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Philippe Gilbert's victory was the BMC Racing Team's third stage win of the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Philippe Gilbert's victory was the BMC Racing Team's third stage win of the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

BMC Racing Team's Gilbert Wins Second Vuelta Stage

7. September 2012

Philippe Gilbert won his second stage of the Vuelta a España Friday to deliver the BMC Racing Team its third victory of the three-week race.

Help From Teammates
The former Belgian national road and time trial champion charged up the finishing straight and held off Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Daniel Moreno and Joaquin Rodriguez (both from Katusha Team) to also score his second win of the season. Like he did when he won Stage 9 in Barcelona, Gilbert relied on the efforts of his teammates. Alessandro Ballan, Klaas Lodewyck and Mauro Santambrogio made the front group with Gilbert when the peloton split on a technical descent in the final 15 kilometers. Then Ballan helped close a gap to a breakaway of four with the final kilometer in sight. "I like this kind of finish with a long little climb," Gilbert said. "We did a great race with the team, especially with Lodewyck and Ballan. (Santambrogio crashed with five kilometers to go.) When I have a teammate like Ballan – a world champion and a winner of Flanders –  I have a lot of respect for him. When I saw the work he did for me, I said to myself, 'I cannot lose.' "

Targeted The Stage
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said he and Directeur Sportif John Lelangue identified the 178.4 km stage as one Gilbert could win. "Since we already had two stage wins, we didn't have that pressure to look for the stage win," Sciandri said. The BMC Racing Team also did not have to contribute to a chase of an early two-man breakaway, instead relying on teams with sprinters. "I wanted to keep all the energy for the final, which was a pretty tricky," Sciandri said. "We kind of took it easy at first. Then told the guys to move forward. We kind of built up the pressure as the race went on." In addition to Gilbert's two stage wins, Steve Cummings' soloed victory on Stage 13. In the overall standings, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) kept the lead with two stages to go.

Click here to listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Sciandri on the BMC Racing Team Vuelta a España AudioLine.