Philippe Gilbert Takes 2nd Vuelta a Espana Stage Win
Team BMC Racing's Philippe Gilbert rode to his second stage victory of this year's Vuelta a Espana at La Lastrilla in the outskirts of Segovia after a long uphill sprint finish.
Former Belgian national road and time trial champion Gibert charged up the finishing straight and held off Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Team Katusha's Daniel Moreno and Joaquin Rodriguez (watch video highlights in our videos section - U.S. only).
Jose Vicente Toribio (Andalucia) and Aïtor Galdos (Caja Rural) attacked from the start of the stage and were granted the right to breakaway by the peloton. Their advantage was 10:17 at km 36 when Argos-Shimano started organizing a chase in the peloton group.
For the first time since the start of the 2012 Vuelta in Pamplona on August 18, it rained a bit about halfway through today's stage 19.
Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis) attacked solo in the streets of Segovia with 4 kilometers to go. He got leapfrogged by Matti Breschel (Rabobank), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky Procycling) and Nicolas Roche (Ag2R-La Mondiale). Gilbert started sprinting with 800 meters to go. Ben Swift (Sky Procycling) stayed on his wheel for a very long time and got passed by runner up Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who collected a small time bonus.
Valverde is now 1:35 down on Vuelta leader Alberto Contador who will defend his red jersey on home soil atop Bola del Mundo on the penultimate stage of the 2012 Vuelta near Madrid.
Gilbert appears to be in top form just two weeks before the road cycling world championship in the Netherlands.
"I like this kind of finish with a long little climb," Gilbert commented and added "We did a great race with the team, especially with Lodewyck and Ballan. I have a lot of respect for my teammate Ballan. When I saw the work he did for me, I said to myself, 'I cannot lose.'"
The 21-stage 2012 Vuelta a Espana concludes on Sunday in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Watch video highlights from all stages of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana in our videos section (U.S. only - due to geo broadcast rights restrictions).