Vuelta a Espana: Warren Barguil wins stage 13 as Vincenzo Nibali retains overall lead
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: September 7, 2013 2:48pm
Warren Barguil claimed the biggest win of his career
France's Warren Barguil mounted a late escape to claim an impressive victory on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana as Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead.
Barguil (Argos-Shimano), who is not 22 years old until next month, left behind eight fellow breakaway riders with an attack 1.2km out from the finish line in Castelldefels and went on to win by seven seconds from second-placed Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and third-placed Bauke Mollema (Belkin).
It was the first professional win of his fledgling career and continued a breakthrough Grand Tour in which he has notched up two other top 10's.
Nibali (Astana) crossed the line 2min 43sec later on the same time as all of his rivals for overall victory to consolidate his 31-second lead over Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) at the top of the general classification.
The peloton had earlier called off a chase of the escape group around 15km from home in favour of saving energy for three consecutive summit finishes in the Pyrenees over the next three days.
Stage 13, which started in Valls, north-eastern Spain, offered a strong chance of a breakaway winner, but with the GC contenders wary of who to allow clear, it wasn't until 73km in that a group was finally formed.
No fewer than 19 men made their way into the escape and built up a gap of almost two and a half minutes, but their numbers were halved when they started climbing up the category-one Alto del Rat Penat, which arrived 55km from home and included ramps of 16 per cent.
Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) rode solo over the summit, but opted to wait for his remaining fellow escapees on the subsequent descent and a new front group of ten assembled.
Cannondale and then FDJ moved to the front of the peloton in a bid to keep the chase alive, but despite making inroads into the three-and-a-half-minute gap, it quickly became apparent that their efforts were in vain and the bunch all but sat up around with around 14km to go.
Youth overcomes experience
That left the 10 leaders - later reduced to nine - to fight out the victory, and it was Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) who was first to ignite proceedings with an attack 8km out.
He was soon joined by Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida), but Mollema and Xabier Zandio (Team Sky) combined to haul the trio back with 2km to go.
As the more experienced escapees began to wait for each other to jump, Barguil, who won last year's Tour de l'Avenir, stunned them by attacking and then consolidating his narrow advantage on the short rise to the finish line.
"I am so proud of my victory today in my first year as professional and for it to come in a Grand Tour," Barguil said. "We knew that today was a good opportunity for a breakaway. I knew it suited me very well and I waited for the right moment to attack and I did it. Unbelievable."
Stage 13 result
1 Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano, 4:00:13
2 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +7sec
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, same time
4 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC, st
5 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Team Sky, st
6 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja-Rural, st
7 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
8 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, st
9 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, +24
10 Benat Inxausti (Spa) Movistar, +2:34
14 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +2:43
17 Nicolas Roche (Ire) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
20 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, st
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, 49:29:02
2 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff, +31secs
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +46
4 Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack-Leopard, same time
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, +2:33
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +2:44
7 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale, +2:55
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, +3:35
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff, +3:46
10 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha, +3:56
- Green (points classification): Daniel Moreno (Katusha)
- Blue polka dot (mountains classification): Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack-Leopard