Vuelta a España: Pogacar wins stage 13

Stage 13 of the Vuelta a España saw a banner day for Slovenia, as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took the stage win on the steep slopes of Los Machucos ahead of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who extended his overall lead even further.

Roglič split the race apart with two attacks at the 3km to go mark, first dispatching with the Colombian duo Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the double-digit gradients, and then dropping Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Pogačar was the only man able to hang on, working with his compatriot in the final kilometres to extend their advantage over the chasers. Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) took third after making the break of the day, while Valverde and Quintana trailed in at 27 seconds and López lost over a minute.

López's Astana team were the men to take up the pacemaking in the finale, setting up a surefire assault on the brutal final climb. That didn't materialise, however, with Movistar the first to make moves.

Quintana put in an attack on the early slopes of the climb, ekeing out a small gap before being dragged back as the GC group caught the break with 3.5km to go.

Shortly after that, Roglič asserted his authority on the race with accelerations that were harsh enough to leave everyone but Pogačar behind. It was the last anyone would see of the Slovenians until after the finish.

"In the start I didn't know I would feel so good on the last climb," said Pogačar after the stage. "In fact, I just wanted to survive because after stage 7, I just wanted to not lose too much. But in the end it was an incredible day for me.

"When I heard over the radio that nobody was following me and Roglič so I realised that it's a good opportunity. And with Roglič it's difficult if you're going against him because he's really strong. I could do that today and I'm really really happy.

"A country of climbers? I don't know. For sure we have good climbers but today was a really good day for me.

Roglič's race lead is now a ever-widening 2:25 over Valverde, while Pogačar lies 3:01 down in third place. López and Quintana follow in fourth and fifth overall, 3:18 and 3:33 down.

While Pogačar is now fully in the podium fight, he laughed when he was asked about his chances at winning the race.

"I don't think so," he said when asked. "I think Primož is holding on to the red jersey really good."

Elsewhere, Roglič extended his points classification lead, while Pogačar now holds the white jersey with a 17-second advantage over López. Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) retains the mountain classification lead, though his advantage over Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale) is now reduced to just two points.

How it unfolded

On its second day in the Basque Country, the Vuelta a España returned to the mountains for stage 13. Seven classified climbs dotted the day, including four third-category tests, two second-category climbs, and the 'especial' category finish of Los Machucos.

The final climb would be the real test of the day, a typical Vuelta 'goat track' climb, measuring in at 6.8km with an average of 9.2 per cent. However, with a changeable gradient including several descents in the first half, much of the climb averages over 10 per cent, including ridiculously steep sections of 25 per cent.

It took some time for the day's break to stick, though not over 100km as was the case on stage 12. It wasn't until the first climb of the day – the Alto de Escrita almost 40km in – that a large group got away.

After a quiet few days, Team Ineos got two men there, with David de la Cruz and Wout Poels in the move. Already stage winners from the break this Vuelta, Madrazo Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) were out front once more.

The remainder of the 29-rider group was made up of Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Pierre Latour, Geoffrey Bouchard, Clément Venturini (AG2R La Mondiale), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Sergio Higuita (EF Education First), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Tsgabu Grmay, Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), Steff Cras, Matteo Fabbro, Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha Alpecin), Robert Power, Martijn Tusveld (Team Sunweb), Gianluca Brambilla, Niklas Eg (Trek Segafredo), Sergei Chernetskii (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Darwin Atapuma (Cofidis), Mikel Bizkarra and Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias).

With Bouchard in the break and lying second in the mountain classification after his venture in Andorra, it was no surprise that the Frenchman was contesting the early climbs of the day. He took three points over the first two climbs of the day to close within eight points of Madrazo's 32-point total.

Just as things were settling down as the break reached the day's third climb, the Collado de Asón, the attacks started. De Gendt, Gilbert, Herrada and Großschartner were among those to try and whittle down the large break on the second-category climb.

A select seven-rider group stayed away over the top and largely managed to hold on until the next climb of the Puerto de Alisas, where they were caught. More attacks came over the top, with Bouchard grabbing another three points, and then it was Sáez who went away on the descent, 50km from the line.

He swiftly built a lead of two minutes as he hit the Puerto de Fuente las Varas with 35km to go. The peloton, meanwhile, was eight minutes down, meaning that, back in the chase group, Higuita was in the virtual top five at one point.

Bouchard took another two points over the top of that climb, and one on the penultimate test of the day, bringing him within two points of stealing away Madrazo's polka dot jersey.

Up front, Sáez was a minute up on lone chaser Armirail, while the peloton, commanded by Astana on behalf of López, closed the gap to six minutes.

The Kazakh team upped the pace in the final 20km. Sáez was riding heroically but enjoyed an advantage of just three minutes when he hit Los Machucos. The rest of the break lingered over a minute behind the Euskadi-Murias man.

