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Vuelta a Espana 2017: Stage 13

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Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana.


Hello and welcome to stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana. We're in Coín and just  few minutes away from the start of stage 13 of this year's race. It's a rare opportunity for the sprinters, who have been on the back foot for the last few days. 

 

While the day should be dominated by the sprinters, this is far from a day-off for the main field. The peloton will still cover 198.km, and although we have just the one third category climb, it's another long day in the saddle for our riders. 

A reminder of where things stand coming into the stage. Froome remains in red but his lead has been cut after the Team Sky rider crashed twice yesterday. 

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 49:22:53
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:59
3 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:13
4 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:16
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:17
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:18
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:37
8 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:02:41
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:13
10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:51

 

The bunch have rolled out from Coin and we're heading through the neutralized zone and towards the official start. We should be there in just a couple of minutes. Expect attacks. Lots of attacks.

 

Several talking points from yesterday - from Froome slamming into the tarmac twice, to Contador's bold attack to the concern over rider/spectator safety. The stage really came alive on those two final climbs. Here's what the race leader had to say at the line.

 

"I did come off twice on consecutive corners, I crashed once [when I] lost my front wheel, the levers were all bent," Froome said.

Froome landed on one of the levers, bending it completely so he changed his bike straightaway.

However, he had more trouble immediately afterwards. "I went into the next corner and lost my front wheel again, and continued on that same bike after that," he said. "I'm just grateful not to be more injured today, I lost a little bit of skin, but that was the extent of it."

 

You can read the full low down on Froome's falls, right here.

 

Sticking with Team Sky - but on an unrelated issue - they've signed Chris Lawless for two years. The British team are gobbling up talent left, right and centre at the moment and their pursuit continues with Lawless. Here's the latest recruit on why he chose to join the best financed team in the WorldTour.

 

Froome, by the way, is at the front of the bunch and sporting a rather fetching bandage on his left elbow. He's slightly lucky to have a relatively flat profile for today's stage as it should, in theory, give him time to recover ahead of the weekend's mountain stages. 

 

Who has made it into the early break I hear you ask. Well we've got 5 attackers on the move:

 

Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Arnaud Courteille (FDJ).


The fifth rider is Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), who is around 25 seconds down on the leaders. 

 

De Marchi has made the cut and so we have five leaders:

 

Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC). They already have 1'42 on the peloton and we've only covered 9km of the stage. 

 

Team Sky are willing to let the break drift up the road but it's a decent move with some real horsepower. QuickStep are the first squad to react and post a couple of riders on the front of the peloton as they look to set things up for Matteo Trentin later in the race. The gap is close to three minutes, with 186km covered so far. 

 

As we all know QuickStep have won four stage wins in this year's Vuelta  - two with Trentin - and they're hunting their fifth today. In terms of bunch sprinting it's wide open, especially given that the very best fast-men are not at the race. 

 

So while we wait for something to really happen out there on the road, why not read this opinion piece from Jeremy Whittle on the situation facing Cannondale Drapac, their unfortunate riders, and Jonathan Vaughters


It was announced last weekend that the team are short of 7 million USD and need that cash to ensure they race next year. They've turned to fans for donations and have less than two weeks to save their futures. It's touch and go...
 

 

Back to the action here and the bunch have let the break move their advantage out to four minutes. It's a slow burn, stages like this, but things will build up as we head towards the finish. Think of it like season 2 of The Wire or the first series of House of Cards (everything since has been awful) or that Dungeons and Dragons style thing everyone seems to be watching these days. I hear it's good.

 

While most of the stage is flat today we do have one categorised climb and it's a third cat ascent of the alto de Ardales. The leaders are currently working their way up there now. 

 

175km remaining from 198km

We're inside the final 175km to go and the gap is at 3'40 as QuickStep continue their patrol of the front of the peloton. 

 

BMC Racing have just announced their line up for the fourth grand tour....

the Tour of Britain. Included are Ben Hermans and Dillier but there's no spot for Porte. He crashed out of the Tour and although there was a chance of him riding TOB he still needs further time to recover. Here's the news on BMC's roster.

