La VUELTA’19 Stage 17: Galloping Gilbert Again!
Vuelta Stage Report: Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) took his second stage win in the 2019 Vuelta a España. The seventeenth stage was split into echelons by the crosswind causing problems for the GC teams. At the finish it looked like Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) had the stage in the bag by starting the sprint early, but Gilbert swooped past for the win. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took advantage of making it into the front group to move into second place overall.
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Grand Tour stage win No.11 and 2019 No.2 for Gilbert
Stage 17 Route with Joaquim Rodríguez – Aranda de Duero > Guadalajara 219,6 km:
This is the longest stage in La Vuelta 19: 199km providing the perfect opportunity for a breakaway, unless an alliance of the sprinters’ teams agrees to arrange a sprint finish.
Today’s stage 17 was the longest of the 2019 Vuelta at just under 220 kilometres, it wasn’t a completely flat run to Guadalajara, 2,400 metres of climbing had to be taken into account. On the open high plains of Spain, the cross-winds were going to play an important and role.
KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard has maybe taken the blue spots a bit far?
Rest day over and all roads lead to Madrid
Jésus Herrada (Cofidis) didn’t start due to sickness. The pace was high from the gun and that had immediate consequences, what many feared became reality. A large group of more than forty riders broke away.
The Jumbo-Visma team were in control, at first
The leading group: Joaquin Rojas, Imanol Erviti, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Pierre Latour, Quentin Jauregui, Clément Venturini (AG2R-La Mondiale), Gorka Izagirre, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Heinrich Haussler, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonas Koch, Nathan Van Hooydonck (CCC), Philippe Gilbert, Eros Capecchi, Tim Declercq, Fabio Jakobsen, James Knox, Ždenek Štybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Lawson Craddock, Daniel Martinez (EF Education First), Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Esteban Chaves, Sam Bewley, Damien Howson, Dion Smith (Mitchelton-Scott), Edvald Boasson Hagen, Ben King, Rasmus Tiller (Dimension Data), Owain Doull, Wout Poels, Tao Geoghegan Heart, Ian Stannard (Ineos), Neilson Powless (Jumbo-Visma), Wilco Kelderman, Nikias Arndt, Casper Pedersen, Rob Power, Max Walscheid (Sunweb), John Degenkolb, Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Marcato, Juan Sebastian Molano, Oliviero Troia (UAE Team Emirates), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Gonzalo Serrano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Aritz Bagües (Euskadi-Murias).
With the cross-winds there would be a surprise
In the front group, Nairo Quintana was the best GC rider in sixth place, more than 7 minutes down on the red jersey, Primož Roglič. Wilco Kelderman (8th) and James Knox (11th) were also up front and had teammates to help. Roglič was not there, so Neilson Powless sat up to wait for the peloton. After 50 kilometres the difference between the first and second group was more than two and a half minutes.
Thomas De Gendt pushed hard, but couldn’t hang on
Due to the high pace, more and more riders were dropped from the front group, while the lead increased. After 2 hours the race had an average speed of 47.6 kilometres per hour, and the front group had thinned to about 30 riders, while the Roglič group was at more than 4:30. With Quintana as the most dangerous rider at the front; Roglic, Tadej Pogačar and Miguel Ángel López could not relax.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step forced the move
Quintana looking at a podium place?
UAE Team Emirates’ Marcato and Troia also say up, as Powless did before, to assist their leader. López also had his Astana teammates working hard. As the difference got to almost 6 minutes after 120 kilometres, Quintana was in virtual second place overall. Fabio Jakobsen lost his place at the front on a slight climb, just when it looked like the Dutchman would be going for the stage victory.
Surprisingly, in the last 50 kilometres, Movistar suddenly lifted the pace in the favourites group. The teammates of Quintana and Alejandro Valverde started to lead the chase. As a result, the advantage was reduced to under 5 minutes. As quickly as the lead of the escape group had risen, it was difficult to bring it back.
So close, yet…
At the start of the last 20 kilometres, the difference remained around 4:45, while Movistar, who led the chase and also the first group, Sunweb and Deceuninck – Quick-Step set the pace at the front. Movistar rode in the interest of Quintana, while Sunweb and Deceuninck – Quick-Step did the work for their GC riders Kelderman and Knox. As a result, the lead increased a little to 5 minutes.
Astana had to chase for Lopez and his podium spot
The chase was on
Sam Bennett jumps early…
The stage winner had to come from the leading group. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had Ždenek Štybar attack 2 kilometres from the line, with Sam Bennett in the group, the race had to be made as hard as possible. Wout Poels countered with Philippe Gilbert and Sam Bennett. The final kilometre had a rise to the line and Bennett started his sprint with 550 metres to go.
Gilbet took the victory
Gilbert went after the Irish champion, who sat in his saddle 300 meters from the line. The Belgian could smell blood and shot past the empty sprinter on his way to his second stage success of this Vuelta as he had already won in Bilbao. Bennett managed to hang on for second place. Rémi Cavagna, Dylan Teuns and Wilco Kelderman completed the top five of the day.
Bennett went too early
Nice move for Nairo Quintana
Quintana crossed the finish line in 14th place, which moved him up to second on the general classification. The peloton; including Miguel Ángel López, Alejandro Valverde, Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar crossed the finish line almost five and a half minutes later, moving Quintana to 2nd place, Wilco Kelderman to 6th and James Knox to 8th. He still has to admit 2:24 to Roglič now has 2:24 on Quintana, 2:48 on Valverde, Pogačar at 3:42 and López at 3:59.
A stunning day for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team
Stage winner, Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s a very special one. I think it’s a stage that will stay in the history books because of the way we rode. It was crazy from the gun. We went with a big group of 40 guys. There were some guys for GC like Quintana and James Knox for ourselves. We were 7 of the 8 Deceuninck guys and we rode crazy as a team, we gave morale to each other and it was incredible to see. As the kilometres passed, we lost some guys with the crosswinds, the climbs… It was really fast. At some point we were doing 75km/h on the flat. I had a 54×11 and I was spinning all the time. In 17 years as a pro, I don’t think I’ve ever done that. It was really really crazy. The crosswinds and echelons are part of the team’s DNA and I also love it. It’s not the first time I win two stages in a Grand Tour but I’ve never done it three times. Friday’s stage suits me and I’ll try to fight for victory in Toledo.”
Roglic and Co. came in over 5 minutes later
Vuelta a España Stage 17 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 4:20:15
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:02
3. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick Step
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
6. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First
8. Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:06
11. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
12. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb at 0:09
13. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:10
14. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
15. Wout Poels (Ned) Ineos at 0:19
16. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 0:00:30
17. Owain Doull (GB) Ineos at 0:38
18. Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar at 0:51
19. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar
20. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 1:03
21. Juan Sebastian Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 1:07
22. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 1:14
23. Ian Stannard (GB) Ineos at 2:02
24. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
25. Casper Pedersen (Den) Sunweb at 2:09.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 17:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 66:43:36
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:24
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:48
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:42
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 3:59
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 5:05
7. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:40
8. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 8:03
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 10:43
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Merida at 12:21
11. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 16:56
12. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 17:35
13. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 17:48
14. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 18:33
15. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 28:34
16. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 28:45
17. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida at 30:12
18. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First at 32:31
19. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin at 35:33
20. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data at 38:06
21. Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 42:44
22. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 51:39
23. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 53:16
24. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Sunweb at 58:15
25. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 58:45
26. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 59:08.