Daniel Navarro wins 13th Spanish Vuelta stage

September 5, 2014

OBREGON, Spain (AP) Daniel Navarro of Spain surged forward and hung on to win the 13th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Friday while countryman Alberto Contador kept the overall leader's red jersey.

Navarro finished the 189-kilometer (117-mile) mountainous ride from Belorado to Obregon two seconds ahead of Daniel Moreno and Wilco Kelderman.

''I am delighted to have won this stage,'' Navarro said. ''I'm not sure I'll be able to get another stage win in this Vuelta, so it's a welcome victory.''

Contador fended off several charges by Alejandro Valverde to retain a 20-second overall lead. Rigoberto Uran remained in third, 1:08 behind, and Chris Froome was still 1:20 behind in fourth.

Contador arrived at this year's Vuelta as a late entry after a broken right shin bone had forced him to retire from the Tour de France on July 15. Still recovering from the injury, he initially said he harbored no thoughts of challenging for the win.

But the five-time grand tour winner has been able to attack his rivals in mountain stages and, with main rival Nairo Quintana out after breaking a shoulder blade during Wednesday's 11th stage, Contador looks fit enough to be in contention for a win when the race ends on Sept. 14 in Santiago de Compostela.

''My leg doesn't bother me at all and I'm extremely happy to have taken the decision to compete here,'' Contador said.

Valverde said he began trying to go for a stage win but found it very tough trying to keep up with break-away sprinters and eventually concentrated on his overall position.

''I fought hard, but you can't control everything, there was one attack followed by another and in the end I dedicated myself to the overall race,'' Valverde said.

The 14th stage on Saturday is a 201-kilometer (125-mile) mountainous ride from Santander to La Camperona, featuring two category-one ascents.