URDAX, Spain — 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-kilometre (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-kilometre (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.