Urdax - Italy's
Valerio Conti won the longest stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday as
the main favourites enjoyed a leisurely ride in the sun.
The 213.4km course from Bilbao to Urdax near the French border was
dominated by a 12-strong breakaway, with Conti pulling clear in the
final 20km to come home alone.
Colombia's Nairo Quintana retained the race leader's red jersey ahead
of Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who is at 54 seconds.
Swiss Danilo Wyss won the sprint for second ahead of Russia's Sergey Lagutin, 55 seconds behind the stage winner.
But with tough mountain stages to come, including Saturday's first
trip into the Pyrenees, the overall contenders essentially took the day
Riding at a pedestrian pace, the peloton came over the finishing line almost 34 minutes behind the winner.
Saturday's 14th stage is 196km long from Urdax to Aubisque and
includes three first category climbs before the final hors category
ascent to the finish.
It is highly likely to provoke some serious skirmishing amongst the
overall contenders, with Quintana looking to gain time on Froome.
There is a 37km individual time-trial in a week in which Froome is expected to make significant gains on Quintana.
Results from the 13th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, a 213.4km ride from Bilbao to Urdax-Dantxarinea on Friday:
1. Valerio Conti (ITA/LAM) 5hr 29min 04sec, 2. Danilo Wyss (SUI/BMC)
at 0:55, 3. Sergey Lagutin (RUS/KAT) s.t., 4. Michael Gogl (AUT/TIN)
s.t., 5. Vegard Laengen (NOR/IAM) s.t., 6. Yves Lampaert (BEL/ETI) s.t.,
7. Cesare Benedetti (ITA/BOA) 1:02, 8. Jelle Wallays (BEL/LOT) 1:04 9.
Gatis Smukulis (LAT/AST) s.t., 10. Stephane Rossetto (FRA/COF) 1:08
13. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 33:54, 17. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV)
s.t., 28. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t., 31. Alberto Contador
(ESP/TIN) s.t., 40. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) s.t.
1. Nairo Quintana (COL/Movistar) 52hr 56min 29sec, 2. Christopher
Froome (GBR/SKY) at 0:54, 3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:05, 4.
Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 2:34, 5. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 3:08, 6.
Leopold Konig (CZE/SKY) 3:09, 7. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 3:25, 8. Michele
Scarponi (ITA/AST) 3:34, 9. David de la Cruz (ESP/ETI) 3:45, 10. Samuel
Sanchez (ESP/BMC) 3:56