And here they are: no funny business as Movistar lead the peloton over the line a whopping 33:54 down on today's winner, Valerio Conti of Lampre-Merida.
Bilbao - Dantxarinea
Vuelta a España - 2 September 2016
Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:04 on 2 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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The peloton is still chugging along with the clock ticking above the 25-minute mark... hope they have done their maths and don't get collectively chucked out for missing the time limit. They still have six kilometres to go...
Here's the moment Valerio Conti came home to take the biggest win of his young career to date...
Lampaert leads out the sprint for second but he's passed by Wyss and Lagutin on the line as the chasers come home 56 seconds down on Conti.
Victory for Italy's Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida) who displays his team jersey with pride as he crosses the line to take the first Grand Tour stage win of his career.
Under the flamme rouge goes Conti and he knows that the win is his...
The four chasers are still taking pulls but they must know that they're fighting for second place now. Still, you never know... a puncture could change everything for the 23-year-old out ahead.
Over the top goes Conti and only a crash or mechanical can stop him now. His lead is up to a minute - with the peloton now 25 minutes in arrears.
Lampaert has been distanced now after an acceleration by Gogl. Conti still has 50 seconds to play with so it's his stage to lose now.
Gogl leads the chase now but it's not looking good for the five chasers who cannot seem to make any in-roads. Laengen zips clear but is reeled in by Wyss. Lampaert is struggling on the back, while Conti is onto that final climb.
Still 40 seconds for lone leader Conti who will have a climb coming up to build on his lead. Meawhile, back with the pack Chris Froome (in the white combined jersey) chats with Alejandro Valverde (in the green jersey). It's one of those days for them.
Conti is holding his own - the five chasers are not working so well together and for now he remains the favourite.
Conti is on the penultimate descent ahead of the final hill and then the drop down to Urdax for the finish. His lead is 45 seconds now so it's looking very good for the small Italian. But now's the moment of truth as he negotiates this tricky flat segment where he could well be shown up by his chasers.
Conti now has 38 seconds and so is going all guns blazing. Lampre-Merida yet to win a stage on this year's Vuelta so this could be the day...
Valerio Conti has opened up a 15-second gap over his five chasers: Laengen, Lampaert, Wyss, Gogl and Lagutin. The latter has already won stage 7 at La Camperona last week - plus secured the polka dot jersey today - and so the pressure if off the Katusha man, which could act in his favour.
Conti attacks once again on a climb and he's got a small gap. Lampaert leads the chase. The peloton, meanwhile, is now 22:15 back.
Lampaert has joined these riders so we have five out in front - although Laengen looked to have dropped his chain because he suddenly went backwards and was looking down to his mech. Lagutin is back with him now as they battle to bridge over.
Smukulis is struggling as the road heads uphill on a punchy hill. Laengen has attacked and taken Conti, Gogl and Wyss with him.
A pig pull from Laengen on the front of the break sees Gogl and Wallays reeled in - just as Wyss ups the tempo to open up a small gap. This time it's Conti who leads the chase - but there's a lot of looking around at each other. The upshot of all this is that the gap has increased to 21:58 so almost at the hallowed 22-minute mark.
Energy gel for Gogl who is holding the wheel of Wallays. They have 12 seconds over the other escapees, who are now working together as if this were a team time trial.
Jelle Wallays counters and the Belgian opens up a small gap before Michael Gogl joins him, with Rossetto chasing behind.
The gap has gone north of 21 minutes now! Laengen sets the tempo with Lagutin there too... and now Rossetto attacks! Was he faking it? The Italian has been lurking on the back - and was even momentarily dropped - but he's had a last throw of the die as he ups the tempo in the break.
The top of this hill at Zugarramurdi is 5km from the finish when they next pass through - so the peloton should be able to pass through before the leaders return. The gap is back up to 20:40.
Once over this uncategorised climb they will return into Spain. The break is back together again after Rossetto bridges over - but expect this group to be smaller when they return up this hill before the finish today.
We have a little action as Smukulis has a dig in a bid to shuffle the pack. Cardis bridges over with the others but Rossetto is starting to struggle.
The break is riding in France but are about to return back into Spain as they tackle this finishing circuit with a lead of 20 minutes over the Movistar-led pack. If you had to miss one stage of the race, this was the one.
It's official: Sergey Lagutin will wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow after the Russian from Katusha made it a clean sweep by taking a maximum 3pts over the fourth and final summit of the stage. Lagutin crested the top ahead of Cardis and Conti.
Very scenic roads, these - and the peloton really has the chance to savour them today. That said, the gap has been a very stable 19:30 for the past 30-odd kilometres so the speeds are very similar for the leaders and chasers.
