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The Philippe Gilbert of belgium won a primary Grand Tour period because his break proved crucial on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana.
For the next day in a row the general classification riders allowed a breakaway to remain clean, albeit late on.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Gilbert attacked on the last climb with 10km to go and held off Fernando Barcelo along with Alex Aranburu by three moments.
“It’s special. It is my 10th victory on a stage onto a Grand Tour,” explained Gilbert.
“It was a very long fight to enter the breakaway. When we moved off I saw good climbers with me I wasn’t very confident.”
Aranburu – that rides for Caja Rural – and also Euskadi-Murias rider Barcelo tried desperately to catch Gilbert through the final stages but the Spanish duo were not able to get on terms with the 2012 world winner.
The Primoz Roglic of slovenia claimed his lead of one minute and 52 seconds in the overall classification, with none of the period openings shifting between the top 10 competitions as they rolled in in a selection group.
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3hrs 48mins 18secs
2. Alex Aranburu (Spa/Caja Rural) +3secs
3. Fernando Barcelo (Spa/Euskadi-Murias) +3secs
4. Jose Rojas (Spa/Movistar) +22secs
5. Nikias Arndt (Ger/Sunweb) +26secs
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 44hrs, 52mins
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1minutes 52secs
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +2mins 11secs
4. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +3mins
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) + 3mins 5secs
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor/Lotto-Soudal) +4mins 59secs
7. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) +5mins 42secs
8. Nicolas Edet (Fra/Cofidis) +5mins 49secs
9. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida) +6 mins 7secs
10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/Sunweb) +6mins 25secs
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