Gilbert wins the tenth victory at the stage of the Grand Tour in Vuelta, Roglic remains the general leader
BILBAO: Belgian pilot Philippe Gilbert won the tenth victory of his Grand Tour career by winning stage 12 of the Back to Spain on thursday while Primoz Roglic He clung to the red shirt as there were no changes in the overall classification.
Gilbert, 37, came to the Tour looking to prove his worth after his team dropped him for the Tour de France and made his move in the final climb of the day with 40 kilometers to go.
Deceuninck's pilot - Quick-Step faced the Spanish match competition Alexander Aranburu & Fernando Barcelo but slowly increased his gap & maintained it during the downhill finale into Bilbao to win the 171.4 km hilly stage, which began in Circuito de Navarra.
He crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of Aranburu, who almost placed himself above Barcelo.
The peloton finished three minutes & two seconds down so there was no change in the overall standings despite the best efforts of Miguel Angel Lopez, who attempted an attack but was quickly reeled in by race leader Roglic.
"It was a long fight to get into the breakaway, when we went away I saw good climbers with me, & I wasn't really confident about my chances to win," Gilbert told reporters.
"The atmosphere was crazy on the last climb, it was really like in the Classics with all the flags & everything.
They gave me a lot of motivation. It's also special because it's my tenth victory in a Grand Tour, so it's a good number.
The Vuelta moves back into the mountains on Friday for a 166.4 km ride from Bilbao to Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega, where climbing specialists Lopez & Nairo Quintana will look to make up time on Roglic.