Gogl, Smukulis and Conti set the tempo on the front of the break, with Lagutin lurking behind Laengen. So, who will win today's stage? Roll a 12-sided dice and you'll stand as good a chance as guessing. If I were a betting man, however, I'd go for Lagutin or Lampaert. Or Conti. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
The break is onto the final climb of the day, the Cat.3 Puerto de Lizaieta - another scenic climb that twists up a tree-covered mountain. They still have 19 minutes to play with and the question is - at what moment do they start attacking each other? Will anyone go on this climb to deny Lagutin, or will they wait until the descent? The finish comes after the descent and a final uphill kilometre or so.
Drinks and fresh bidons for the riders in the peloton as Rory Sutherland and Ruben Fernandez keep the tempo consistent - but consistently slow - for Movistar on the front of the pack as they crest the summit that the break passed through some 19:30 minutes ago.
We have confirmation that Lagutin took the 3pts over the top of the Alto de Agina and so he is up to 19 points in the KOM standings - that's level with Messrs Geniez and De Gendt, one behind Fraile and two behind leader Quintana. If he crests the next summit in pole position then his work for the day will be done - anything else a bonus.
Meanwhile, the gap is down to 19:20 for the 12 leaders as the Movistar-led peloton complete the descent and move onto the Alto Agina. The total vertical gain today is 3,720 metres so it's pretty demanding for a 'transitional' stage - even if the peloton are taking it relatively easy.
We had no images of the break going over the summit and so the suspense is intense with regards to Lagutin and his polka dot quest. These hills are in dense woodland which is clearly making the coverage tricky - for both the aerial shots and the motorcycle relay.
While the peloton is still on the second climb, the break has moved onto the third climb, the Cat.3 Alto de Agina (5km at 6.2%). Will Lagutin take the points once again or will we see some riders making an early move?
It's that man Lagutin who takes the points over the summit and so the Katusha rider is half way there to taking the polka dot jersey today. The break now has 20:25 over the peloton, who are clearly taking a rest day.
Another thing worth adding is that this break features the race's lanterne rouge: Frenchman Romain Cardis (Direct Energie) is currently three hours and 45 seconds down on Nairo Quintana - and a huge 15 minutes below the second-to-last rider on GC, Johan Le Bon. Keep this up and Cardia will leapfrong his countryman today...
It's worth adding that Fraile's Dimension Data team-mate Nathan Haas finished yesterday's stage well out of the time limit and was ejected from the race by the organisers. The Australian was sick but battled on to finish more than 30 mins down on the winner, Jens Keukeleire.
The leaders are onto the second of today's four categorised climbs, the Alto de Aritxulegi (6.2km at 6.5%). The break has 19:40 over the pack. There won't be any change in the blue polka dot KOM standings today - unless Lagutin takes the max 3pts over all four climbs. That would put the Russian - who won a stage last week - on to 22 points, which would be one point ahead of current leader Nairo Quintana. With the Colombian in red, it's Spaniard Omar Fraile - who won the climber's jersey last year - who wears the blue spotted jersey today.
The peloton is being paced along the San Sebastian waterfront by the Movistar team-mates of red jersey Nairo Quintana. They've hit the feed zone already but you'd think some of them would be tempted to pull up and sample some of the local pintxos. The gap is 19 minutes now for the leaders so it's beyond any doubt that one of these 12 riders will stand atop the podium today in Urdax.
Romain Cardis just won the uncontested intermediate sprint at San Sebastian ahead of Cesare Benedetti and Vegard Stake Laengen. The gap is 18:25 as they tackle some narrow roads over the rolling hills.
The average speed over the first two hours today was 43.2km/h for the 12 leaders. Over the first test of the day, the 3rd category Alto Monte Igueldo it was Sergey Lagutin who took the maximum 3pts ahead of Tom Stamsnijder and Gatis Smukulis.
An early break of 11 riders formed but they were reeled in at 15km today before this break of 12 managed to extricate themselves from the pack after 19km. Trek-Segafredo and FDJ missed the split and worked hard to reel in the escapees but to no avail. The gap grew quickly under a hot sun and in temperatures of 32 degrees celsius. With the best placed rider on GC - Rosetto from Cofidis - a whole hour down on Nairo Quintana, the Colombian's Movistar team were happy to let this one go.
The 12 leaders are: Michael Gogl (Tinkoff), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Gatis Smukulis (Astana), Tom Stamsnijder (Giant-Alpecin), Sergey Lagutin (Katusha), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Yves Lampaert (Etixx-QuickStep), Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling), Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon18) and Romain Cardis (Direct Energie).
We pick up the stage LIVE with 110km remaining and there's a group of 12 riders holding a lead of 18 minutes - yes, that's 18 minutes! - over the peloton.
Yesterday it was a day off for the big GC favourites as Belgium's Jens Keukeleire won stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana in Bilbao by winning a subdued sprint from a reduced peloton. Colombian Nairo Quintana retained the red jersey after an undulating first day in the Basque Country.
Hola and bienvenido to live coverage of stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana - a hilly ride through the Basque Country that dips in and out of France twice along the road from Bilbao to Urdax-Dantzarinea. At 213.4km in length, it's the longest stage of this year's race.