Vuelta a España - Philippe Gilbert: The fans gave me a lot of motivation
Sep 06 2019 03:33 am CET

Vuelta a España - Philippe Gilbert: The fans gave me a lot of motivation
Vuelta a España - Philippe Gilbert: The fans gave me a lot of motivation

Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) took his tenth stage victory in a grand tour and the sixth in the Vuelta a España at the 12th day of the Spanish race.

Although the stage had many attacks from the beginning, the breakaway of the day was formed after 100 kilometres into it and Gilbert was part of it. The Belgian had the company of Tim Declercq -who helped him to get in a good position in the front group to launch the attack that would give him the victory.

"There was a lot of headwind in the first part of the stage, but that didn't stop us, and we attacked and joined many moves, but the bunch reacted each time," explained Gilbert. "It was pretty chaotic, but we kept attacking and at one point, I went full gas on a descent. Tim came across, some other guys joined us, and together we opened a small gap which we kept increasing.

"Tim was so important, he did a brilliant job, especially before the last ascent, where he closed the gap on the two leaders, and I'm grateful to him for his help. From there, all I had to do was race smart and stick to my plan, which I did and now I'm satisfied it all paid off."

The rider attacked on the last climb of the day, where he encountered a lot of the passionate fans of the Basque Country, and he kept going until he crossed the finish line by himself.

"On the last climb, the atmosphere was crazy! It was like in the classics, with all the flags and everything, and the fans gave me a lot of motivation," Gilbert commented. "I am happy to score a tenth Grand Tour stage win – a nice number – and I'm happy that it came in the beautiful Basque Country, which in my opinion is very similar to Flanders, as they have a profound love for cycling also here."



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