Portuguese rider Nelson Oliveira took the biggest win of his career on stage 13 of the Vuelta A Espana yesterday as he outsmarted a 24-man breakaway to win alone in Tarazona.
Ireland’s Nicolas Roche was in that escape group and he was third over the line, one minute behind Oliveira to move five places up the General Classification to 16th overall.
The winner, riding for Lampre-Merida, made his move with 27 kilometres of the stage remaining, jumping clear of that lead group and time-trialling his way to the finish. Fabio Aru (Astana) retained the race leaders’ red jersey on a day that saw no significant changes in the general classification.
However, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) appeared to be in difficulty at times during the stage; the Colombian is reportedly still suffering from illness that saw him lose three minutes to Aru on stage 11.
Two Team Sky riders – Sergio Henao and Roche – made the break but crucially, Lampre-Merida had three riders present including Valerio Conti and Tour de France stage winner Ruben Plaza.
Only Astana, Trek, LottoNL Jumbo, Katusha and Colombia missed out, and it was the light blue squad of leader Fabio Aru who marshalled the pursuing bunch. By making the breakaway, the day’s other winners were Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) who moved up to 10th and 11th overall.
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