1. Daniele Nardello (Italy) Mapei 4.30.19 2. Andrea Peron (Italy) Motorola s.t. 3. Peter Meinert (Denmark) Telekom 0.14 4. Angel Canzonieri (Italy) Saeco 0.22 5. Alex Zuelle (Switzerland) ONCE 2:26 6. Laurent Jalabert (France) ONCE 2:31 7. Tony Rominger (Switzerland) Mapei 2:33 8. Roberto Pistore (Italy) MG 9. Laurent Dufaux (Switzerland) Lotus all s.t. 10. Davide Rebellin (Italy) Polti 2:39 11. Mauro Gianetti (Switzerland) Polti 12. Marcos Serrano (Spain) Kelme all s.t. 13. Axel Merckx (Belgium) Motorola 2:48 14. Massimo Apollonio (Italy) Scrigno 2:59 15. Stefano Faustini (Italy) AKI 16. Bobby Julich (USA) Motorola 17. Fabian Jeker (Switzerland) Lotus 18. Javier Mauleon (Spain) Mapei 19. Georg Tostching (Austria) Polti 20. Angel Luis Casero (Spain) Banesto all s.t. Others 24. Miguel Indurain (Spa) 3:26 .. 30. Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr) 3:39 31. Melchor Mauri (Spa) 3:44 32. Neil Stephens (Aus) s.t. .. 62. Claus Moller (Den) 6:53 .. 81. Kevin Livingston (USA) 11:20 .. 90. William Chann McRae (USA) 16:11 .. 103. Bo Hamburger (Den) .. 129. Lars Johnsen (Nor) .. 131. Stephen Hodge (Aus) all s.t. Retired - Michael Andersson (Swe)
1. Zuelle 52.17.32 2. Jalabert 1:17 3. Miguel Indurain (Spain) Banesto 2:04 4. Melchor Mauri (Spain) ONCE 3:09 5. Neil Stephens (Australia) ONCE 3:55 6. Pistore 4:07 7. Dufaux 4:31 8. Faustini 5:47 9. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spain) ONCE 6:30 10. Julich 6:43 11. Rebellin 6:55 12. Vladislav Bobrik (Russia) Gewiss 7:10 13. Tostching 7:29 14. Rominger 8:08 15. Apollonio 8:09 16. Maarten Den Bakker (Netherlands) TVM 8:39 17. Nardello 8:58 18. Peron 9:05 19. Juan Arenas (Spain) Lotus 9:38 20. Canzonieri 10:32 .. 27. Peter Meinert (Den) 12:21 .. 46. Kevin Livingston (USA) 17:39 .. 54. Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr) 20:02 .. 59. Bo Hamburger (Den) 21:31 .. 76. Stephen Hodge (Aus) 28:22 .. 80. Claus Moller (Den) 31:10 .. 114. William Chann McRae (USA) 49:53 .. 139. Lars Johnsen (Nor) 1:10:31
With Italy's Daniele Nardello already celebrating his breakaway victory at the top of the hill, Zuelle split the group of favourites with an explosive burst in the 5 km climb to the finish.
Laurent Jalabert, who stuck close to his ONCE teammate Zuelle, moved up to second just over a minute behind, while Indurain slipped to third, more than two minutes off the lead in provisional timings.
``Indurain's very good, we'll have to be alert,'' said Zuelle afterwards.
Earlier Nardello had sprinted to take the stage victory ahead of Andrea Peron, one of his companions in a group of four who broke away at the midway point of the 188 km stage.
With Angelo Canzonieri and Peter Meinert left behind, Peron was pushed aside by Nardello as the two riders jostled for position in the final metres, and made an angry gesture as Nardello crossed the line ahead of him.
Amongst a dozen riders retiring on Thursday were Frenchman Armand de las Cuevas and Fabio Baldato, the Italian sprinter who led the overall standings after winning successive stages earlier in the Vuelta.
Swedish rider Michael Anderson is also out after being taken to hospital with minor injuries following a fall early in the stage.
Friday's 170 km 13th stage takes the riders from Oviedo to another classic mountain finish at Lagos de Covadonga.
Zulle finished fifth in the stage behind winner Daniele Nardiello of Italy, who beat compatriot Andrea Peron in a sprint finish on the first category climb of Naranco.
Zulle, who won the Tour de France prologue, came home over a minute clear of Indurain. His ONCE teammate Laurent Jalabert, defending his title, overtook Indurain, the five-time winner of the Tour de France, in the overall standings and moved into second place.
"It was worse than I could have imagined. I never found my rhythm because the short climbs inconvenienced me. I am going to continue to struggle," a disappointed Indurain said.
Indurain had stuck with Zulle until the final two kilometres of the final climb, but despite sterling work from his teammate Jose Maria Jiminez he could not respond when Zulle and compatriot Laurent Dufaux sped away.
Zulle, however, remains wary of the apparent fading of Indurain's challenge.
"Miguel is a great champion. Although he had a bad day today he is capable of recovering overnight and challenging again tomorrow. I have to keep an eye of him," Zulle said.
Nardello and Peron were part of a four-man group that escaped at the 71km mark. The Italians dropped the other two, Dane Peter Meinert and another Italian Angelo Canzoneri, in the final few kilometres.
There were several well-known retirements during the stage. Italys Fabio Baldato, who led the Tour until Monday, retired while Hernan Buenahora of Colombia was forced to abandon after 27km following a heavy fall -- he had to retire from the Tour de France following a fall as well.
Friday's 13th stage is known as the "Queen of stages" over 159km from Oviedo to the Covadonga Lakes, including a climb so steep it's not categorised.
The stage also includes the first-category climb of Alto Mirador del Fito and the third-category climb of Alto Venta del Pobre.