Madrid :  Dani Navarro saw a lone attack from around three kilometers from the finish rewarded with victory in Stage 13 of the Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain)

The Spanish rider was able to break clear at the end of a tough, hilly day Friday in which overall leader Alberto Contador and second placed Alejandro Valverde finished with the same time as other contenders such as Joaquin Rodriguez and Rigoberto Uran and Chris Froome, reports Xinhua.

The stage, which comes before the first of three decisive days in the high mountains, was dominated by a six-man escape which included Samuel Sanchez (BMC) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre).

The six riders took advantage of the terrain that without ever being high mountains, offered rolling hills, short sharp climbs and little respite, with two third category climbs and a second category mountain in the second half of the 188 kilometre route, which ended with a tough climb to the finish line, enough to rule the specialist sprinters out of contesting the stage win.

This made it perfect terrain for a breakaway, especially as the contenders for the overall classification looked to gather strength for the mountains, with the specialist sprint teams also looking to save gas for the future.

Despite the efforts of the Orica Green Edge team the escapees remained two and a half minutes ahead of the main peloton, until with around 25 kilometres remaining, the FDJ team took up position at the front of the peloton and upped the pace of the pursuit, rapidly closing the gap until the last rider was swallowed up with seven kilometers remaining.

Two steep climbs in the final three kilometers shattered the peloton, but Navarro was brave enough to attack on the first climb to open up a gap which was big enough for him to hold on to the finish line as the overall favourites came in bunched together around 50 metres behind.

Saturday sees the first of three high mountain stages with a 200 kilometre ride containing two first category climbs and finishing at the top of the fearsome La Camperona climb.