De Gendt takes fourth victory for Lotto Soudal at the Vuelta as Froome retains overall lead

Thomas De Gendt vuelta 2017 stage 19

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) won stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana after a sprint finish from the remnants of a large break group that finished well clear of the peloton.

Froome, bidding to become the first rider in 39 years to win the Vuelta and the Tour de France in the same season, finished the 19th stage along with Vincenzo Nibali and 28 other riders.

There were no major changes in the general classification, with only one mountain stage on Saturday remaining in the 21-day race, which ends with Sunday’s procession into Madrid.

Thomas de Gendt finished strongest in the bunch sprint at the front of a nine-man breakaway group to take his first Vuelta stage win, completing his set of victories from each of the grand tours.

De Gendt outlasted Jarlinson Pantano and Spaniard Ivan Garcia Cortina at the finish line, meaning no home rider has won a stage on this year’s Vuelta with two days to go.

The last time a Spaniard failed to win a stage on the Vuelta was in 1996, Spanish cycling great Miguel Indurain’s last race.

Home favorite Alberto Contador, who is also in his last race as a professional, staged another brave attack as he continued to chase a podium place.

He led the general classification group of riders by over 20 seconds toward the end before being hovered up by the group with 2.5km remaining.

Saturday’s penultimate stage is a short, sharp 117.5 km ride ending on the notorious Alto de l´Angliru, regarded as one of the toughest mountains in Spain.

Contador sealed his first Vuelta victory thanks to a stage win on the Angliru in 2008, while the mountain also decided the 2011 and 2013 editions of the race.

If Froome can stave off Nibali there, he will almost certainly become the first rider since French great Bernard Hinault in 1978 to win the Vuelta and the Tour de France in the same season.

Vuelta a Espana 2017 – stage 19 results (Caso. Parque Natural de Redes – Gijon):

1Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)


2Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo)


3Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida)


4Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirate)


5Floris De Tier (LottoNl-Jumbo)


6Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)


7Romain Bardet (AG2R)


8Nicolas Roche (BMC)


9Daniel Navarro (Cofidis)


10Koen Bouwman (LottoNl-Jumbo)


11Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac)


12Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)


13Antonio Pedrero (Movistar)


14Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)


15Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)


16Laurens De Vreese (Astana)


17Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates)


18Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNl-Jumbo)


19David Arroyo (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)


20Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNl-Jumbo)



General classification after stage 19:

1Chris Froome (Team Sky)


2Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida)


3Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)


4Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)


5Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


6Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


7Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac)


8Fabio Aru (Astana)


9Wout Poels (Team Sky)


10Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)


11David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors)


12Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott)


13Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)


14Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)


15Nicolas Roche (BMC)


16Sergio Padilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)


17Mikel Nieve (Team Sky)


18Romain Bardet (AG2R)


19Daniel Moreno (Movistar)


20Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates)



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