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Philippe Gilbert (center) hit the front late, but was overtaken before the finish. (©Sirotti.)
Philippe Gilbert (center) hit the front late, but was overtaken before the finish. (©Sirotti.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 5: Gilbert's Attack

28. August 2013

World road champion Philippe Gilbert made a late bid for the stage victory Wednesday at the Vuelta a España, but the BMC Racing Team rider did not enjoy more than a few seconds of freedom before the peloton chased him down.

No More Pain
Gilbert attacked about 1.2 kilometers from the finish of the 174.3-kilometer race that saw the last two riders from a five-man breakaway survive to the final three kilometers. Gilbert said the deep cut on his left knee, suffered in a crash at the Eneco Tour of Benelux, is doing much better. "Now it's finally a good day, I had a good feeling and no pain in the knee so that's good news," he said. "I was struggling in the end, in the last kilometers, to go. But I missed it." Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) won the stage ahead in a bunch sprint while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) kept the overall lead. Gilbert (17th place) joined teammates Klaas Lodewyck (19th) and Ivan Santaromita (20th) as three BMC Racing Team riders finished in the top 20. "I think it was a good stage for the team," Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said. "I am happy for Phil. Today was better. He had good sensations. And Santaromita was in the first top 20, always riding at the front of the race, with three, four or five guys with him." Santaromita, the Italian road champion, is the BMC Racing Team's best rider overall in 12th, 46 seconds off the lead.

Listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Ledanois on the BMC Racing Team's special Vuelta a España Audio Line.