Vuelta a Espana 2017: Matteo Trentin grabs third win on stage 13
Chris Froome retains race lead after finishing seventh on highly-technical finale
by Colin Henrys
Green jersey Matteo Trentin (QuickStep Floors) sprinted to his third stage win of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana on stage 13.
The Italian enhanced his lead atop the points classification after a brilliant lead-out from his QuickStep Floors team-mates on a highly technical finale.
And Trentin finished the job by swinging out of Soren Kragh Andersen’s (Team Sunweb) wheel and holding off a late charge as from Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) to win the stage.
Moscon had helped position race leader Chris Froome in a great place before sprinting, with the red jersey finishing seventh to maintain his overall lead.
Gaps did open up behind, but second-placed Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was in the front group with Froome.
The stage passed largely as expected before the technical finish, with a break going clear early on, including King of the Mountains Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac).
Villella was first of over the top of the day’s only climb and promptly sat up to wait for the bunch, leaving Alessandro de Marchi (BMC Racing), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) up the road.
With such firepower in the breakaway, however, the sprint teams were keen to get stuck into the pace-setting and QuickStep Floors, LottoNL-Jumbo and Cannondale-Drapac all put riders at the front.
The gap was down to 90 seconds with 50km to go, and that tumbled further despite the peloton seeming in relaxed mood – Alberto Contador’s Trek-Segafredo team-mates singing for the TV cameras as they raced.
De Marchi was the last man standing in the breakaway, leading the way through the intermediate sprint as the sprint teams jostled for position behind him.
With seven kilometres remaining, it was gruppo compacto and all eyes turned to the technical finish and which teams could control the racing around the abundance of roundabouts.
QuickStep Floors were the team to take charge, shutting down late attacks and keeping Trentin well positioned on the run-in to the finish.
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) attacked but, a mechanical stopped him in his tracks as a sprint finish loomed.
And the Italian finished the job off with a superbly-timed sprint out of Andersen’s wheel, with Moscon’s late charge good enough for second.
There was one negative for QuickStep Floors, however – David de la Cruz dropping to fifth overall, having been one of the riders caught behind the seven-second split.
Froome still leads, meanwhile, and will carry the red jersey into the mountains on Saturday.
Vuelta a Espana 2017: stage 13 – result
1) Matteo Trentin (ITA) – QuickStep Floors – 4.25.13hrs
2) Gianni Moscon (ITA) – Team Sky – ST
3) Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN) – Team Sunweb
4) Michael Schwarzmann (GER) – Bora-hansgrohe
5) Tom van Asbroeck (BEL) – Cannondale-Drapac
6) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida
7) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky
8) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb
9) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo
10) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – BMC Racing
1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 53.48.06hrs
2) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +59"
3) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +2.13
4) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb +2.17
5) David de la Cruz (ESP) – QuickStep Floors +2.23
6) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +2.25
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +2.37
8) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +2.41
9) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo +3.13
10) Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) – Astana +3.58