Vuelta a Espana: Pedersen records first stage win as Evenepoel maintains healthy lead

·3-min read

Remco Evenepoel kept his Vuelta a Espana lead firmly intact despite Primoz Roglic's efforts, as Mads Pedersen sprinted to victory on Friday.

Evenepoel had suffered a fall on Thursday but kept safely in the peloton in stage 13 to ensure history hunting Roglic – who crossed over the line in ninth on the uphill finish in Montilla – did not make a dent into his general classification lead.

A bunch sprint for the line was won by Pedersen, who recorded the first Vuelta stage win of his career, following on from a maiden individual success at the Tour de France earlier this year.

Pedersen, who already held the green points jersey, had to react sharply to an attack from Pascal Ackermann in the last 500 metres, but the Dane had too much power and had time to celebrate as he crossed.

Along with Kaden Groves and Bryan Coquard, Pedersen had previously reeled in a three-man breakaway of Julius van den Berg, Ander Okamika and Joan Bou.

Coquard had enough to overtake Ackermann, who just about held onto third place ahead of Fred Wright.

"It's super nice," Trek-Segafredo rider Pedersen told reporters after ensuring a Dane has won at least one stage at La Vuelta for four consecutive editions of the Grand Tour.

"We came here for a stage win and now we have won. We'll keep fighting to get one more.

"It's nice with a comfortable lead in the points jersey. We keep fighting for the stages and we'll see how it goes."

Evenepoel, meanwhile, has now held the red jersey for eight successive stages, the longest such streak for a Belgian at La Vuelta since Ferdi Van den Haute in 1978 (10 stages).

COVID not stopping Ayuso

A raft of positive COVID-19 cases have disrupted this year's race, but one rider who is able to carry on is Juan Ayuso.

The UAE Team Emirates youngster - who sits an impressive fifth returned a positive test result ahead of Friday's stage, and team doctor Adrian Rotunno confirmed the 19-year-old is fine to continue.

"As per our internal protocols Juan Ayuso was tested for COVID-19 and returned a positive result this morning. He is asymptomatic and analysing his PCR found he had a very low risk of infectivity, similar to cases such as we saw at this year's Tour de France," Rotunno confirmed to the media.

STAGE RESULT

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 3:46:01
2. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) same time
3. Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) same time
4. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) same time
5. Danny van Poppel (BORA-Hansgrohe) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 48:11:10
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:41
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +3:03

Points Classification

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 247
2. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 96
3. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) 96

King of the Mountains

1. Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 40
2. Robert Stannard (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 21
3. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 20