Solo victory for Oliveira in Tarazona

Portugal's Nelson Oliveira jumped clear of a breakaway group to solo to victory on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday.

Oliveira, the reigning Portuguese national time trial champion, set off on his own with about 27km to go and held on all the way to the line in Tarazona.

Julien Simon (Cofidis) finished second, closely followed by Nicolas Roche (Team Sky).

The general classification favourites all finished safely in the peleton, a full five minutes back, as they chose to pace themselves ahead of several mountain stages to come.

The day's 178km stage saw a large breakaway of about 24 riders form very quickly, and though the peleton kept them in check at first, their lead gradually grew before stabilising at around five minutes.

When the break hit the third and final climb of the stage, it was Oliveira who made his first move of the day with Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) at the 39km mark. They were reeled in, but Oliveira made another attempt a few kilometres later, and this time it stuck – all the way to the finish.

Oliveira made it look easy, though it was aything but.

“It was a difficult day but things worked out in the best way possible for me,” he said afterwards. “It’s my first international victory and the first on a Grand Tour.

“Those last 30km were the longest of my life.”

Finishing in the large group behind, Fabio Aru (Astana) retained his race lead, 27 seconds over Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) annd 30 seconds clear of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

Saturday's 215km 14th stage will take the riders from Vitoria to Alto Campoo.

Stage 13 results

1 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida 4:14:01     
2 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:00     
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky          
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling          
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team          
6 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale          
7 Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr          
8 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale          
9 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge          
10 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal

General classification after stage 13

1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 51:33:19     
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:27     
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:30     
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:28     
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:29     
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:52     
7 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:54     
8 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:58     
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:02:51     
10 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar

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