Valverde stays 3rd in Vuelta overall after immense wear and tear towards Peyragudes, without any gaps between the main favourites. Geniez (FDJ) crowns winning break featuring Herrada (9th) and Moreno

225 kilometers from Andorra to the Cat-1 climb of Peyragudes, three big ascents on the way to the finish -Cantó, La Bonaigua and Balès-, more than 4,000m of vertical drop and some sections covered by rain and cold -though not as intense as yesterday's hellish trek to La Gallina- configured the Queen stage of the 2013 Vuelta a España, which would ultimately cause no changes in the general classification. The Peyresourde witness a flurry of attacks by the top guns, with Nibali, Horner, Rodríguez, Pinot and Alejandro Valverde bringing his best legs to the fore again after a tremendous effort by the Spaniard on Saturday. The Movistar Team's leader would even try an acceleration halfway through the climb, quickly responded by Nibali himself.

The race leader controlled his rivals all the way to the top and even brought the group him, three minutes and nineteen seconds behind the day's winner Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), last survivor of a 28-rider move with two Blue riders: José Herrada and Javi Moreno, saving legs for Valverde as the Murcian was protected by Capecchi, Szmyd or a consistent Beñat Intxausti. Herrada drove the pace into the second group after the escape splitted in the penultimate climb -with Geniez and Portuguese André Cardoso (CJR) at the front-, crossing the line in 9th place, just three seconds behind Valverde (5th).

Article taken from Movistar Team News Blog