Dan Martin stayed with the GC favorites in Friday’s mountainous 13th stage that served as a preview for this weekend’s pair of summit finishes in the Vuelta a España.
Martin crossed the line 49th at 1:33 back with the same time as race leader Bradley Wiggins to remain 23rd overall at 4:44 back. Michael
Albasini won out of a 20-man breakaway that held its advantage over the day’s main obstacle at the Cat. 1 Puerto de Ancares.
“It was a crazy stage. There were attacks all over the place. Daniel is feeling good and he’s optimistic for the climbing stages to come,” said Garmin-Cervélo sport director Bingen Fernández.
“Daniel was able to stay with the best climbers in that group, so that’s a good sign. There wasn’t really a chance to try to win the stage because the final climb was so far from the finish.”
These grueling stages are tough on everyone in the peloton. Garmin-Cervélo grand tour rookie Andrew Talansky said he’s feeling
good going into this weekend’s big mountains.
“I was with the front group all the way up the climb today. It split coming down and then there was another third category and I lost
contact. The whole idea for me is to be there to help Daniel and to make it to Madrid,” Talansky said.
“When it splits like that, there’s no point in killing myself. This Vuelta is so hard. Everyone is telling me that this is the hardest Vuelta in years, so I guess I picked a good one for my first grand tour!”
The 66th Vuelta continues Saturday with the 175km 14th stage from Astorga to the Farrapona summit in Asturias. The three-climb stage should present a chance for Martin to chase his second stage victory of this Vuelta.
“We could see two races in one tomorrow. There will probably be a breakaway like today and then the GC favorites fighting behind,” Fernández said. “If the break comes back, Daniel will have a good chance to try win the stage. Either way, the race has to open up. The favorites have to start attacking each other. We hope to take advantage of that.”
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