Oliveira of Portugal wins 13th Vuelta stage, Aru keeps lead

BY foxsports • September 4, 2015

TARAZONA, Spain (AP) Nelson Oliveira of Portugal sped away to win the 13th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, while Fabio Aru kept his lead on Friday before the Grand Tour enters three straight days in the mountains.

Oliveira broke free from an escape group of 24 riders with around 20 kilometers (12 miles) to go on the hilly 178-kilometer (110-mile) ride from Calatayud to Tarazona.

The Lampre-Merida rider had time to savor his first international win. He slowed down, zipped up his maillot, and bowed to the crowd as he crossed a minute ahead of the chasing pack.

''This is one of the happiest days of my life, my first international win and to get it on the Vuelta,'' he said. ''I had circled this stage on the calendar. Those were the longest 20 kilometers of my life.''

Aru finished in the peloton with the remaining main rivals following the expulsion of Astana teammate Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome's withdrawal due to a broken foot.

Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez remained in second place at 27 seconds behind the Italian leader. Dutchman Tom Dumoulin was 30 seconds back, while former champion Alejandro Valverde was sixth at 1 minute, 52 seconds off Aru's pace.

The three-week event enters a span of three consecutive stages that all culminate in summit finishes.

Saturday's stage is a 215-kilometer (113-mile) ride starting in Vitoria and ending at the special-category Alto Campoo summit.

''If I feel good tomorrow I will try to win some time,'' Aru said.

The race ends in Madrid on Sept. 13.