Nelson Oliveira of the Lampre-Merida team soloed to a maiden Grand Tour victory on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday. The nature of 178
Nelson Oliveira of the Lampre-Merida team soloed to a maiden Grand Tour victory on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday.
The nature of 178 kilometre race from Catalayud to Tarazona always promised a break.
An initial group of 50 riders escaped from the main bunch early on but after 40km that was whittled down to eight with Oliveira in the thick of things.
Some 30 kilometres later they were joined by a large chasing group that linked up on the first-category climb of the Alto de Beratón.
After a few failed attacks on the pace setters by a handful of riders, Oliveira took his chance on the final descent of the day with 30 kilometres to the line.
Thanks to his impressive descending skills, the lightning-quick Oliveira opened up a sizeable gap on his stage rivals.
So much so the multiple Portuguese time trial champion was able to savour his victory as he crossed the line unchallenged for the biggest win of his career.
Italian Fabio Aru finished safely in the bunch to retain his overall race lead – 27 seconds clear of Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez.