La Vuelta – Stage 12
La Vuelta a España
August 24th – September 15th
THURSDAY, 5 SEP 2019
Circuito de Navarra > Bilbao, 171.4km. Hilly
The Basque Country and its passionate fans were the scenario of today’s stage. After a quite easy first part, riders had to face a typical Basque course, lumpy and tough. Despite some attempts, anyone managed to go in the breakaway and after 100km the peloton was still ‘compatto’.
“It was a hard stage” Team Bahrain Merida Sports Director Rik Verbrugghe explains “The breakaway went only after more than 100km, also because of the strong headwind. Finally, a group of about 20 riders succeeded to form and we had Heinrich Haussler inside”.
In the final 40km the route featured three steep third-category climbs, that made the difference, with Philippe Gilbert that almost immediately showed that this stage suited him well and the Belgian rider took a solo win in Bilbao.
Any battle among the GC contenders and our riders Dylan Teuns and Hermann Pernsteiner finished safely in the bunch.
“Our riders tried really hard to go in the breakaway at the beginning. Then on the final everyone focused on Dylan, in order to put him on a good position for the climbs and everyone did a really good job to help him to stay with the favourites” Verbrugghe adds “Tomorrow very tough climbs here in Basque Country. Difficult climbs. I think it will be a very interesting stage for GC and for stage win”.
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