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Gilbert Wins Second Vuelta Stage

By Chris Jasurek
Epoch Times Staff
Created: September 7, 2012 Last Updated: September 8, 2012
Related articles: Sports » Cycling
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Philippe Gilbert (L) of the BMC Racing Team celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win Vuelta a España Stage 19. (Jaime Reina/AFP/GettyImages)

Philippe Gilbert (L) of the BMC Racing Team celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win Vuelta a España Stage 19. (Jaime Reina/AFP/GettyImages)

BMC’s Philippe Gilbert planned his assault and executed his plan perfectly to win Stage 19 of the 2012 Vuelta a España, its uphill sprint finish perfectly suited to the Belgian rider’s skills.

Gilbert waited until a six-rider escape in the final 2000 meters was caught, then accelerated away with Sky’s Ben Swift on his wheel. Swift lacked the power to stay with Gilbert on the incline. Alejandro Valverde,Joaquim Rodriguez and Daniel Moreno made strong last-minutes moves but ended up a few feet short as Gilbert held on to win his second stage Vuelta stage.

“This is typical for a finish like this—you have to give everything,” Gilbert told Eurosport. “You just have to go and just try to not sit down, because if you sit down it’s over—you have to pedal as fast as you can.”

When asked if this win was better than his first Vuelta stage win, Gilbert replied, “All wins are nice—a professional race is hard to win I think.”

He dedicated the win to “my team BMC because they did a great job today especially Klaus Ludwig and Allesandro Ballan they did a great today. When you see this —when you have a big talent like Ballan riding for you—it gave me extra motivation because he can win himself and when he gave me a chance like this—I am happy.”

The stage started with two riders attacking at the line: Aitor Galdos (Caja Rural) and Jose Vicente Toribio (Andalucia) decided to get some TV time for their smaller teams. This pair lasted until 28 km from the finish.

15 km out Movistar accelerated hard enough to split the peloton. Katusha took over around 12 km out, setting up a quick attack for Joaquim Rodriguez, but the former race leader was only going for intermediate sprint points; he sat up after the line.

Movistar took over at the head; 8 km out, Katusha took over again, then Ag2R put a couple riders up front.

Egoitz Garcia of Cofidis attacke with two kilometers to go; he was quickly joined by several other riders: Matti Breschel (Rabobbank,) Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky,) John Degenbolb (Argos,) and Nicholas Roche (Ag2R.)

BMC’s Alessandro Ballan made a huge effort to pull his teammate Philippe Gilbert up to this leading group of five. Before the BMC-led peloton could catch him, Nicholas Roche went off the front, followed by Degenkolb. The Argos rider killed himself trying to catching Roche; once he made the catch, he was too exhausted to keep the pace.

Behind the leaders Philippe Gilbert and Lotto’s Gianni Meersdman led the chase; then Meersman faded and Sky’s Ben Swift latched onto Gilbert’s wheel, with Alejandro Valverde and Daniel Moreno coming fast.

Swift and Gilbert passed Roche; with 200 meters to go, Gilbert tuned on the power and Swift couldn’t match him.

Valverde, followed by Moreno and Joaquim Rodriguez, pushed hard in the final few hundred meters but their timing was off; they crossed the line a few feet behind the BMC rider.

Vuelta a España Stage 19

 

 

rider

team

time

 

1

Philippe Gilbert

BMC

4:56:25

 

2

Alejandro Valverde

Movistar

 

 

3

Daniel Moreno

Katusha

 

 

4

Joaquim Rodriguez

Katusha

 

 

5

Gianni Meersman

Lotto Belisol

0:00:03

 

6

Bauke Mollema

Rabobank

 

 

7

Jan Bakelants

RadioShack-Nissan

 

 

7

Ben Swift

Sky

 

 

8

Rinaldo Nocentini

AG2R

 

 

9

Sergio Luis Henao

Sky

 

 

10

Alberto Contador

Saxo-Tinkoff

 

 

General Classification after Stage 19

 

rider

team

time

1

Alberto Contador

Saxo-Tinkoff

77:21:49

2

Alejandro Valverde

Movistar

0:01:35

3

Joaquim Rodriguez

Katusha

0:02:21

4

Christopher Froome

Sky

0:09:48

5

Daniel Moreno

Katusha

0:11:29

6

Robert Gesink

Rabobank

0:12:00

7

Laurens Ten Dam

Rabobank

0:12:58

8

Andrew Talansky

Garmin-Sharp

0:13:09

9

Igor Anton

Euskaltel-Euskadi

0:13:52

10

Benat Intxausti

Movistar

0:15:13

 




   

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