 

Villella takes the points at the top of the climb and that helps him extend his lead in the KOM competition over Rojas and Froome to 14 and 20 points respectively. The Cannondale rider is having a decent Grand Tour as we see the break push their advantage out to 4'50 with 160km to go.

 

None of the riders in the break are a threat on GC so it's just QuickStep who set the pace on the front of the bunch as we head towards the final 150km of the stage. The situation should change with more teams willing to share the workload in the second half of the day but for now we have the Belgian team holding the five riders in the break at just under five minutes. 

 

Pierre Carrey is back and writing for CN. His latest piece charts the progression of another of Team Sky's recruits for 2018, Egan Bernal. You can find the piece, right here.

 

4'20 now for the five leaders as they grab  a few more seconds from the peloton on these undulating roads. 

 

Having taken the points at the top of the climb Davide Villela has sat up and is now waiting for the rest of the peloton. That leaves us with four riders up front.

 

Clearly the instruction came from the car for the Cannondale rider to sit up. The team feel that it's going to be bunch sprint and that the Italian would be wasting effort and time be being in the break for the next few hours. 

 

And Cannondale have started working alongside QuickStep on the front of the peloton. 134km to go.

 

Tom Van Asbroeck, who signed for Cannondale at the start of the year, was third on one stage earlier in the race. He's the team's best sprinter, perhaps, but there are other teams who will start to commit in the coming kilometres. Chasing down a break with Di Marchi and De Gendt involved is no easy task.

 

Almost two hours into the stage and it's a form of stalemate with the four man break around four minutes ahead of the peloton. 

 

#LV2017: With 125km to go the gap to the 5-rider breakaway remains stable around 3'45".

A reminder if you've just tuned in, Jeremy Whittle has written this piece on why the continuation of Cannondale Drapac matters. The comments below (so far) make for eh... interesting reading.

 

Quick-Step continues to man the front of the peloton. They are working for Trentin, who already has two stage wins in his back pocket. Jose Joaquin Rojas called him the best sprinter at this Vuelta a Espana after the Italian beat him in a two-up sprint on stage 10. If Quick-Step was to win today, they would have 15 Grand Tour stage wins this season. 

It's not just the pace that is hot out there, the temperatures are too. Compared to the single figures that the riders faced earlier in the weekend, the 33 degrees that they have today will feel much more pleasant. There is a small breeze coming from the left to keep them cool. 

 

There were quite a lot of talking points after yesterday's stage. At the forefront was Chris Froome's two crashes. The race was on as the race leader hit the deck twice. His closest GC rival Vincenzo Nibali said afterwards that they couldn't wait for the stricken red jersey

 

Dimension Data has had a Grand Tour to forget with five of their riders already out of the race with more than a week to go. They could well be down to just three riders soon with Omar Fraile struggling along. He has been dropped and has thrown up on the side of the road (while still riding).

 

There have been a lot of riders forced out of the Vuelta a Espana because of stomach problems. Jorge Arcas, Lennard Hofstede and Dimension Data rider Serge Pauwels left the race yesterday alone. 

 

90km remaining from 198km

The peloton is passing through the feed zone and the pace abates. The gap between the peloton and the leaders is 3:07 as the riders tuck into their lunch. 

 

After a frantic finish to yesterday's stage, Christian Knees is understandably looking forward to an easier day out today. It has been thus far with the sprinters teams helping them out on the front of the peloton

 

“If I remember well, we did a climb before and it was harder than it is today," he told Lavuelta.com. "We hope for a more straightforward day for us. Of course I have a different role now, I don't' have the freedom to go on a breakaway. We have to look after Froomey, we have defended the red jersey already for a couple of days now and we will try to do the same today. He's alright. He just lost a bit of skin in the crash, but everything else is fine. The morale is high, so everything's good”

 

Fraile is putting in a mighty show of determination today. After throwing up on the side of the road, he has made it back into the peloton. He's lucky that there is next to no climbing in today's stage or it might have been a different story. 

