Cycling-Pedersen powers to win stage 13 in Vuelta

(Reuters) – Trek-Segafredo rider Mads Pedersen showed supreme power as he sprinted to win stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana, a 168.4km flat ride from Ronda to Montilla on Friday.

Danish rider Pedersen edged out Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) after chasing a long sprint from Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), who came third.

The points classification leader made the most of the uphill finish in Montilla as he crossed the line with his arms in the air, celebrating his first stage win on the Vuelta.

“We knew that the final was super good so the boys did good today and everyone was focussed the whole day,” Pedersen, the 2019 world champion, said.

“I’m happy that I could finally get the win and give the boys back for all the work they did so far. It’s really nice for all of us.

“It’s super nice. We came here for a stage win and now we have won. We’ll keep fighting to get one more. It’s super nice with a comfortable lead in the points jersey.”

Race leader Remco Evenepoel of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, who suffered a crash on Thursday, came through Friday’s stage safely and retained his red jersey.

Before the stage, Juan Ayuso returned a positive COVID-19 test but UAE Team Emirates said the Spaniard would continue in the race because his PCR report showed he was asymptomatic and had a very low risk of infectivity.

Cofidis rider Jose Herrada, who left the race ahead of the stage 10 time trial after testing positive, was seemingly unimpressed that some others were able to continue racing.

“Some go home without knowing their viral load. Others race on knowing they are positive while waiting for viral load results. Let the circus go on,” Herrada tweeted.

“And no, I’m not talking about Ayuso, as someone has already said. Mostly because I don’t know his case in-depth enough to talk about it.”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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