar are back on the front.
This stage is now pretty much a preamble ahead of the Camperona climb. This might whet your appetite...
Cofidis are contributing to the chase once again.
Some awful, awful news to report. Kristina Vogel is paralysed from the chest down following a training crash. Full story here.
- 41km remaining from 174.8km
Anacona is back on the front for Movistar but the breakaway are advancing nicely and the gap is still 5:40.
Simon Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team have hardly done any work today. Here's what Yates had to say after handing the jersey over to Herrada yesterday.
Crash in the break
An innocuous one, that, on a section of false flat, as riders exchange bottles. De Plus hits the deck, seemingly in a collision with McCarthy.
King was also held up and is back in the cars just behind De Plus.
- 31.5km remaining from 174.8km
King and De Plus are back in the break and they roll on. Their lead is 5:15 with just over 30km left to run.
A reminder of the stage profile. The final climb begins with 8.3km to go.
This is the Camperona's third appearance in five years. In both 2014 and 2016 it was followed 48 hours later by Lagos de Covadonga, as is the case in this Vuelta.
In 2014 Ryder Hesjedal won atop La Camperona - his final pro victory - while in 2016 it was Sergey Lagutin. Both were from the break.
"In the last section, the climb just seems to go on forever. In fact, you can see that sign saying 'one kilometre to go' and it feels like you’re never going to reach it."
That's Alberto Contador talking about La Camperona. For more of his thoughts, follow this link to our stage preview.
- 17.5km remaining from 174.8km
We're getting close now, and the breakaway's fortunes hang in the balance. 4:15 is the gap.
Plenty of riders in the break coming through to help it along on the approach to the final climb.
De Gendt is very prominent on the front of the break. Lotto Soudal still have four in there after Van der Sande was dropped earlier. Bjorg Lambrecht can climb... can the young Belgian produce a breakthrough performance in the pro ranks after a very impressive U23 campaign last year?
- 9km remaining from 174.8km
We're almost at the foot of the climb and the gap is down to 3:45.
Here we go! La Camperona begins.
8.3km. Average gradient 7.5% but, as you can see, much worse in the final 3km
It's Movistar chasing on the approach in the peloton, with Cofidis still putting in the odd turn as well.
Restrepo takes it up in the break on the gentler early gradients. His teammate Ilnur Zakarin has had a poor Vuelta so far but can he salvage something today?
The peloton hits the climb with a deficit of 3:35.
Before the chaos unfolds, let me know who you're picking for today's stage victory. You can reach me via Twitter @paddyfletch
Jay McCarthy and Thomas De Gendt are both dropped. They both did a fair bit of leg-work in helping to drive this break clear in the interests of teammates.
Maté loses contact now, too.
Burghardt is on the front with Majka on the wheel.
- 3.5km remaining from 174.8km
Those early kilometres have flown by. The climb will soon ramp up viciously.
Conci is dropped too.
That does for Burghardt, who is now pedalling squares.
Majka is right on the wheel of Zakarin, and the Russian ups it again.
- 3km remaining from 174.8km
3km to go and the gradients are starting to bite.
King accelerates now. Surely he can't make it three?
- 2.5km remaining from 174.8km
2.5km to go now and the road narrows and the gradient really gets cruel now.
Big splits in the break now on the double digit gradients.
Kudus sets off in pursuit of Majka.
Kudus drags his way across to Majka.
This looks brutal. Teuns is chasing the leading duo.
The peloton are 3 minutes back and about to hit the steeper gradients.
Majka springs out of the saddle again and rides away from Kudus.
Teuns comes past Kudus.
Teuns is grinding his way across to Majka! It's almost a slow-motion battle out there.
- 1.6km remaining from 174.8km
Teuns reaches Majka and comes to the front.
Mitchelton-Scott take it up in the peloton.
It's Haig leading the way for Yates in the GC group, which is itself exploding. Quintana is lurking.
Up front Teuns leads the way with Majka in the wheel as the gradients hit 20%
Valverde, Kelderman, Uran all up towards the front of the GC group.
Majka and Teuns round a bend and go side by side as the gradients somehow increase yet further. There's almost no use slipstreaming here.
Kelderman is looking strong as he leads the GC group.
Oscar Rodriguez appears from nowhere and catches the leading duo!
- 1km remaining from 174.8km
And drops them! Oscar Rodriguez leads the race under the flamme rouge!
No attacks in the GC group but there aren't many left.
Rodriguez has opened a huge gap!
What a win this would be for the Euskadi-Murias team.
Seven riders are establishing themselves at the head of the GC group. Yates, Quintana, Valverde, Kelderman in there.
Mechanical for Miguel Angel Lopez!
Lopez has to unclip and try to get going again.
Rodriguez comes into the final 200m. He's surely going to get this...
Rodriguez cracks a smile as he comes into the final 50 metres. He raises his arms in celebration now. That's it. What a win!
Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias) wins stage 13 of the Vuelta a España
Majka drops Teuns to finish second.
Back down the road to the GC group and Quintana and Yates are away together
Quintana and Yates both look relaxed. They're several seconds ahead of the rest.
Gorka Izaguirre is weaving across the road. He looks around and sees his brother Ion in the third group.
Quintana and Yates have maybe 15 seconds.
Quintana springs from the saddle and accelerates in the final 200m
Quintana crosses the line.
And now Yates, five seconds later.
Valverde is next in, 11 seconds behind Yates. He crosses the line with Pinot and Lopez.
Several seconds further back are Kelderman, Kruijswijk, Uran, and De la Cruz.
Gallopin, Izaguirre, and Bennett all lose considerably more time.
And then there's Aru, who looks like he's shipped another minute to Quintana.
Stage 13 results
1 Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 4:17:05
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:19
3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:30
4 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:38
5 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:43
6 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data 0:01:00
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:12
8 Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:21
9 Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:25
10 Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data 00:01:27
General classification after stage 13
1 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 54:50:19
2 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:42
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:50
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:54
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:02:23
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:02:33
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:35
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:40
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:44
10 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:47
That's the first professional victory for 23-year-old Oscar Rodriguez.
"I can't believe it," he says. "I can't believe I've won my first race, let alone at the Vuelta."
It seems Rafal Majka can't quite believe it either...
"Actually I'm surprised by this guy because in the end when he caught me and Teuns I still had legs, but this guy, when he came he came really fast. That's cycling..."
Here's our report page
No huge gaps on GC but it seemed significant that Quintana and Yates came to the fore there. Some big stages to come this weekend but they look like the two main contenders for the red jersey.