 

Cannondale-Drapac are giving Quick-Step a little bit of help on the front of the peloton again and the gap to the escapees has tumbled again to 2:34. This should steady up soon enough, because the peloton will be reluctant to catch the leaders too early. 

 

All four of the riders in today's break have been on the attack at some point during this year's Vuelta a Espana. De Marchi and Gougeard have also won stages of the Vuelta in the past. De Gendt has Grand Tour stage wins on his palmares too, but he is still looking for a stage victory at the Vuelta. It doesn't look like today will be his day. 

 

Bernal: I don't want to be one of those riders who disappears at 27 Tour de l'Avenir winner on heading to Team Sky… https://t.co/V5qd1JMr9M

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 1st Sep 2017 13:47:04

Lotto Jumbo keep the pace high in the bunch but it's still QuickStep who are doing most of the work as we see the peloton line out. We've still got 70km to go but the bunch are already reducing the break's lead to under two minutes.

 

Team Sky have also organised their efforts as they lead Froome near the front. There's Moscon, who has simply been outrageously strong in the mountains so far during this year's Vuelta.

 

#LV2017 Inside the last 70 km and the gap has decreased to 1'47". @DeGendtThomas is at the front with Courteille, De Marchi and Gougeard.

@Lotto_Soudal Fri, 1st Sep 2017 13:53:53

Contador, meanwhile, is surrounded by his Trek riders and he's able to find time to laugh and joke with the cameras. Irizar is even finding the energy to break into song. He's a better bike rider than singer, that's for sure.

 

The bunch have eased up and Tim Declercq calms the situation down and sits on the front tapping out a steady rhythm. That allows the break to find another ten seconds and the lead goes back out to 2'15. We've still 62km to go, however, so around 90 minutes of racing at this rate. 

 

Trentin didn't seem that confident of sprinting for the win today, telling reporters at the start that the uphill sprint doesn't suit him. The Cyclingnews blogger has been climbing superbly over the last two weeks, however, and is the undoubted favourite for today. 

 

Interestingly, Trentin had won three Grand Tour stages coming into this year's Vuelta. One more win here and he'll have doubled his tally. 

 

Alexis Gougeard takes a few minutes to hang back and visit the AG2R team car. He picks up some product (food) from the car and then eases his way back to the break. 56km to go.

 

Omar Fraile abandons. Dimension Data down to three riders: Anton, Janse van Rensburg and Morton #LV2017

@TourDeJose Fri, 1st Sep 2017 14:11:47

There has been a crash in the peloton. Jetse Bol and Bet-Jan Lindeman among those that have gone down. It doesn't appear that there are any serious injuries, thankfully.

Bol is getting some attention to some nasty looking abrasions on the outside of his left leg. It looks as if he might have got caught by a chain ring. 

 

44km remaining from 198km

With 44km still to run to the line, the gap to the leaders has leveled out to 1:30. Any less than this and Quick-Step Floors risk giving other teams an opportunity to attack. For now, everyone seems fairly relaxed and enjoying a slightly slower day out there. 

 

Away from the Vuelta a Espana, France confirmed their women's team for the Road World Championships. It is no surprise that they're backing Pauline Ferrand Prevot for the road race. Read the full story here

 

Jeste Bol has a nice big bandage on his leg as he makes his way back up to the peloton. Meanwhile, Adam Hansen is with the team doctor to have his left elbow attended to. 

 

 De Clercq is almost on the limit as he allows Cannondale and Lotto Jumbo riders take turns on the front. Behind that trio are a flurry of QuickStep riders as they look to set Trentin up for the finale. Still 37km to go, with the four leaders at 1'42.

Fraile in the Dimension team car is all smiles, a-la Berzin sitting next to Bombini in the Gewiss team car at the 1994 or 95 Tour de France when the Russian abandoned. 

