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Philippe Gilbert (center) sprinted to his second top 10 result of the race. (©Sirotti.)
Philippe Gilbert (center) sprinted to his second top 10 result of the race. (©Sirotti.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 7: Gilbert Fifth

29. August 2014

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert finished fifth Friday at the Vuelta a España while teammate Samuel Sánchez avoided a crash near the finish line.

Sánchez: Hard Part Is Still To Come
Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling) soloed out of a breakaway to win the 169-kilometer race, 94 seconds ahead of breakaway companions Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling). As Gilbert was surging past Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) to take fifth, Sánchez was forced to stop as Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Shimano) tumbled to the pavement on the final curve of the uphill finish. Sánchez was awarded the same finish time as the bunch in which he was riding and held onto his 12th place overall, 1:11 behind race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). "The crash was luckily avoidable," Sánchez said. "Today's stage was made harder by the wind and crashes and I think everybody can't wait for the rest day. After seven stages, the GC (general classification) is decided a bit. But the hard part is still to come and everything is possible."

Gilbert: Fifth Place Gives Me Confidence
Sport Director Fabio Baldato said the BMC Racing Team tried hard to put a rider in the day's breakaway, knowing the right combination could go all the way to the finish. "The team was fighting from the first attack," Baldato said. "Manuel Quinziato was going on the flat part and then Steve Morabito and Dominik Nerz tried to go. Finally, the break went on a difficult moment after 40 or 45 kilometers and Steve was really close to making it." Gilbert said his second top 10 finish of the race marks a turning point. "I had been suffering in the warm weather conditions like a lot of riders," the past world road champion said. "Now the heat is a little less and I am feeling better. Even if it is only fifth place, it gives me confidence for next week."

Listen to complete comments from Baldato, Gilbert and Sánchez (in Spanish) on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

View photos in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch behind-the-scenes videos on the BMC Racing Team YouTube channel.