Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) finally had his day at the Vuelta a España as he powered to victory on stage 13 in Montilla.
As the peloton flew towards the slightly uphill finish in Andalusia, Trek-Segafredo had assembled their men perfectly with the aim of setting up the Danish rider. Jumbo-Visma had Primož Roglič primed and ready to pounce to spoil the party for Pedersen, but it would be Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) who would be the first man to launch a final kick for the line.
Pedersen was straight onto the German rider’s back wheel as Ackermann continued to push on, but he would soon tire. The Trek-Segafredo rider then swiftly climbed out of the saddle to violently power past a tiring Ackermann and fly towards the finish line.
In the end there would be no stopping Pedersen. The green jersey wearer had promised a stage win earlier in the race and would finally deliver and grab his moment in Montilla.
Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) took second with Ackermann in third.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ensured that race leader Remco Evenepoel finished safely within the main field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Stage 13 of the Vuelta a España would see the riders tackle an undulating 168 kilometre course between Ronda and Montilla in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Despite it being uncategorised, there was a small ramp to the finish line in Montilla with a five percent gradient. 147 riders started the stage in Ronda including Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) despite the Spanish rider returning a positive Coronavirus test.
The first phase of the day was highly-paced and frenetic with multiple riders trying to get into the day’s breakaway. Trek-Segafredo, BikeExchange-Jayco and Cofidis were working hard on the front of the main field in an attempt to make sure their riders were included in any potential move.
With 66 kilometres to go, the breakaway was firmly established and three men had a lead of more than three minutes over the peloton. Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), and Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) were up the road and working well together to maintain their advantage. Trek-Segafredo were visibly present towards the front of the peloton in an attempt to keep Mads Pedersen out of trouble.
The kilometres were flying by as the riders sped across the wide open plains of Andalusia. Bora-Hansgrohe moved to the front of the peloton and put in a mammoth turn on the front of the main field in an attempt to reduce the time deficit to the leaders. After a small crash earlier in the stage, Thibault Guernalec (Arkéa-Samsic) abandoned the race due to some minor injuries.
With 28 kilometres to the finish line, the pace was ramping up as the riders sped towards the intermediate sprint point in Espejo. As the sprint arrived, Bora-Hansgrohe looked to tee up Danny van Poppel. Israel-PremierTech had also assembled on the front of the bunch to assist with the pace setting and the breakaway was soon swept up. The intermediate sprint wasn’t contested as all eyes were on the finish in Montilla.
Inside the final ten kilometres and teams were jostling for position as the finish line rapidly approached. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were gathered around Remco Evenepoel to ensure he was kept safe as the speed of the main field kicked up once more. At two and a half kilometres to go the road was gradually getting steeper towards the finish line and Movistar, Ineos Grenadiers and Trek-Segafredo were fighting at the front to set up their fast men.
As they flew under one kilometre to go Trek-Segafredo, Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma began the final battle of the day for positioning. Trek-Segafredo had their man Pedersen perfectly positioned for a tilt at victory, although it would be Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) who would be the first to launch a final kick for the line.
In the end the German rider proved to be no match for Pedersen as he swiftly powered round Ackermann to open up a small gap. After going close earlier in the race the Danish rider would finally have his day as he secured an impressive stage win. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) grabbed second place with Ackermann in third.
VUELTA A ESPAÑA 2022: STAGE 13 RESULTS
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo, in 03-46-01
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis,
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates,
4. Fred Wright (GBR) Bahrain Victorious,
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe,
6. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ,
7. Jesus Muela (Esp) Burgos-BH
8. Maxim van Gils (Bel) Lotto-Soudal,
9. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma,
10. Urko fernandez (Esp) Equipo Kern Pharma, all same time
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 13
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, in 48-11-10
2. Primož Roglič (Svn) Jumbo-Visma, at 2-41
3. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 3-03
4. Carlos Rodríguez (Esp) Ineos Grenadiers, at 4-06
5. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 4-53
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 6-28
7. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan, at 6-56
8. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 7-18
9. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 8-00
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Gbr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 8-05
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