Stage 19: Vuelta

Lotto Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt sprinted out of the breakway to his team’s fourth victory of the 2017 Vuelta a España in Gijón.

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Stage 19: Vuelta

Lotto Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt sprinted out of the breakway to his team’s fourth victory of the 2017 Vuelta a España in Gijón. In the GC battle behind the battle for the stage, Chris Froome stayed in control with Team Sky controlling the peloton behind a large breakaway group for much of the day.

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Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) was second on the stage and Ivan Garcia (Team Bahrain Merida). Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team) tried for the stage win today by getting in the break and was on the front in the final 500 metres but De Gendt timed his sprint to perfection.

Back down the road Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) launched another heroic attack on the final climb with help from team-mate Koen de Kort. On another tough mountain stage, featuring four categorised climbs in 149.7km, it kicked off with a category-one ascent and the fight to get in the break was as fierce as ever.

A strong 20-man break formed featuring Bob Jungels and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), KOM leader Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates). The breakaway group slowly whittled down before Grand Tour debutant Garcia attacked solo inside the final 50km and built a gap of around a minute.

But he was reeled in, first by the counterattacking Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) before De Gendt proved strongest in that high-class final sprint.
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Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) “I was at the front when we started. Before the race, we thought that a big group would probably go with the KOM jersey and the green jersey. Those two guys, [Matteo] Trentin and [Davide] Villella, started attacking.

“I know I’m not slow in the sprints, so I was in a perfect position. I had to do the sprint of my life, just go full until the finish. I’m really happy that I can finish it off with a finish.

“I didn’t expect it [winning at La Vuelta after victories on the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia] to be this year. I wasn’t feeling well in the first week. The second week was OK. I was doing better in the third week, but it wasn’t really my type of routes.

“The final climb was too steep for me, but we had a good group with Bob Jungels and we pulled very hard to get back. It was perfect for me. I didn’t expect it very much but I like surprises.”

Chris Froome (Team Sky) “[Alberto] Contador certainly can’t be blamed for the lack of trying. In every stage, he’s been attacking and today was exactly the same. For me, it was about trying to save as much energy as possible for tomorrow and get through the day without much issues, so I’m happy to let the day behind us and focus on tomorrow.

“Angliru [on Stage 20] is going to be rude, but it’s an explosive and short stage, so we can expect fireworks from the start. There’s some though climbs before the Angliru. Everybody is tired at this point of the race, but I feel good”

Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team) “It was a strange breakaway, as the time gap was growing bigger, riders weren’t riding, they were protecting their leaders’ positions on GC, which is fair enough. Coming into the finish, I tried a couple of times, but it didn’t work. The finishing group today had world-class riders.”

“Coming into the finish today, I thought it would be a good idea to anticipate, but I had Dani Navarro on my wheel for a kilometre. They came up behind and they still wouldn’t pass. I was a bit frustrated in the last kilometre, but fair play De Gendt, he’s been in the break all year.” … continued after advert


Stage 19
1. Thomas de Gendt Lotto Soudal
2. Jarlinson Pantano Trek – Segafredo
3. Ivan Garcia Bahrain Merida
4. Rui Costa UAE Team Emirates
5. Floris De Tier Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Bob Jungels Quick-Step Floors
7. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
8. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team
9. Daniel Navarro Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
10. Koen Bouwman Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:45

24. David Lopez Team Sky 12:15
29. Chris Froome Team Sky
30. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
34. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo
35. David de la Cruz Quick-Step Floors
36. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb
37. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team
38. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo
39. Ilnur Zakarin Team Katusha – Alpecin
43. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott
46. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates
49. Tejay van Garderen BMC Racing Team
87. Adam Blythe Aqua Blue Sport 16.51
112. Conor Dunne Aqua Blue Sport
113. Mark Christian Aqua Blue Sport
129. Ian Stannard Team Sky
131. Tom Scully Cannondale-Drapac
141. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott
143. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott

1. Chris Froome Team Sky
2. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida 1:37
3. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 2:17
4. Ilnur Zakarin Team Katusha – Alpecin 2:29
5. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo 3:34
6. Miguel López Astana Pro Team 5:16
7. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac 6:33
8. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team
9. Wout Poels Team Sky 6:47
10. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 10:26
11. David de la Cruz Quick-Step Floors 10:31
12. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott 11:57
13. Tejay van Garderen BMC Racing Team 12:06
14. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates 13:32
15. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team 14:54
16. Sergio Pardilla Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 15:41
17. Mikel Nieve Team Sky 25:14
18. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale 29:55
19. Daniel Moreno Movistar Team 32:21
20. Sander Armée Lotto Soudal 49:25



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