Euskadi’s Oscar Rodriguez took on both the huge gradients of La Camperona and many more experienced riders to win Stage 13 of Vuelta2018. Nairo Quintana led in the GC favourites as the race got its first real summit shake-up. The red jersey, however, stays with Cofidis’ Jesus Herrada.
Rider of the race
It can only be Oscar Rodriguez. The young rider took his first win on the big stage (in more ways than one) and delivered a well-earned victory for one of the Vuelta’s wildcard teams.
The break of the day had 4min when they hit the foot of the final climb and as they rode immodestly over the savage slopes, we saw a slow-motion whittling down to just three men: Dylan Teuns of BMC, Bora’s Rafal Majka and Euskadi’s Oscar Rodriguez. But it was the Basque rider who had the legs and he had several lengths on the others by the flamme rouge.
There was no denying him. When Majka got his second wind with 500m to go, Rodriquez drove on, no doubt the pain eased by the sight of the winning line and the thought of what crossing it first (with 19sec to spare, no less) would mean.
I still can’t believe it. When I saw they didn’t have the strength I went for it. They [his team] were saying ‘you’re going to do it! you’re going to do it!”. The team will be so happy we’ve had this great victory here.
It certainly was an emotional win for the young rider.
It was another super-break today but this time, it was Cofidis controlling the front of the peloton. And when I say controlling, I mean that they allowed Ben King to become the virtual race leader as the gap crept up to over 8 minutes. This kicked Movistar into action. Once they’d brought the gap down to a size more to their liking, they allowed Cofidis to take charge again – and they were still there in numbers when we got to La Camperona (including Luis Angel Mate in the polka dots), so it’s fair to say the French team honoured their jerseys today.
However, it finally came down to the GC riders – Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) broke free and we were treated to the bizarre sight of them riding slowly up the climb, side-by-side, as if they were clubmates on a Sunday spin.
Quintana put in an acceleration towards the line and came in 6sec ahead of Yates, while behind them, the other GC favourites finished with various losses that shakes up the top ten slightly (Alejandro Valverde has swapped second for third with Quintana). For now, it’s Advantage Quintana – but only just.
There were some who just wanted to hang on …
Red on red
Cofidis held the leader’s jersey at a Grand Tour for the first time in ten years and, for them, it felt pretty good. However, others were less charitable … [but kind of right – ed]
1 Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi) 4:17:05
2 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:19
3 Dylan Teuns (BMC) +0:30
4 Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal) +0:38
5 Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step) +0:43
1 Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 54:50:19
2 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +1:42
3 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +1:50
4 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:54
5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +2:23
6 Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) +2:33
7 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) +2:35
8 Tony Gallopin (Ag2r La Mondiale) +2:40
9 Steven Kruiswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2:44
10 Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) +2:47
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)
Points jersey: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Climber’s jersey: Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis)
Combined jersey: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Team classification: Bahrain-Media
Header image: ©GETTY/AFP/Miguel Riopa