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Vuelta a Espana leader Primoz Roglic expanded his advantage on Los Machucos as Slovenian Tadej Pogacar won point 13.
Team Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic, 29, stands two minutes 25 seconds before Spain’s Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde together with eight stages of the race remaining.
Pogacar, of UAE Team Emirates, jumps to third overall when he and Roglic raced clear on the barbarous 6.8kilometers closing rise.
It’s the second triumph after victory on stage nine of Pogacar.
The rough 166.4km stage 13 featured seven categorised climbs, following a neutralised beginning that contained a lap of the pitch in Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames stadium.
Throughout the past visit to Los Machucos at 2017 of La Vuelta, leader and eventual race winner Chris Froome watched his direct slashed by 42 minutes – but Roglic faced no such problems because his closest challengers faltered.
Valverde remains second, despite finishing 27 seconds down on the Slovenian set in fourth, even though a tricky day for Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez – that dropped from third to fourth total – watched him finish and concede past a second as Pogacar strengthened his promise to get a podium finish.
Pogacar winner Fabio Aru withdrew having a muscle injury before Friday’s stage.
A fourth day in the jersey awaits Roglic following Friday climbing display, as a 188km stage 14 takes the cyclists along the northern coastline of Spain to a finish in Oviedo on Saturday.
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) +2min 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
Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams discusses his life after soccer
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