Vuelta Stage Report: A long, wet day finished in an uphill bunch sprint. The times of the overall men was taken at 3 kilometres to go, so the fast finishers, that were left, could fight it out. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) beat Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) at the end of the 2020 Vuelta’s longest stage.
Big win for Jasper Philipsen
Jasper Philipsen has his first stage win in a Grand Tour. The Belgian from UAE Team Emirates managed to win the longest stage in the Vuelta a España after a hotly contested final. Philipsen defeated the Germans Pascal Ackermann and Jannik Steimle in Puebla de Sanabria after an uphill sprint. No change on GC.
Social distancing at la Vuelta
Stage 15. Mos > Puebla de Sanabria – 230,8km
The longest stage of La Vuelta 2020. The peloton faced a 230.8km stage on demanding roads leading to Puebla de Sanabria. The stage features about 4.000m of elevation and the wind won’t make it easier for the riders. Mos is a stage city for the first time in the history of La Vuelta. It’s also Oscar Pereiro’s hometown. The winner of the 2006 Tour de France participated in La Vuelta 5 times between 2002 and 2007 and now is an ambassador of the Spanish Grand Tour. He also shares his insight as a pundit for a Spanish radio.
Fernando Escartín’s Comment: “It’s the longest stage of La Vuelta 20. Judging by the type of route and by the length of the stage, it will be a favourable day for escapes to take place. It is a winding terrain and it’ll be difficult for the peloton to control those breakaways. Besides, contrary to what happened in 2016, this time Puebla de Sanabria will feature in the final week of the race, meaning teams will have much less energy.”
Kilometre 0 of 230
Before the start, the riders scared of bad weather, but at the start in Mos it was dry and so the peloton could start the longest stage under near normal conditions. Several riders tried to sneak into the early escape. Michael Valgren, Alexander Edmondson, Pim Ligthart, Stan Dewulf and Victor Lafay tried to get away from the peloton, but this was short-lived. Gerben Thijssen abandoned.
The longest day of the 2020 Vuelta
Movistar and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA were responsible for the next attack, but that was short lived. The peloton covered more than 42 kilometres in the first hour of racing, but they were still all together. Once over the top of the San Amaro – where KOM Guillaume Martin managed to take some more mountain points – a new breakaway of thirteen riders was formed. Martin continued his previous efforts and was joined by Julien Simon, Jonathan Lastra, Mattia Cattaneo, Rui Costa, Robert Power, Mark Donovan, Alex Aranburu, Luis León Sánchez, Nick Schultz, Robbert Stannard, José Joaquin Rojas and Tim Wellens.
There was a big fight for the break to get away
These thirteen were eventually allowed a gap by the peloton, and the difference quickly increased to more than 5 minutes. Jumbo-Visma had no worry, since the best placed rider (Cattaneo) in the leading group was more than 16 minutes behind Primož Roglič. Tim Wellens, yesterday’s stage winner in Ourense, was there again. The good ‘break of the day’ seemed to have taken off, but in the peloton; NTT Pro Cycling, Trek-Segafredo and BORA-hansgrohe hit the front. These teams were looking for the victory and had to keep the difference within limits. The lead melted and with 40 kilometres to go the difference was only 1:30. A tired Wellens had been dropped from the leading group and had been caught.
Not the best weather
On the run-up to the Alto de Padornelo (Cat 3), the last climb of the day, the riders were hit by some heavy rain showers. It turned out to be the start of a tough final on the way to Puebla de Sanabria, especially when Mattia Cattaneo decided to go solo. The Italian threw his cards on the table before the foot of the Padornelo, rode away from his fellow escapees and quickly managed to take half a minute.
