September 02, 2016

URDAX, Spain (AP) Valerio Conti successfully broke away Friday to win the Spanish Vuelta's long 13th stage, while Nairo Quintana kept his overall lead.

Conti, riding for Lampre-Merida, separated from a small group of escapees and rode alone to finish the hilly 213.4-kilometer (132.6-mile) route in 5 hours, 29 minutes, 4 seconds.

It was the 23-year-old Italian's first win at a grand tour.

Danilo Wyss was second - almost a minute behind - followed by Sergey Lagutin.

The stage, which was the longest of this year's edition of the race, started in Bilbao and ended in Urdax after a brief dip into France.

Led by Quintana's Movistar, the peleton took the stage at a leisurely pace and crossed the finish line more than half an hour after Conti.

For a second straight day, Quintana and nearest challenger Chris Froome refrained from attacking one another with the tough, and potentially decisive, high mountains looming.

Quintana has a 54-second advantage over second-placed Froome heading into Saturday's daunting 196-kilometer (121.7-mile) course that traverses the French Pyrenees.

Race organizers say the 14th stage, which includes three category-one ascents before a summit finish at the special-category Col d'Aubisque, is ''one of the most demanding stages in the history of the Vuelta.''

The three-week race ends in Madrid on Sept. 11.

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