 

Lobato still has a man on the front of the bunch but the Lotto rider is up against it today with Trentin firing on all cylinders. We're into the final 30km of the stage and the break has been brought back by a few more seconds. Debusschere, Modolo, Blythe, and Cort are also possible contenders for today. 

 

The Tour of Britain begins on Sunday - who's your pick to win the first leader's jersey? Check out the start list -… https://t.co/w7fungDEze

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 1st Sep 2017 14:48:09

It's quite the technical run to the line but the final 1km is slightly uphill. It's tough ol' sprint but there's a final roundabout with 300m to go. That's going to be key for the leadout men and the sprinters as they try and position themselves before the final burst to the line. 

 

If Modolo has the legs she should really be in the mix with that sort of finish. He's had two top-ten finishes in the race so far but this is a real opportunity for the Italian on the UAE team.

 

And up front the break split with De Marchi and De Gendt pushing clear with 20km to go. 

 

Theuns is up there as well for Trek Segafredo. He was super important yesterday but the stage today might be too hard for the Belgian with that final climb before the line. But at the front QuickStep up the pace. They're not getting any help from the rest of the bunch with 18km to go. It's going to be another messy sprint.

 

The two leaders have 55 seconds with 16km to go. That's not a bad little buffer but it's not going to be enough. 

 

There's an intermediate sprint coming up. The two leaders will race through as the bunch nip another five seconds off the break's advantage. QuickStep seem to have this endless supply of riders. Look away and another one appears on the front looking as fresh as a daisy. 

 

35 seconds for the leaders as we see de Gendt start to struggle. He's running on fumes alone as De Marchi goes clear and leads the race on his own.

At the back, Roche has a mechanical. That's going to be a tough chase with 12km to go. 

 

Roche is coming back through the cars but this is a tough chase for the  BMC rider. He's helped by the fact that the bunch have eased up and some BMC riders wait for the Irishman too. 11km to go.

 

10km to go now and Katusha move up, so do Aqua Blue in that lovely white and blue kit.

 

QuickStep have eased off as they look to save their legs for the final 5km. De Marchi has 25 seconds. 

 

And Bora now set the pace for their sprinter, Schwarzmann. Orica are moving up and so too are Aqua Blue, once more. 7km to and de Marchi has been caught and dropped straight away.

 

6km remaining from 198km

6km to go and the bunch line out but we've not started climbing yet. Cannondale take over on the front and they're followed by QuickStep. 

#LV2017 Aqua Blue Sport lead out train near the front. Conor Dunne leads them up. Now Trek, Cannondale, Quickstep on the front.

@AquaBlueSport Fri, 1st Sep 2017 15:14:41

Quickstep lead into the final 4km of the stage with all their team on the front and Trentin neatly tucked in. So far, so good for the Italian. The road starts to rise in the next 500m.

 

And now the road begins to kick up. Jungels keeps the pace steady but not impossible. Can anyone attack?

 

Yes. It's Hansen but he's shut down right away by Jungels before Sunweb try and attack. 2.5km to go.

 

Trentin is falling back a bit but he's still in contention as the move from Sunweb is caught. 2km to go.

 

Jungels once more hits the front and winds things up for QuickStep. 1.4km to go.

 

Trentin sits in third wheel as Astana attack with 1km to go. 

 

Poor gear change and QuickStep come back. Trentin third wheel still. 

 

Bora will leadout.

 

300m to go.

 

Trentin kicks for the line.

 

Can anyone answer the Italian's sprint?

 

Trentin takes it. He wins his third stage at this year's Vuelta. Impressive. 

 

Both Team Sky and Sunweb were in the mix but Trentin was well clear with 100m to go. Froome was even up there and sprinting inside the top ten. It will be interesting to see if there were any splits. 

 

There was a split. Froome I'm sure has put time into several riders. 

 

De la Cruz, Zakarin and a few others lost around 7 seconds to Froome. 

