Stage 13 of La Vuelta a Espana was another transition stage. With a few tough days coming up, it was a day made for a brakaway. Steve Cummings got himself into the move with 23 other riders. The group established a lead of more than 5 minutes over the peloton. In the end Nelson Oliviera (Lampre-Merida) outsmarted the other riders in the breakaway, when he rode clear on the last climb. He went on to win the stage, with Steve coming home in 19th position.
178 lumpy kilometers from Calatayud to Tarazona were to be covered today. With 3 difficult mountain stages to come in the next days, most teams wanted to get riders in the break of the day. After a very fast start 24 riders eventually broke clear. Astana with race leader Fabio Aru kept control in the peloton and the break in sight. It was only after the halfway point of the stage that the gap grw to over four five minutes.
On the last climb of the day the breakaway started to loose its momentum. Numerous riders tried to go solo. Oliviera tried his luck shortly before reaching the summit and opened up a gap of a minute on the descent. Behind him the break stayed together in an effort to keep their advantage over the peloton. A few riders were keen on moving up in the overall.
Eventually, Oliviera won the stage. Julien Simon (Cofidis) and Nicholas Roche (Sky) lead home the break. Steve finished in 19th.
In the GC Aru kept his lead, while Louis stayed safe. He sits in 12th position now, but is set to move up again come the mountains.
Steve Cummings – Rider
“We knew today there would be a good chance for the break. In our meeting we had 3 or 4 guys ready to try make the break. The others teams were on the same plan so it took some time for peloton to let a move go and I made it across as with a small group. I felt okay today but Lampre had the numbers in the break and they used the extra riders to their advantage. Once Oliveria was away they just shut us down so I just kept safe to the line.”