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Rojas again into Grand Tour stage contention in Bilbao (4th)

5 September 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Rojas again into Grand Tour stage contention in Bilbao (4th)’

Vuelta a España (st. 12)

Spaniard from Movistar Team part of 19-man breakaway formed after more than 100km full of attacks from the start. Gilbert (DQT) wins as GC contenders stay together before Los Machucos, Friday.

Former World Champion Philippe Gilbert (DQT) showed his everlasting quality in a lively stage 12 of the 2019 Vuelta a España, 171km between the Circuito de Navarra and Bilbao with a trio of decisive, cat-3 climbs in the Basque Country. Urruztimendi, El Vivero and Arraiz. The break actually didn’t formed until few kilometers before the ascents, with two opening hours full of attacks.

It wasn’t until 115km (!!) into the stage when a 19-man escape finally got green light, with José Joaquín Rojas in. The Murcian was intelligent to follow his companions’ accelerations, without responding directly, all the way before Arraiz, and ride on his own pace into the decisive ascent. Ahead of the Spaniard, 4th across the line, finished only Gilbert, Alex Aranburu (CJR) and Fernando Barceló (EUS), the strongest in the last climb.

Valverde thanks Soler for his help until the end of stage 12. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto

Behind in the GC group, the consistent pace from Jumbo-Visma into all climbs avoided any attacks, except for a late move by López (AST) in Arraiz, which meant Alejandro Valverde -2nd overall-, Nairo Quintana (4th) and all main contenders crossed the line together, 3’02” after Gilbert. Friday’s stage 13 will be a real duel between them, with the grueling Los Machucos (HC; 7km at 9%, max above 20%) at the end of a route with six other rated ascents.

REACTION / Alejandro Valverde:

There was such a tough fight for the breakaway, it was a really fast start. We stayed together and fully focused, all the team riders, before we were able to send Rojillas out to the front. After that, we just tried to survive and look to tomorrow’s stage. When López attacked into the Arraiz climb, I was a bit boxed in into the group, behind Pogacar, and it look a bit for me to react to that move, but in the end, it was not a problem. Tomorrow’s stage will be quite harder, and surely more decisive.”

Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto

Male Team 24 Aug - 15 Sep

Vuelta a España ESP

(12th Stage) Circuito de Navarra - Bilbao (171.4 km)
  1. 01 Philippe Gilbert Deceuninck - Quick Step 3h48'18"
  2. 02 Alex Aranburu Caja Rural +3"
  3. 03 Fernando Barceló Euskadi-Murias "
  4. 04 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +22"
  5. 15 Marc Soler Movistar Team +3'02"
  6. 17 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
  7. 19 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team "
  8. 52 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +8'47"
  9. 110 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +17'56"
  10. 134 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team "
  11. 151 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team "
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Primoz Roglic Jumbo - Visma 44h52'08"
  2. 02 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +1'52"
  3. 03 Miguel Ángel López Astana Pro Team +2'11"
  4. 04 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team +3'00"
  5. 17 Marc Soler Movistar Team +14'13"
  6. 43 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +48'38"
  7. 56 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +58'25"
  8. 64 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team +1h11'43"
  9. 93 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +1h30'52"
  10. 100 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +1h35'49"
See stage ranking