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Vuelta’17 St13: Triple Trentin!
Stage Report: Matteo Trentin took his third win of the 2017 Vuelta, fourth podium spot, and fifth stage victory for the Quick-Step Floors team with a fantastic hard effort up the final drag to the line. It was an easy day for the overall contenders who will be back in the fold tomorrow.

It was one of very few sprinters stages today and they weren't going to let it slip. A five man group went clear but that was soon four as David Villela sat up after the categorized climb. The group never got more than five minutes of an advantage and they were always within the grip of the sprint team led peloton who were keen to take the stage. Although De Gendt and De Marchi went clear from the rest of the break, they were prolonging the inevitable and were caught inside the final 10km. Quick-Step Floors led the peloton onto the finishing climb and once Matteo Trentin was delivered to the front there was no stopping him. Gianni Moscon was a surprise second, pipping a tiring Soren Kragh Andersen, but it was all Trentin once again. The GC contenders will come to the fore once again on the weekend for a duo of ultra tough stages.

In between the myriad mountain stages and rolling breakaway stages of the Vuelta, there are occasionally sprint stages. For today's 198km sprint stage we're in the tourism mecca of Analucia, racing between Coín and Tomares, which is essentially a suburb of Sevilla. Coín is a stones thrown from the Costa del Sol, the stretch of coastline which welcomes hundreds of thousands of hedonistic youths and leathery older people each year. For the riders, they face a largely flat course with just one categorized climb, topping out after 27.5km of racing at a hardly terrifying 545m. The stage then continues rolling until just under halfway to go when it emerges onto the pan flat plains. Despite this run in, the finale is a grippy uphill affair which would be tough for the sprinters, luckily by completely neglecting the sprint stages, there are no pure sprinters here. Which should make for a stage which is much, much harder to control.

Immediate Break
The recent stages had been characterized by very fast early racing which meant it took a long time for a break to form. That wasn't the case today however as a group of five almost immediately broke clear and found a gap; Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), David Villela (Cannondale-Drapac), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC). They took more than three minutes after just 10km of racing. The gap continued growing as they began the only climb of the day.

Astana and Movistar chased, but not much

There was a stalemate in the race as the five leaders hung onto the four minute lead as the road flattened. Behind, the Sky train was chugging away as the rest of the peloton took a day off.

There was some drama as David Villela sat up and fell out of the break. His Cannondale team had clearly decided that there was going to be bunch sprint and the Italian still had the king of the mountains to defend. That left four men against the might of the peloton, who were now led by Quick-Step Floors.

Dry day for everyone

The Finalé
The sprint stages were numbered and the sprint teams were fully focussed on not letting this one slip away. The work of LottoNL-Jumbo and Quick-Step was hacking away at the lead and it now sat under two minutes as they raced inside the final 50km. As you can see from the length of the report so far, there wasn't much going on at the start of the stage.

There was some points of interest as Omar Fraille (Dimension Data) abandoned, leaving the African team with just three riders to last until Madrid. The front of the peloton was still being looked after by the sprint teams who were keeping the lead under the two minute mark.

Quick-Step came to the front

They were approaching the final 30km and the gap was hanging below the two minute mark. Easily within catching distance of the hard working peloton. For everyone else, the rest day was coming to an end as the pace continued to ratchet up.

De Gengt and De Marchi pushed on

As they hit the final 20km, the pressure from behind cracked the break and De Gendt and De Marchi pushed on alone. The two had a gap of just under a minute with 16km of racing to go, 13km of that was pan flat but it would drag up for the finale.

De Gendt was feeling the pressure and he was dispatched by De Marchi inside the final 12km. In the pack there was trouble for Nico Roche (BMC) who suffered a mechanical and was forced to chase back as they hit the 10km to go banner.

The uphill sprint saw the GC men at the front

With 7km to go it was game over for De Marchi who was caught and dropped by the Bora-Hansgrohe led peloton. It would now be a bunch sprint.

Trentin No.3

As they hit the early slopes of the 3km drag to the finish, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) was doing all the work. It hadn't broken up though as they hit a brief descent with 2km left to ride. Jungels was still doing all the work with 1.5km left to go as the finish kicked up yet again. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) tried a long one under the flamme rouge but he had a mechanical and it was Quick-Step again. They delivered Matteo Trentin to the front and the Italian was grinding his way to the finish line with Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) in his wake. The Italian never looked like being overthrown and a late charge by Gianni Moscon (Sky) was only enough to steal second place from Andersen on the dive to the line. It was a rest day for the GC contenders but Trentin is on exquisite form and easily beat the rest of the rag tag bunch of sprinters.

The Italian made it look easy

Keep it PEZ for a hard weekend in the Sierra Nevada.

Ultimo kilómetro / Last kilometer - Étape 13... por la_vuelta

Vuelta a España Stage 13 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors in 4:25:13
2. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
3. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
4. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
9. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC
11. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
12. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
13. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
14. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott
15. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
16. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:07
17. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
18. Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
19. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC
20. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana
21. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
22. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
23. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
24. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
25. David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 13:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 53:48:06
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:59
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott at 2:13
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 2:17
5. David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 2:23
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:25
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:37
8. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac at 2:41
9. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 3:13
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 3:58
11. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 4:25
12. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 4:32
13. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 4:48
14. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 5:01
15. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 5:50
16. Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates at 6:26
17. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 10:16
18. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Sky at 12:13
19. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data at 13:27
20. Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 21:14
21. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar at 22:57
22. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 23:34
23. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 27:59
24. Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 29:12
25. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 29:17.


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