PUEBLA DE SANABRIA, Spain (Reuters) – Belgian Jasper Philipsen gained stage 15 on the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday after a gruelling 230km hilly route from Mos to Puebla de Sanabria lasting over six hours in persistent rain and a continuing headwind.
General chief Primoz Roglic of Slovenia retained his 39-second lead over Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz as each riders crossed the road together with Philipsen in an 84-man peloton, that means no change to the final classification standings.
Italian rider Mattia Cattaneo launched a solo assault from the breakaway group with 30km remaining and at one level had a 90-second lead however was reeled in through the closing section of the stage.
UAE Staff Emirates’ Philipsen, in the meantime, waited earlier than attacking German Pascal Ackermann within the uphill end and stored in entrance earlier than crossing the road for his first Grand Tour win, joyfully punching the air earlier than embracing his workforce mates.
“It is wonderful. I am unable to describe how glad I’m with this victory. It means quite a bit to me. I have been ready all of the Vuelta for the suitable second and in the present day this second was sudden,’ he mentioned.
Roglic was simply glad the punishing stage was over after tackling unforgiving situations, made worse by the Vuelta being moved from its conventional place within the calendar from the tip of the Spanish summer season to winter as a result of coronavirus disruption.
“It was a tough day,” he mentioned. “I am actually glad that now it’s behind us. I do not know the way pleasurable it was. It was a tough tempo… quick all day lengthy and the chilly and rain. A giant and hard day is behind us,” .
Friday’s stage from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo is the final of three consecutive hilly routes however is much shorter than Thursday’s stage at 162km.
The race is ready to be determined in Saturday’s mountain stage earlier than the procession into Madrid on Sunday.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Modifying by Ken Ferris)