After just one kilometre of the final climb's brutal slopes, Armirail caught and passed Sáez, who was understandably tiring after his long effort. Further back, the break and peloton shattered as the double-digit gradients bit.

Quintana tried a testing move early on in the climb, leaving an elite GC selection at the head of affairs as the Colombian raced on with a ten-second advantage.

Less than a minute up the road, Latour, Fabbro, Brambilla and Higuita proved the strongest of the chasers. Latour would catch and pass Armirail as they headed into the final five kilometres.

As Quintana was brought back with 3.5km to go, all that stood between the GC men and Latour was one minute and the trio of Higuita, Brambilla and Fabbro. As the GC group passed the 3km mark, Roglič accelerated along with his compatriot Pogačar, dropping López and Quintana in the process as Valverde hung on.

The world champion was soon dropped too, as Roglič went once again, asserting his authority on the race. The attacks saw the Higuita group caught, leaving Latour as the sole survivor from the break.

As the chasers struggled, with López in particular having a tough time on the climb, the Slovenian duo caught Latour with 1.5km to go, leading the race by around 20 seconds from the Movistar duo of Valverde and Quintana.

They powered on together as the road leveled out in the final kilometre, with Pogačar leading out and sprinting to his second stage victory of the race ahead of the man born just 50km down the road.

Latour held off the Valverde, Quintana and Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) to grab the final four bonus seconds. López crossed the line 1:01 down in 7th place, a disappointment after his team's work earlier on.

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 4:28:26
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma
3Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:27
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
6Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
7Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:01
8Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:08
9Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
10Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
11Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:13
12Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida
13James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:23
14Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits
15Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First 0:01:25
16Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:32
17Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:52
18Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:18
19Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:02:28
20Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:02:59
21Neilson Powless (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma
22Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
23George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:03:13
24Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:03:32
25Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
26Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data 0:03:42
27Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:45
28Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:36
29Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma
30Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:50
31Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:53
32François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
33Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:05:16
34Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data 0:05:18
35Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
36Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:05:27
37Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos
38Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:05:30
39Darwin Atapuma (Col) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:05:56
40Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:06:04
41Steff Cras (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin 0:06:06
42Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 0:06:11
43Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:06:58
44Sergio Henao (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:07:29
45José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:28
46Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:10:26
47Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin 0:10:35
48Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
49Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ 0:10:53
50Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:11:00
51Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:12:10
52Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
53Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
54Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:13:18
55Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
56David de la Cruz (Spa) Team Ineos 0:14:31
57Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos
58Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:15:05
59Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:15:40
60Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:16:04
61Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Mitchelton-Scott 0:16:11
62Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:16:58
63Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 0:17:37
64Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
65Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:18:13
66Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC Team
67Ben King (USA) Dimension Data
68Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
69Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
70Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:18:16
71Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
72Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
73Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
74Ricardo Augusto Afonso Vilela (Por) Burgos-BH
75Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
76Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
77Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos
78Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Ineos
79Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
80Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
81Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin 0:18:31
82Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Ineos
83Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
84Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
85Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:19:03
87Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
88Will Barta (USA) CCC Team
89Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:19:22
90Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:19:27
91Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:19:55
92Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 0:20:04
93Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos-BH
94Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
95Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
96Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
97Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
98Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
99Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida
100Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Ineos 0:20:16
101Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:20:44
102Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:20:54
103Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida 0:21:05
104Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data 0:21:17
105Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:21:31
106Pawel Bernas (Pol) CCC Team 0:21:40
107Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:21:43
108Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:21:46
109Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:22:17
110Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
111Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:22:25
112Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:22:33
113Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
114Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin
115Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora-Hansgrohe
116Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:22:51
117John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
118Rob Power (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:23:00
119Casper Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:23:08
120Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:23:24
121Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) CCC Team 0:23:40
122Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH 0:24:14
123Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
124Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team 0:24:23
125Brian van Goethem (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:24:29
126Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First 0:24:39
127Rasmus Fossum Tiller (Nor) Dimension Data
128Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin
129Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
130Logan Owen (USA) EF Education First
131Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
132Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First
133Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis Solutions Credits
134Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First 0:24:56
135Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
136Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
137Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data 0:25:28
138Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
139Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 0:25:33
140Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:25:38
141Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:26:13
142Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 0:26:16
143Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
144Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 0:26:20
145Domingos Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
146Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:26:29
147Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team 0:26:34
148Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:26:36
149Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
150Juan Sebastian Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
151Nuno Matos (Por) Burgos-BH
152Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:26:40
153Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
154Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:27:05
155Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:27:19
156Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Hansgrohe
157Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:28:09
158Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Ineos
159Alexander Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
160Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:28:53
161Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
162Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:28:59
163Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
164Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNSFabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
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Sprint 1 - Arredondo km. 154.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 4
2Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 2
3Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1
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Sprint 2 - Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega km. 166.4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 25
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 20
3Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 16
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 14
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 12
6Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 10
7Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 9
8Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 8
9Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 7
10Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 6
11Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 5
12Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida 4
13James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3
14Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 2
15Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First 1
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Mountain 1 - Alto De La Escrita km. 39.4