Philipsen opens his Grand Tour account

November 5 th 2020 - 17:11 [GMT + 1]

Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) dominated the uphill sprint in Puebla de Sanabria to take his first Grand Tour stage win in one of the most demanding days on the roads of La Vuelta 2020. The young Belgian star outsprinted Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck-Quick Step) after more than 230km of racing through the wind. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) survived the day to retain La Roja. Another day at the front means Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) is set to ride to Madrid with the polka-dot jersey on his shoulders.

It’s an early start for the peloton with 230.8 demanding kilometres from Mos, Oscar Pereiro’s hometown, to Puebla de Sanabria and with headwind all day long. But theses conditions don’t scare the early attackers, who launch another massive battle for the breakaway.

It takes four significative attempts and 56km oh hard-paced racing for a group of 10 riders to break away from the bunch: Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Rob Power, Mark Donovan (Sunweb), Alex Aranburu, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Nick Schultz, Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar).

Guillaume Martin and Bora-Hansgrohe react

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Julien Simon (Total Direct Energie) and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) attack right afterwards to try and join the leading group but it takes them 16km of pursuit to bridge the gap. Their lead is up to 4’15’’ as Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) takes the KOM points atop the Alto de Carcedo (km 72.5) to tighten his grip on the polka-dot jersey.

The gap hits a maximum of 5’45’’at km 117. Bora-Hansgrohe then decide to up the ante and bring the gap down to 2’30’’ on the Alto de Fumaces (summit at km 152.8). NTT Pro Cycling and Trek-Segafredo also come to the front of the bunch to control the gap ahead of the final climb of the day, the cat-3 Alto de Padornelo, to be summited with 18.8km to go.

Cattaneo's push

The attackers’ lead is down under 1 minute when Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick Step) attacks his breakaway companion and goes solo with 30 km to the line. His breakaway companions trail by 1’ at the bottom of the final climb, and the gap to the bunch is back up to 1’40’’. Cattaneo gives his whole on the way up and on the downhill but he is eventually reeled in 4km away from the line. Guillaume Martin claims 1 more KOM point at the summit, to lead the standings by 55 points while 54 points are up for grabs in the final three stages.

The times for the general classification are taken with 3km to go, to avoid any incident due to the presence of oil on the side of the road with 2km to go. The sprinters prepare for the uphill battle in Puebla de Sanabria. Mitchelton-Scott lead the bunch with 1km to go but nobody can contain Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) when he powers to victory inside the last 200m.

Last Kilometer - Stage 15 | La Vuelta 20
Cycling: Vuelta España 2020 / Tour Spain 2020 / 15 Etapa / 15 Stage / ARRIVAL / LLEGADA / PHILIPSEN, Jasper (BEL) /Mos - Puebla de Sanabria (230,8 km) 5-11-2020/Cycling: Vuelta España 2020 / Tour Spain 2020 / 15 Etapa / 15 Stage / ©PHOTOGOMEZSPORT2
Cycling: Vuelta España 2020 / Tour Spain 2020 / 15 Etapa / 15 Stage / ARRIVAL / LLEGADA / PHILIPSEN, Jasper (BEL) /Mos - Puebla de Sanabria (230,8 km) 5-11-2020/Cycling: Vuelta España 2020 / Tour Spain 2020 / 15 Etapa / 15 Stage / ©PHOTOGOMEZSPORT2 © Luis Angel Gomez / Photo Gomez S

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