The Wolfpack spirit on display at Vuelta a España

The Wolfpack spirit on display at Vuelta a España

Monday 09 September 2019 - 19:13

James Knox knocks at the door of the top 10 overall after a well-crafted move and superb team effort in the Asturias.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step had a clear goal at the start of the day: infiltrate as many riders in the stage 16 breakaway (Pravia – Alto de la Cubilla, 144.4 kilometers) and help James Knox, our best placed rider at the start of week three, make inroads in the general classification. For that very reason, the team started firing on all cylinders and sent Zdenek Stybar – first Czech rider in history to win a cobbled Classic – up the road, but that move was quickly shut down.

As soon as it was all back together, Rémi Cavagna and James Knox emerged from the bunch and zipped clear, being joined on the first slopes of Puerto de San Lorenzo by a huge chasing group which included two more members of the Wolfpack, Argentinean Champion Max Richeze and stage 12 winner Philippe Gilbert. All three of his teammates turned themselves inside out to ensure the gap would be a healthy one by the start of the last ascent, driving the group and even closing attacks that threatened to fragment the group.

Their tremendous effort, which continued well onto the ramps of Alto de la Cubilla, where our riders piled on the pressure, saw the reduced leading group enjoy a nine-minute buffer over the pack, which despite a furious forcing behind, couldn’t be cut by much. Cavagna and Gilbert continued to bury themselves for James, who then responded to an attack of Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) that made quite a selection with seven kilometers to go. When the Dane kicked out again and went clear, the 23-year-old couldn’t follow, but he smartly paced himself to the top of the 17.8km-long climb, coming home in an extremely impressive fourth place.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s beautifully executed plan, doubled by the resilience of James – who summoned the strength to not only survive, but also stay in the fight for a top result – helped him overtake six riders in the general classification, where he now sits 11th overall with just five days to go after nabbing his best ever result on a Grand Tour. Both Philippe and Rémi followed the 23-year-old Brit home some two minutes later, their presence in the top 15 atop the special-category climb netting a fifth best team of the stage prize for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, a record among the 22 squads at the 74th La Vuelta.

“It was a really successful day. We tried to go in the break from the beginning, with Styby, then after he got caught, with myself and Rémi. When Phil and Max came across, we had a very nice group there and tried to control and keep it together, especially on the last descent, where it became a bit crazy, once many riders attacked”, a delighted James explained on the way back to the hotel. “The guys did an amazing job, they were always there, sacrificed for me and I am so grateful to them. I didn’t have the legs to win the stage, but I gave everything and 11th on the GC now is better than I could have imagined. Hopefully I can stay there after the two hard mountain stages coming up in this final week.”

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images

Race details

1 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
4:01:22
2 Tao Geoghegan Hart
Team INEOS
0:22
3 Luis León Sánchez Gil
Astana Pro Team
0:40
4 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:42
5 Gianluca Brambilla
Trek - Segafredo
1:12
6 Thomas De Gendt
Lotto Soudal
2:09
7 Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel
Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
2:15
8 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Egerzeigzaarhka
Team Dimension Data
2:21
9 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2:32
10 Geoffrey Bouchard
AG2R La Mondiale
,,
13 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
5:49
59 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
99 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
112 Eros Capecchi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
156 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
157 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 Primož Roglič
Team Jumbo-Visma
62:17:52
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
2:48
3 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
3:42
4 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
3:59
5 Rafał Majka
BORA - hansgrohe
7:40
6 Nairo Quintana Rojas
Movistar Team
7:43
7 Nicolas Edet
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
10:27
8 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
10:34
9 Carl Fredrik Hagen
Lotto Soudal
10:40
10 Hermann Pernsteiner
Bahrain Merida
12:05
11 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
13:26
43 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:22:30
68 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
72 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2:04:02
92 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2:30:09
123 Eros Capecchi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:01:43
149 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:39:22
153 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:44:12
1 Primož Roglič
Team Jumbo-Visma
117 pt
2 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
92 pt
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
82 pt
4 Nairo Quintana Rojas
Movistar Team
82 pt
5 Sam Bennett
BORA - hansgrohe
70 pt
6 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
57 pt
7 Alex Aranburu Deba
Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
52 pt
8 Marc Soler Giménez
Movistar Team
45 pt
9 Tosh Van der Sande
Lotto Soudal
44 pt
10 Ruben Guerreiro
Team Katusha Alpecin
43 pt
16 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
36 pt
17 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
34 pt
18 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
34 pt
28 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
25 pt
43 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
18 pt
59 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
12 pt
76 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
7 pt
1 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
62:21:34
2 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
0:17
3 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
9:44
4 Sergio Higuita García
EF Education First
10:42
5 Ruben Guerreiro
Team Katusha Alpecin
13:44
6 Kilian Frankiny
Groupama - FDJ
20:55
7 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Egerzeigzaarhka
Team Dimension Data
34:21
8 Sepp Kuss
Team Jumbo-Visma
36:24
9 Ben O'Connor
Team Dimension Data
38:33
10 Óscar Rodríguez Garaicoechea
Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
38:43
17 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:55:38
44 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:35:40
1 Geoffrey Bouchard
AG2R La Mondiale
50 pt
2 Ángel Madrazo Ruiz
Burgos-BH
44 pt
3 Tao Geoghegan Hart
Team INEOS
29 pt
4 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
25 pt
5 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
24 pt
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
22 pt
7 Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel
Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
22 pt
8 Sergio Henao Montoya
UAE-Team Emirates
21 pt
9 Sergio Samitier Samitier
Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
20 pt
10 Primož Roglič
Team Jumbo-Visma
20 pt
15 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
13 pt
28 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
7 pt
1 Movistar Team 186:06:03
2 Astana Pro Team 16:11
3 Team Jumbo-Visma 47:30
4 Mitchelton-Scott 1:47:33
5 AG2R La Mondiale 1:48:09
6 Euskadi Basque Country - Murias 2:07:31
7 Trek - Segafredo 2:13:31
8 Bahrain Merida 2:15:56
9 Team Dimension Data 2:16:24
10 Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 2:35:19

Top results

1 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
4:01:22
2 Tao Geoghegan Hart
Team INEOS
0:22
3 Luis León Sánchez Gil
Astana Pro Team
0:40
See all race results

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