 

Here's your top ten for the stage:
 

1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 4:25:13
2 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:00
3 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:00
4 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:00
5 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:00
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:00
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:00
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:00
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:00
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:00

 

And here's the new GC:

 

General classification after stage 13
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 53:48:06
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:59
3 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:13
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:17
5 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:23
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:25
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:37
8 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:02:41
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:13
10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:58

 

And here's the new GC:

 

General classification after stage 13
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 53:48:06
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:59
3 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:02:13
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:17
5 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:23
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:25
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:37
8 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:02:41
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:13
10 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:58

 

Decent sprints from Moscon and Søren Kragh Andersen but they had nothing on Trentin, who took his third sprint win of the race. He's doubled his Grand Tour stage tally in the last 12 days of racing. 

 

Perfect execution from QuickStep in the end too. Terptra, Alaphilippe, Jungels were all there in the final but Declerq was pivotal. He essentially rode a 150km time trial today so that his teammates could save their legs for the sprint.

 

Trentin: (Was the stage suited to you perfectly?) No - to be honest not at all. Actually on paper it looked less hard, especially from 3 to 2km to the finish. But we decided to go for it full, the whole team, except of course for de la Cruz. The guys were incredible, it was amazing. Everbody did his job and gave everything they had, 100 per cent. When the team is like this you have to finish off the work they do.

It’s amazing, because I came in this race with confidence but I never expected something like this. Even for the team the Vuelta is not finished, we are betting for more.

 

Lets also hear from Trentin's teammate, Terpstra:

 

It was almost exactly as we planned. We had to control the whole day because Matteo has been riding so well at this Vuelta. He was also the top favourite. The guys did an amazing job to control it. In the final, it was pretty hard with the steep climb. I was there until 3km. Matteo was still there with the guys at the front and in the end he did it. It’s amazing how Matteo finished the job, because you can have a strong team but you have to finish it. He’s extremely strong.

 

He showed how strong he was so it also gives us confidence to do our best to bring him into a good position. If you have doubts about your captain then you don’t give 110 per cent but we all did. This was a team effort and he finished the job.

 

Interesting CN article by @jeremycwhittle on why we should #SaveArgyle. Thesis boils down to team being plucky, credible and different.

@DopeologyDotOrg Fri, 1st Sep 2017 15:42:16

You want to hear from podium contender, Wilco Kelderman, I'm sure:

Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)

 

It was good. It was a flat stage, but a Spanish flat. In the beginning it was really hard with the rolling roads. Then the final started and the team was really good, we were focused. I think me and Soren went perfect in the last roundabout and then Soren tried to attack and then he still sprinted to third place. It was great.

 

It was a hard stage with the temperature, so it was not a really easy stage. In the end it was good. I think the team brought me and Soren into a perfect position.

 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader

I was just up there to make sure I wasn’t getting [caught behind] any splits. I was more excited to see where Moscon was in the finish. He did such a great job looking after me in the final, I said to him in the last k ‘go, go, go - try to get the stage’. I think if he wasn’t doing so much work for me he would have had an even better chance of winning the stage.
 

In the last K, I saw how fresh he looked, how strong he looked. I was in a safe position and so I didn’t need his help anymore, so I said just go for it. I think his time will come for sure. He’s young, this is his first Grand Tour, and already to be riding the way he is, it’s extremely impressive.


(Recovered from your crash) I think so. It hasn’t affected me too badly. Sure, it’s painful, but the race goes on.


(Surprised to hear he gained time on De la Cruz) As I said, I was pretty sure there would be splits in the final, that was the reason for me to stay up front.
 

I have the weekend in mind, and obviously it was an easier day for the team. We didn’t have to pull all the stage, with Quick-Step, Lotto and Cannondale wanting to sprint. It was a good day for us.

 

Chris Froome discusses stage 13 and looks ahead to the weekend in the Vuelta, where he isn't afraid of another race-losing mass attack like what happened last year.

We have a plethora of post-race quotes assembled here.

Thanks for following the Vuelta a Espana with Cyclingnews. Tune back in tomorrow as the race heads into the Sierra Nevadas.

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