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Vuelta 2017: De Gendt Wins Stage 19

Thomas De Gendt took a thrilling victory from the breakaway, timing his sprint to beat his breakaway companions on the line after a long day at the front of the race.

Stage 19 was one of significantly less climbing than previous days but there were still several climbs to test the riders. The GC contenders were running out of stages to challenge Froome’s lead but with the Angliru to come on stage 20, the podium and red jersey hopefuls kept their powder dry as De Gendt took Lotto-Soudal’s fourth stage win of this Vuelta.

In a race littered with breakaway victories, stage 19 was set up nicely for the break to stay away to the end, especially with an extremely hard day lined up for stage 20. De Gendt was part of a group of several riders that forged clear within the first km of the day and quickly gained an advantage over the peloton that wasn’t chasing too hard.

The group included Bob Jungels, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step), Nicolas Roche (BMC), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julien Duval (AG2R), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Floris De Tier, Juanjo Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo), Rui Costa, Matej Mohoric (UAE), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Edward Theuns, Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida), Dani Navarro, Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis), David Arroyo (Caja Rural) and Juan Felipe Osorio (Manzana-Postobon).

Villella was keen to extend his lead in the mountain competition and ensured that he took full points at the top of the Cat 1 Alto de la Colladona and after a  brief descent and chance for the dropped riders to get back on, accelerated again on the Cat 3 Alto de Santo Emiliano to take the points and extend his lead further.

On the third climb of the Cat 3 Alto de la Falla de Los Lobos it was Bardet and De Gendt who made the decisive moves, attacking repeatedly to whittle the break down to just 10 riders as they went over the top. The attacks had caused the lead to go out to more than 18′ on a peloton that was nothing more than a procession to the end of the stage.

In the valley before the final climb of the Cat 3 Alto de San Martin de Huerces Garcia launched an attack which caught the break off-guard, the acceleration giving him a lead of just over 1′ on the chasing breakaway group. Bardet was the chief protagonist in chasing him down and after several accelerations of his own he had reduced Garcia’s gap to a handful of seconds. Bardet’s attacked had whittled the group down further and now the chasing group contained Roche, Costa, Jungels and De Gendt as they reeled in Garcia on the descent.

Despite a thrilling effort from Bardet and Roche to shake themselves free from the break the riders cmae into the final km together and the games of cat and mouse began.

Roche was the first to blink and led out his sprint from a long way off, fading quickly and giving Garcia a chance to stake his claim for victory. De Gendt’s attacked was timed with perfection and just as Garcia faded he came haring through the centre of the group to take the win on the line.

 

Vuelta a Espana 2017 Stage 19: Caso-Gijon (149.7km)

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal – Bel) 3:35:46″
2 Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo – Col) s.t.
3 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida – Spa) s.t.
4 Rui Costa (UAE – Por) s.t.
5 Floris De Tier (LottoNL-Jumbo – Bel) s.t.
6 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux) s.t.
7 Romain Bardet (AG2R – Fra) s.t.
8 Nicholas Roche (BMC – Ire) s.t.
9 Daniel Navarro (Cofidis – Spa) s.t.
10 Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned) +45″

Vuelta a Espana 2017: General Classification

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Chris Froome (Team Sky – GBr) 75:51:51″
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita) +1’37″
3 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb – Ned) +2’17″
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin – Rus) +2’29”
5 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo – Spa) +3’34”
6 Miguel Lopez (Astana – Col) +5’16”
7 Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac – Can) +6’33″
8 Fabio Aru (Astana – Ita) +6’33″
9 Wout Poels (Team Sky – Ned) +6’47″
10 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned) +10’26”
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