Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a España stage 13 preview: Sprinters and breakaway riders all eyeing opportunity in Montilla

GC riders need to remain vigilant after two high-profile crashes in recent stages.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and unwrap savings this holiday season.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Now 30% Off.
$4.99/month $3.49/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Following stage 12’s summit finish atop Peñas Blancas, the Vuelta a España returns to flatter terrain on Friday’s stage 13, throwing the sprinters another bone before a spate of upcoming climbing stages.

The race from Ronda to Montilla is undulating but lacks any categorized climbs. The final-kilometer fast-men will fancy their chances after what have been relatively few opportunities during the race, and will instruct their teams to keep close tabs on the breakaways in the hope that everything comes back together before the finish.

However, the 168.4 kilometers in store should offer hope to the escape specialists too, with the jagged terrain likely to see a move slip away and get the opportunity to build some sort of buffer.

Those who fancy their chances will hope for a bigger move than that of two days previously. Stage 11 to Cabo de Gata had just three riders up the road, making it easy for the sprinters’ teams to control their gains and to bring them back well before the finale.

Also read:

Former professional Fernando Escartin gives the break more than a passing chance of staying clear.

“Although the first part of the stage is more meandering, the second part is practically flat. Accumulated exhaustion following Peñas Blancas may pose a problem for the sprinters,” he said. “The most explosive riders will have to make their teams work hard in order to control the arrival at the finish line.”

Sprinters under pressure to deliver on limited opportunities

Those who will hope for a huge gallop into the first-time stage finish of Montilla include Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), who is well clear in the battle for the green jersey but lacking the stage win he has been hunting since the start of the race. He was second on stages 2, 3, and 4 and fifth on stage 11.

He’ll also eye the intermediate sprint located 14km from the finish.

Stage 11 winner Kaden Groves will be keen to notch up a second success, not least because his BikeExchange-Jayco team is trying to fend off WorldTour relegation. Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) is aiming to land up the second Vuelta stage win of his career and will be encouraged by his second place behind Groves in Cabo de Gata.

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates), Dan McLay (Arkéa Samsic) and Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) were also in the top-10 on that occasion, Merlier netting third, and will all want to seize their chance prior to the flurry of mountain stages to come.

The general classification riders will aim to keep out of trouble. Julian Alaphilippe and Evenepoel himself both had falls in recent days, sliding out on the slick roads, and this will reinforce the need to be attentive, stay upright, and remain safe.