Vuelta a España: Gilbert finishes off Deceuninck – Quick-Step masterpiece in style

Vuelta a España: Gilbert finishes off Deceuninck – Quick-Step masterpiece in style

Wednesday 11 September 2019 - 19:44

Crosswinds and an out-of-this-world team effort carry James Knox into the top 10 overall, with just four stages remaining.

A massive show of strength, endless amount of guts and an immeasurable performance from the entire Deceuninck – Quick-Step team contributed to a gripping Vuelta a España stage 17, which not only will easily go down as one of the best in the history of Grand Tours, but also netted a string of accolades for the Wolfpack, including a 60th UCI victory of the season.

On paper, it should have been a relatively quiet day, over a slightly undulating terrain, from Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara, where the race returned for just the sixth time in history. But the Wolfpack had other plans and as soon as the bunch exited the neutral zone, they asserted their authority over the race, ripping the peloton through the crosswinds and forcing what proved to be a crucial selection.

Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Philippe Gilbert, Fabio Jakobsen, James Knox, and Zdenek Stybar all booked a place in the 46-man group and brought out the heavy artillery, showing again why our squad are the peloton’s crosswinds experts. From kilometer three until the finish of the longest stage of this year’s Vuelta (219.6km), Deceuninck – Quick-Step relentlessly drove a burning pace, putting over six minutes between the leading group and a depleted field on this fast, dramatic stage, and turning the race upside down.

A sudden injection of pace with 40 kilometers remaining helped the chasers cut the deficit by more than a minute, giving a glimmer of hope to the bunch, but it was just a brief moment which immediately cooled down, as the Deceuninck – Quick-Step-powered group continued to ride unabated, causing more havoc and averaging more than 50km/h as they pushed the lead out to 5:30.

Inside three kilometers to go, Zdenek Stybar threw in an effort as the road went up and carved out a small advantage, but he was pulled back with 500 meters to go. Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) was the first to open the sprint, but Philippe Gilbert remained attentive and tracked down the attack, catching and surging past the Irishman when he ran out of steam on the stiff gradient to the line, thus adding an 11th Grand Tour stage win to his tremendous palmares.

“The stage was complicated and very aggressive right from the start with the wind and everything, but we were very motivated and had a plan, so we hit the front early and did our thing, a 220km team time trial. The echelons are part of this team’s DNA. It was just crazy and ruthless out there and I can tell you I have never experienced anything like this in 17 seasons as a pro”, Philippe Gilbert said after his 77th pro victory. “I am sure this stage will forever remain in the history of La Vuelta and people will talk about it for many years from now on. All this makes my win, which was possible only with the help of a fantastic and committed Wolfpack, even more sweet and unforgettable.”

On a truly astonishing day for the team, packed with great racing and a whirlwind of emotions, which brought four Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10 in Guadalajara, including a solid third for Rémi Cavagna, James Knox’s leap into eighth on the general classification ended up being the cherry on the cake.

“We knew at the start that it was going to be windy, we knew it was exposed, and we went full gas as soon as we had the opportunity. When we found ourselves at the front, we knew we were going to give everything and really believed we would go all the way to the line. We rode for the overall standings, but also to protect Phil. What we did today is pretty unreal and I’m not sure I’ll ever top this”, said the 23-year-old Brit, who couldn’t contain his delight after having been one of the day’s main beneficiaries.

 

Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield/ Getty Images

Race details

1 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:20:15
2 Sam Bennett
BORA - hansgrohe
0:02
3 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
4 Dylan Teuns
Bahrain Merida
,,
5 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
,,
6 Jonas Koch
CCC Team
,,
7 Lawson Craddock
EF Education First
,,
8 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
9 Silvan Dillier
AG2R La Mondiale
,,
10 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:06
16 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:30
62 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
64 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
65 Eros Capecchi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 Primož Roglič
Team Jumbo-Visma
66:43:36
2 Nairo Quintana Rojas
Movistar Team
2:24
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
2:48
4 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
3:42
5 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
4:09
6 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
5:05
7 Rafał Majka
BORA - hansgrohe
7:40
8 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
8:03
9 Carl Fredrik Hagen
Lotto Soudal
10:43
10 Dylan Teuns
Bahrain Merida
12:21
35 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:16:51
55 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:54:09
59 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:59:03
75 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2:24:42
119 Eros Capecchi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:15:10
148 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:52:49
152 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:57:39
1 Primož Roglič
Team Jumbo-Visma
117 pt
2 Sam Bennett
BORA - hansgrohe
94 pt
3 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
92 pt
4 Nairo Quintana Rojas
Movistar Team
84 pt
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Movistar Team
82 pt
6 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
59 pt
7 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
52 pt
8 Alex Aranburu Deba
Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
52 pt
9 Dylan Teuns
Bahrain Merida
51 pt
10 Lawson Craddock
EF Education First
48 pt
17 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
36 pt
18 Maximiliano Richeze Araquistain
Deceuninck - Quick Step
36 pt
19 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
34 pt
31 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
24 pt
53 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
15 pt
59 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
12 pt
1 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
66:47:18
2 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Pro Team
0:27
3 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:21
4 Sergio Higuita García
EF Education First
28:49
5 Ruben Guerreiro
Team Katusha Alpecin
31:51
6 Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Egerzeigzaarhka
Team Dimension Data
34:24
7 Kilian Frankiny
Groupama - FDJ
39:02
8 Tao Geoghegan Hart
Team INEOS
55:03
9 Sepp Kuss
Team Jumbo-Visma
55:26
10 Ben O'Connor
Team Dimension Data
56:40
16 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:50:27
44 Fabio Jakobsen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:49:07
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
14 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
13 pt
27 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
7 pt
1 Movistar Team 199:08:40
2 Astana Pro Team 32:14
3 Team Jumbo-Visma 1:28:59
4 Mitchelton-Scott 1:53:45
5 AG2R La Mondiale 2:22:50
6 Team Dimension Data 2:36:02
7 Team Sunweb 2:40:35
8 Euskadi Basque Country - Murias 2:45:59
9 Deceuninck - Quick Step 2:56:42
10 Bahrain Merida 3:01:18

Top results

1 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:20:15
2 Sam Bennett
BORA - hansgrohe
0:02
3 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
See all race results

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