Gilbert masters tough finale for sixth Vuelta stage success

By Sports Desk September 05, 2019

Philippe Gilbert displayed incredible endurance to claim his sixth stage win at the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday, while Primoz Roglic kept Miguel Angel Lopez in check to retain the red jersey.

Veteran Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Gilbert made a charge on the last of three successive category three climbs and held off the chasing pack to win the 171.4-kilometre stage 12 by three seconds.

The peloton did not split until 100km into the day's ride, with an 18-man breakaway opening a four-minute advantage ahead of a gruelling finale in the Basque hills.

Gilbert was 40 seconds adrift of Tsagbu Grmay and Felix Grossschartner after the penultimate climb, but the chasing group had reeled them in at the foot of Alto de Arraiz.

The Belgian – who had not won a stage at a Grand Tour since the 2015 Giro d'Italia – made his second attack stick and dropped everyone with 1.3km of the ascent left.

Gilbert held onto his lead and crossed the line first in Bilbao, with Roglic keeping hold of La Roja after Lopez's failed attempt to make a late push and gain some ground on the general classification leader.



Gilbert used all of his experience to pick the perfect moment to make his attack, but he did not think it would have been possible without another Quick Step rider.

"It was a long fight to get into the breakaway. When we went away I saw good climbers with me, and I wasn't really confident about my chances to win," said Gilbert.

"I tried to race smart and of course I had a big help from my team-mate Tim Declercq. He deserves it as much as I do.

"It's also special because it's my 10th victory at a Grand Tour, so it's a nice number."



1. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 03:48:18
2. Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +00:03
3. Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) +00:03
4. Jose Rojas (Movistar) +00:22
5. Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) +00:26


General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 44:52:08
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +01:52
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +02:11

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 89
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 70
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 61

King of the Mountains

1. Angel Madrazo (Burgos BH) 32
2. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-La Mondiale) 21
3. Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates) 20


If the riders thought Thursday's finale was tough, they will not be looking forward to stage 13. The 166.4km ride from Bilbao includes seven categorised climbs and finishes atop the special category Los Machucos - a 6.8km ascent at an average gradient of 9.2 per cent.

Related items

  • Quintana primed for 2020 Tour de France after wildcard Quintana primed for 2020 Tour de France after wildcard

    Nairo Quintana is in line to compete in this year's Tour de France after Arkea-Samsic were given a wildcard spot. 

    The Colombian is a two-time runner-up at the Tour, most recently in 2015, and has won both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.

    Quintana moved to the France-based Arkea-Samsic team from Movistar ahead of the new season, having spent eight years with his previous employers.

    The 29-year-old's new team includes Frenchman Warren Barguil, who won the mountain classification at the 2017 Tour, and three-time points classification runner-up Andre Greipel.

    This year's edition begins in Nice on June 27, concluding with the processional final stage in Paris on July 19, with Team INEOS' Egan Bernal out to defend his title.

  • Tour great Froome dismisses fitness concerns Tour great Froome dismisses fitness concerns

    Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has scotched claims his recovery from injury has suffered a setback.

    The British rider was seriously injured at the Criterium du Dauphine in June, when he broke a leg, his elbow and suffered fractured ribs after crashing into a wall.

    Froome underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season but is gearing up for racing again in 2020 with Team INEOS.

    Reports had claimed Froome was struggling to get back to full health, with Team INEOS sports director Dario David Cioni quoted as casting doubt on that prospect.

    In quotes widely attributed to Italian publication Bicisport, Cioni is reported to have said: "After two days of training in Spain, Froome, who aspires to the fifth yellow jersey, returns home. He is not well and who knows if he will recover."

    Yet Froome has given his side of the story, and stressed the picture is far brighter than has been suggested.

    He wrote on Twitter: "Hope that I can set this straight, I was last at a training camp at the beginning of December. My recovery is going well and I will be heading to my next training camp on Thursday. Onward."

    Froome, who will turn 35 in May, last won a Grand Tour event when taking victory at the 2018 Giro d'Italia. His Tour de France triumphs came in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, while he also has two wins at the Vuelta a Espana on his impressive list of honours.

    As well as returning to the saddle for the annual major events on the cycling calendar, including the Tour in June and July, Froome is also hoping to ride for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year.

    He was one of several riders to take an opportunity in October to visit the route for the Olympic road race, which includes climbs on the lower slopes of Mount Fuji.

  • T&T’s Pan Am medal haul pegged back by positive drug test T&T’s Pan Am medal haul pegged back by positive drug test

    Trinidad & Tobago have been stripped of two Pan American Games 2019 medals after Pan Am Sports revealed in a press release that two of the country’s cyclists tested positive for drugs during the Lima, Peru event.

    T&T won three medals at the Pan Am games but may now have to return its team cycling gold and an individual cycling medal, with Nicholas Paul’s individual sprint gold the only accolade that remains.

    According to reports, T&T have hit back at the Pan Am Games, saying the organisers have breached confidentiality protocol in announcing the decision to rescind the gold medals and had already put the matter before a judiciary panel.

    "The information put out by Pan American Sports is currently being challenged by Trinidad and Tobago. Any discussion of reallocation of medals is premature due to the number of things currently being ventilated," said T&T’s team lawyer Tyrone Marcus.

    However, Pan Am Sports Secretary-General, Ivar Sisniega insists that no protocols were breached and remained confident that his organisation’s ruling would be allowed to stand.

    “We have been very careful with the issue of doping at the Pan American Games of Lima 2019, respecting all the corresponding protocols and processes. After our executive committee meeting, we have officially approved the decisions of the disciplinary commission and the respective disqualifications of the athletes involved, and this has generated the changes we are reporting today. With this, we close the medal table of our Games,” said Sisniega.  

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.