Gilbert and Quintana fly in the wind
September 11 th 2019 - 16:34
Flat days are as animated as the mountain stages at La Vuelta 19: Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) won in Guadalajara after a 219.6km huge battle through the wind. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) is the other winner of the day, as he moves to 2nd overall after spending the whole day at the front. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) and James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick Step) also made the most of the echelons to move up in the top 10. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retains La Roja after dropping 5’29” on the line.
Riders are wary of a windy day and Deceuninck-Quick Step quickly make their fears a reality: the peloton is already shredded in pieces after 4km. About 50 riders get away with all of the Deceuninck-Quick Step riders except for Max Richeze. Nairo Quintana (6th on GC, +7’43”) is there with several teammates. Team Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman (8th, +10’34”) is in a similar situation and Deceuninck-Quick Step’s James Knox (11th, +13’26”) is another GC threat while Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) joins the move as he hunts for another stage win.
Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates and Miguel Angel Lopez’ Astana Pro Team help Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma drive the bunch but the gap steadily increases, up to 6 minutes when the race heads south-west with 80km to go. The collaboration briefly stops at the front and the pack enjoys the opportunity to bring the gap down to 5’15” as the race enters the last 60km.
The wolf pack snatches the prize
Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) is dropped from the leading group as the leaders hit an uphill section with 49km to go. Movistar accelerate in the same spot to get rid of the teammates who were driving the bunch for Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar. The gap to the front group gets down under 5 minutes. Astana pull the GC group.
The front riders start attacking each other in the last 3km. Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step) opens a gap in the last 2km. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) kicks early in order to overtake him in the last kilometre but the Irish national champion can’t resist Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) as the Belgian star powers to a second stage win at La Vuelta 19. Primoz Roglic and his closest GC rivals cross the line with a delay of 5’29”.