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Vuelta a Espana leader Primoz Roglic expanded his benefit to get a summit end on Los Machucos as Tadej Pogacar won point 13.
Team Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic, 29, stands two minutes 25 minutes ahead of the Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde of Spain together with eight stages of the race.
Pogacar, of UAE Team Emirates, jumps to third general when he and Roglic dashed clear about the brutal 6.8kilometers final climb.
It’s 20-year-old Pogacar’s next win after victory on stage .
The demanding 166.4km point 13 featured seven categorised climbs, after a neutralised beginning which contained a lap of the pitch at Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames stadium.
Throughout La Vuelta’s previous trip to Los Machucos at 2017, eventual race winner Chris Froome and leader saw his guide slashed by 42 minutes – but Roglic confronted no issues as his challengers faltered.
Valverde stays second, despite completing 27 seconds down on the Slovenian pair in fourth, while a tough day for Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez – who fell from third to fourth complete – watched him finish seventh and concede past a minute as Pogacar bolstered his claim for a podium finish.
Pogacar winner Fabio Aru withdrew before the period of Friday with a muscular injury.
A day at the red jersey expects Roglic after Friday’s remarkable climbing screen, as a level 188km stage 14 takes the riders along Spain’s northern coastline.
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 48hrs 28mins 26secs
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) same time
3. Pierre Latour (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +27secs
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) same time
5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) same time
6. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) same time
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 49hrs 20mins 28secs
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +2minutes 25secs
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +3mins 01secs
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) + 3mins 18secs
5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +3mins 33secs
6. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) +6mins 15secs
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra/Cofidis) +7mins 18secs
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor/Lotto-Soudal) +7mins 33secs
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Sunweb) +7mins 39secs
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida) +9mins 58secs
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