Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) proved that his stage 13 win was no freak accident by attacking in the final 10km of stage 16 to take another victory on the race’s final day in the Pyrenees. Behind, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was put under pressure by his overall rivals but clung onto the race lead.
Twenty-one year old Barguil had looked in good shape when he joined the day’s large escape group, and picked his moment to attack on the final climb to the finish. He quickly opened up a gap as Rigoberto Uran (Sky) and Dominik Nerz (BMC) chased hard behind.
Although Uran bridged up to Barguil, the effort meant that the Colombian had little left for the two-up sprint and he had to settle for second in a photo finish. Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) claimed third after catching the fading Nerz, who came in fourth.
If the stage win was hotly contested, the fight for seconds between the classification contenders was explosive. First Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), then Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) and then Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked the group containing race leader Nibali and Chris Horner (RadioShack).
Rodriguez’s move stuck inside the final 2km, and the rest of the contenders realised that Nibali was struggling. Attack after attack put the pressure on Nibali, and Horner seized the opportuniy to gain as much time as possible on what looked on paper to be a fairly inocuous climb.
The net result was that Horner moved within 28 seconds of Nibali in the general classification with a week left to race. Valverde also gained valuable seconds, and sits in third overall at one minute and 14 seconds.
Tomorrow – Tuesday – is the second rest day of the 2013 Vuelta, before racing resumes on Wednesday with a lumpy little number from Calahorra to Burgos over 189km.
Vuelta a Espana 2013, stage 16: Graus to Sallent de Gállego, 146.8km
1. Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at same time
3. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) NetApp-Endura at 3 secs
4. Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing at 8 secs
5. Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 20 secs
6. Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r at 37 secs
7. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale at same time
8. Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural at 40 secs
9. Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural at 42 secs
10. Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff at 45 secs
Overall classification after stage 16
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana
2. Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack-Leopard at 28 secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-14
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2-29
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r at 3-38
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff at 3-43
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 4-37
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 6-17
9. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 7-33
10. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 9-21
Warren Barguil goes solo
Rigoberto Uran and Dominik Nerz chase Barguil
Vincenzo Nibali suffers
Joaquim Rodriguez launches from the peloton
Chris Horner and Alejandro Valverde attack
Warren Barguil (right) pips Rigoberto Uran in a photo finish
Warren Barguil celebrates his second stage win
Vuelta a Espana 2013: Stage reports
Stage 15: Geniez wins as Roche goes on attack
Stage 14: Ratto wins rain-swept Vuelta stage 14
Stage 13: Barguil takes first pro victory
Stage 12: Gilbert ends rainbow curse with Vuelta stage 12 win
Stage 11: Cancellara issues Worlds warning shot by winning time trial
Stage 10: Horner wins stage and regains race lead
Stage nine: Moreno wins stage to take race lead
Stage eight: Konig wins, Roche takes lead
Stage seven: Stybar wins from escape
Stage six: Morkov wins after Martin’s day-long escape
Stage five: Matthews wins in Lago de Sanabria
Stage four: Moreno wins tough stage
Stage three: Horner takes charge with stage win and overall lead
Stage two: Nicolas Roche attacks to win
Stage one: Astana takes opening team time trial
Vuelta a Espana 2013: Photo galleries