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Tadej Pogacar bests Primoz Roglic to win stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, Fabio Aru abandons the race, Lisa Klein takes the Boels Ladies Tour lead after nabbing stage 3. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Tadej Pogacar wins stage 13 of the Vuelta ahead of Primoz Roglic
Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) picked up his second stage victory at this year’s Vuelta a España on Friday’s stage 13. The 20-year-old Grand Tour debutant bested race leader and fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) atop the grueling Los Machucos finishing climb after the pair had dropped the rest of the GC hopefuls and sailed past breakaway rider Pierre Latour (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in the final kilometers.
Latour settled for third after a long day off the front.
Roglic’s runner-up ride extended his GC lead over Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, while Pogacar leapfrogged Movistar’s Nairo Quintana and Astana’s Miguel Ángel López and moved into third place overall.
“I didn’t know that I would feel so good on the last climb. I just wanted to survive,” Pogacar said at the finish.
“When I heard on the radio that nobody was following me and Roglic, I realized it was a good opportunity. Roglic, it’s difficult when you’re going against him because he’s really strong. I’m happy I could do it today.”
The 166.4-kilometer stage from Bilbao saw the decisive breakaway move get clear after around an hour of racing, with Latour, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Wout Poels (Ineos), Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data) among the many strong names in the group. After the escapees working to build a sizable gap on the bunch, attacks off the front forced splits and regroupings over the succession of late climbs.
Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias) led solo into the Los Machucos finale, but was caught and passed by chasers from the break shortly after starting the grueling gradients. Latour then pulled away from the rest of the escapees to press on solo, but a whittled-down GC group was fast approaching from behind, mopping up the remnants of the break.
Quintana was the first of the big GC names to hit out out from the group, but he was brought back before long. With around three kilometers to go, Roglic put in a big surge that dropped all but his compatriot Pogacar. In moments, the duo put a decent gap into Valverde and Quintana, with López falling even farther back.
Inside the last two kilometers, Roglic and Pogacar sailed past Latour to battle for the stage win between themselves. Pogacar led into the last few hundred kilometers and held on to the line to take the win.
Stage 13 results
1 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 4:28:26
2 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
3 LATOUR Pierre (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:27
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team)
5 QUINTANA Nairo (Movistar Team)
6 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
7 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana Pro Team) 1:01
8 BRAMBILLA Gianluca (Trek – Segafredo) 1:08
9 SOLER Marc (Movistar Team)
10 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb)
1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 49:20:28
2 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 2:25
3 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 3:01
4 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana Pro Team) 3:18
5 QUINTANA Nairo (Movistar Team) 3:33
6 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe) 6:15
7 EDET Nicolas (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 7:18
8 HAGEN Carl Fredrik (Lotto Soudal) 7:33
9 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 7:39
10 TEUNS Dylan (Bahrain Merida) 9:58
Stage 13 got off to an unusual start inside the San Mamés stadium, home to the Athletic Bilbao football club. The lack of fans in the stands was a bit strange, but it was still a cool way to see the peloton off for the day. Plus, solid work by the rider peeling off the from the pack for a moment to soak it all in with a quick imaginary kick out on the pitch.
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) September 6, 2019
Aru abandons the Vuelta
Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates) is out of the Vuelta. The 2015 overall champion did not start Friday’s stage 13, due to what his team called “progressive fatigue and muscle damage.”
Aru’s ability to race at a high level in this year’s Vuelta was an unknown coming into the event after an iliac artery surgery derailed his spring. He did make the race start in Torrevieja and rode well through the first week, but has since struggled.
“Fabio has clinically recovered from the surgery he had in April. During these months he trained well and data showed his progressions,” said team doctor Jeroen Swart. “He arrived at the start of this Vuelta in really good shape, but during this Vuelta he has not been able to achieve the expected performance and has experienced progressive fatigue and muscle damage and hence has made the decision to stop.”
UAE has said that further tests will be carried out to “gather more information” about what may be ailing Aru.
Klein takes race lead with Boels Ladies Tour stage 3 victory
Lisa Klein (Canyon-Sram) surged to the top of the overall standings at the Boels Ladies Tour with a close win on Friday’s stage 3.
The 23-year-old German joined a strong escape in the finale of the 156.8-kilometer day in and around Nijverdal, and the move survived to the line to contest the stage. Klein pipped Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) in a tight sprint battle, with Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) taking third on the day ahead of Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott).
Overnight leader Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) led the pack over the line for fifth place nine seconds back. The gap to the lead group was enough to propel Klein into the GC lead. She takes a two-second GC advantage over Wiebes into Saturday’s stage 4.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) September 6, 2019
Carapaz to miss Tour of Britain due to visa issues
The Tour of Britain gets underway on Saturday in Glasgow, but reigning Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz (Movistar) won’t be making the start he had planned.
“Sadly, and despite the Movistar Team following all procedures, Richard Carapaz’s visa for the Tour of Britain has not been granted in time for him to travel,” his team said Friday.
The 26-year-old Ecuadorian, who will join Ineos in 2020, has already been forced to alter his race schedule in recent weeks after a crash prior to the Vuelta kept him from making a planned start there. Carapaz will be replaced in Movistar’s Tour of Britain lineup by Hector Carretero.
Breschel to embark on new career as sports director
Matti Breschel (EF Education First) is retiring from racing, but he will stay very much involved in professional cycling. The 35-year-old Dane will stay with EF as a sports director.
Battling arthritis, Breschel made the last start of his racing career last weekend at the Bretagne Classic, won by teammate Sep Vanmarcke. Now, he is headed to the Vuelta to start his apprenticeship as a DS, with a plan to continue as a DS for EF in 2020.
“It was totally a no-brainer for me. When I was starting to be in my 30s and had to think, ‘what am I going to do afterwards?’ I realized that my whole education and my whole life was in cycling, so I’d thought about going in that direction,” he said, in EF’s statement. “I was really pleased that the team asked me. To be a part of cycling—it’s kind of my whole identity.”
Ineos extends Dunbar and Swift
The Ineos team has been busy re-signing riders. Having already announced extensions for Owain Doull and Chris Lawless this week, Ineos announced on Friday that Eddie Dunbar and Ben Swift had been extended as well.
Dunbar, 23, will ride on with the team for a further three years. Swift, 31, extended for two seasons.
Coming up at the Vuelta
After a mountainous Friday stage, the Vuelta takes on flatter terrain in Saturday’s stage 14.
188 kilometers from San Vicente de la Barquera to Oviedo, the stage features only a single third-category climb crested 23 kilometers from a sprinter-friendly finish.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Tadej Pogacar wins stage 13 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Luis Angel Gomez/Cor Vos © 2019