Crosswinds blow Vuelta apart as Gilbert claims stage 17


Philippe Gilbert claimed a second win at this year’s Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday as Primoz Roglic remained in the lead but with a new challenger.

Gilbert backed up his victory on day 12 in Bilbao with a powerful finish on the flat in Guadalajara to pip Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe).

Former winner Nairo Quintana, who started the day sixth overall, jumped to second.

The trio were part of a breakaway group of more than 40 riders to escape in windy conditions just after the start of in Wednesday’s 17th stage. After aggressive riding on the longest day of this year’s Vuelta, 14 survivors finished more than five minutes ahead of the pack.

“It was a very special one. I think it’s the kind of stage that will stay in history, because of the way we rode. It was crazy from the gun,” Gilbert said.

“Sometimes on the flat we even went at 75kph. Throughout my career I have never done this. And that after 17 years,” he added.

Race leader Roglic finished in the main pack with most of the other general standings rivals, including Alejandro Valverde and fellow countryman Tadej Pogacar but was unhappy that his team had to spend the day chasing.

“I made a mistake,” said Roglic. “I shouldn’t have been in the position I was – I should have been totally in front. Maybe we lost the battle today, but not the war. It’s still looking really good,”.

Nairo Quintana rocketed to second, 2min 48sec behind Roglic.

Quick-Step placed seven of its eight riders in the breakaway which escaped in cross-tail winds. The team was rewarded with Gilbert’s 11th Grand Tour stage victory and with James Knox breaking into the top 10 of the overall leaderboard.

Gilbert’s patient work paid off in the final moments. Bennett, who had won two sprints earlier in the race, burst clear with 500m to go but, with 200m left, Gilbert took the lead and finished two seconds of the Bora-Hansgrohe rider.

Thursday’s 177.5km mountainous stage 18 includes four challenging climbs before arriving at Becerril de la Sierra, to the north-west of Madrid.

Vuelta a Espana 2019 – stage 17 results (Aranda de Duero – Guadalajara):

1Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


2Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)


3Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


4Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida)


5Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


6Jonas Koch (CCC)


7Lawson Craddock (EF Education First)


8Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


9Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale)


10James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


11Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)


12Maximilian Walscheid (Team Sunweb)


13Dion Smith (Mitchelton-Scott)


14Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


15Wout Poels (Team Ineos)


16Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


17Owain Doull (Team Ineos)


18Imanol Erviti (Movistar)


19Nelson Oliveira (Movistar)


20José Rojas (Movistar)



Vuelta a Espana 2019 – general classification after stage 17:

1Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


2Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


3Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


4Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)


5Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


6Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


7Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


8James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


9Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal)


10Dylan Teuns (Bahrian-Merida)


11Marc Soler (Movistar)


12Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)


13Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


14Ion Izagirre (Astana)


15Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)


16Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)


17Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida)


18Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)


19Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin)


20Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Dimension Data0



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