UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogačar put on another display of sheer brilliance during stage 13 of La Vuelta, and in doing so took his second stage win in just five days. The unbelievable result also launched the 20-year-old star into third place in the white jersey, as he sits now +17″ on Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) at the top of the Youth Classification.
The day didn’t start out well for the Emirati formation, with news that Fabio Aru would retire from La Vuelta.
However, all that was forgotten as the stage reached the business end and a select group of 29 GC riders hit the bottom of Los Machucos – the seventh categorized climb of the afternoon. With 6.5km of constant climbing – and sections featuring brutal gradients in excess of 25% – it was always going to be a true test of the strongest riders in the bunch.
With 6kms to go Nairo Quintana was the first of the GC contenders to attack, as he closed the gap on Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) who had attempted to solo away a few kilometres earlier. However Pogačar , and his Slovenian rival Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma), proved too strong for everyone as they accelerated away from the bunch and reeled in both Quintana and Latour with less than 2kms to go. With the finish line in touching distance Pogacar managed to find another gear, riding Roglic off his wheel and crossing the line first to take his 7th win and UAE Team Emirates’ 24th win of the season.