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Vuelta a Espana

Eiking perfectly surrounded towards the mountains

For the sixth time in this Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09), the stage was concluded by a bunch sprint. And for the sixth time, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert finished the stage with a rider in the lead of the general classification. Perfectly protected during the thirteenth stage, Odd Christian Eiking avoided to be trapped by the echelons which were set up by some teams 60 kilometer before the finish. Together with the sprinters teams, the men from Valerio Piva and Jean-Marc Rossignon had no difficulty to control an early breakaway of three riders which was formed immediately after the start in Belmez. 

In spite of a nervous final and several gaps, the Norwegian and South-African Louis Meintjes managed to reach the finish line after 204 kilometer without issues. Riccardo Minali was the first rider of the team to cross the finish line in 14th place, 11 seconds after winner Florian Sénéchal. Eiking will wear the red jersey for a fourth time in a row during the fourteenth stage which will bring the riders from Don Benito towards Pico Villuercas for a rude mountain top finish (14.4km at 6.3%).

The many roundabouts in the final kilometers were no surprise, but I didn’t imagine that they would be decisive for the stage win. There were some time gaps, but thanks to the great work of my teammates I managed to finish in the front and avoid changes in the general classification. The team was fantastic today, I only had to follow. Tomorrow will be a hard day in the mountains. I will give everything I have to defend the red jersey, but a lot will depend on what the other teams desire, in particular the winner of the two last editions, Primoz Roglic.



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