Autumn in Galicia
The sparkle had gone from the chase group. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider rode further away from the peloton, which was a minute and a half from the solo leader. Cattaneo still had to hold out for more than 25 kilometres to the finish. The Italian started the Alto de Padornelo, a climb of 6.4 kilometres at 3.5%, with a lead of 1:30. In the second group, Sánchez took the lead, but the Spanish champion failed to bring the chasing group closer to Cattaneo, who had a big lead over the top of the Padornelo and looked like a possible winner with just under 20 kilometres to go.
The early break
Gino Mäder tried from behind and the promising Swiss rider from NTT Pro Cycling managed to cross to the chase group and then went for Cattaneo on his own. Mäder initially got quite close, but turned out not to be strong enough to close a minute on the solo Cattaneo, who had to pull out all the stops in the finalé.
The peloton didn’t want anyone to get too much time
Cattaneo was unlucky that the peloton decided to open the throttle on the flat and windy final kilometres. Cattaneo was in trouble, and the difference was getting smaller and smaller. At just over 3 kilometres from the line, the unfortunate Italian rider was swallowed up. We now had a fairly large group sprinting in to Puebla de Sanabria.
Harry Tanfield (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Pim Ligthart (Total Direct Energie) abandoned the Vuelta today. AG2R-La Mondiale only have three riders left in the race
INEOS and Carapaz keeping an eye on things
The stage was too tough for Sam Bennett, who had been dropped by the peloton before the last climb of the day, but Pascal Ackermann and Jasper Philipsen were still there and ready to sprint for the victory. Ackermann was ideally placed, but had no answer for a powerful acceleration from Philipsen. The UAE Emirates rider put his right fist in the air on the line as the winner of the stage, his first Grant Tour win.
That man Wellens in the break again
Alex Aranburu and Luis Leon Sanchez (both Astana)
In the general classification everything remained the same. Primož Roglič will be wearing the red leader’s jersey on stage 16. He defends a 39 second lead over Richard Carapaz and 47 on Hugh Carthy. Tomorrow the riders will head towards Ciudad Rodrigo, with a Cat 2 and a Cat 1 climbs.
It was close at the line
Nice leaving present for UAE from Jasper Philipsen
Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “That’s amazing. I can’t describe how happy I am with this victory. That means a lot for me. I’ve been waiting for the right moment since the start of La Vuelta and today it came. It was hard to say [if we’d catch the breakaway] but in the end we saw other teams controlling. It was a really strong breakaway but the headwind all day made it really hard for the front group. I believed in it more and more but at the beginning of the day I didn’t expect it to be a bunch sprint. I like uphill finishes but not too hard. Let’s hope [it’s just the beginning]. They can’t take this victory away from me, so I’ll enjoy this moment, try to finish my first Grand Tour now and I’m super proud of this.”
A very happy team!
Overall leader, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a hard day, so I’m really happy that it’s behind us. It was a hard pace, it was fast and in the end also cold and rainy so it’s a big and tough day behind us. It was right to take the GC times with 3km to go, definitely, because if there was some oil or something we shouldn’t take any more risk than its needed so it was very welcome.”
# Just three stages left and Saturday could see a big change – Keep it PEZ to Madrid. #
Vuelta a España Stage 15 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE-Team Emirates in 6:22:36
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Alfred Wright (GB) Bahrain-McLaren
5. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
7. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Pro Cycling
8. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
11. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar
12. Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH
13. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
14. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Sunweb
15. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC
16. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
17. Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
18. Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Col) Burgos-BH
19, Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
20. Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
21. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
22. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Sosa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
23. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
24. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
25. Callum Scotson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 15:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 60:19:41
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
3. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 0:47
4. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 1:42
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 6:15
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 7:14
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 8:39
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 8:48
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 9:23
11. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 10:45
12. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 10:46
13. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 11:29
14. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 14:16
15. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 14:36
16. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 15:34
17. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 16:08
18. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 19:19
19. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 19:23
20. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 31:08
21. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC at 39:03
22. William Barta (USA) CCC at 44:34
23. Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 45:39
24. Gino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling at 46:07
25. Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 46:18.