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Gilbert powers to victory on stage 12 of the Vuelta a España: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Philippe Gilbert wins stage 12 of the Vuelta a España after attacking out of the breakaway, Lorena Wiebes takes the Boels Ladies Tour lead with her second straight stage victory, Mathieu van der Poel says he won’t start the Olympic road race next year. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Philippe Gilbert wins stage 12 of the Vuelta a España

Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) powered to an impressive sixth career stage victory at the Vuelta a España on Thursday, winning stage 12 in Bilbao.

The 37-year-old Belgian attacked out of the breakaway on the day’s steep final climb and just held off a two-rider chase to nab the victory. Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural) took second ahead of Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias).

“It was crazy, the atmosphere on the last climb,” Gilbert said. “It was like in the Classics with all the flags and everything. They gave me a lot of motivation. I’ve raced a lot here in the Basque country but this is my first success.”

Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) rolled across the finish line in the peloton to maintain his red jersey.

More to come…

Beauty of Cycling

Mountain bike worlds saw some impressive performances last weekend in Canada. Nino Schurter rode to an incredible eighth world cross-country title, while Pauline Ferrand-Prevot capped off an emotional comeback season with her second career cross-country title.

You can check out a great gallery of the action here.

Race Radio

Wiebes takes Boels Ladies Tour lead with stage 2 win

Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) took over the GC lead at the Boels Ladies Tour with her second straight stage victory in the WorldTour race.

Lorena Wiebes wins stage 2 of the Boels Ladies Tour. Photo: Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2019

The 20-year-old Dutchwoman sprinted to victory on Thursday’s stage 2, overhauling compatriot Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor) in the closing meters of a flat, 113.7-kilometer day of racing in and around Gennep. Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) took third on the stage.

The bonus seconds Wiebes grabbed at the finish line propelled her ahead of overnight leader Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) to the top of the overall standings. Wiebes now sits seven seconds ahead of van Vleuten in the GC with three stages remaining.

Van der Poel won’t target Olympic road race

Mathieu van der Poel has his sights set on the Tokyo Olympics, but as he has told De Telegraaf, he won’t be making the start in the road race. The 24-year-old Dutchman will be all in for the Olympic mountain bike event next year.

“That is far too difficult, participation in the road race at the Games is not an option,” van der Poel said.

Van der Poel, the reigning world cyclocross champion, has been juggling a busy schedule of both road and mountain bike racing this summer. He won multiple MTB World Cup events this season, but skipped mountain bike worlds last weekend to focus on his preparation for road worlds on a Yorkshire parcours that should suit his skill set.

Nonetheless, the Olympic mountain bike event remains a central objective for his young career, motivating him to skip the road race in Tokyo.

Sunweb and sports director Visbeek part ways

Sports director Aike Visbeek, who was in the team car for Sunweb during Tom Dumoulin’s 2017 Giro d’Italia victory and numerous other major successes, is no longer with the squad, Eurosport reports.

According to Eurosport, a “disagreement” led Sunweb management to decide to part ways with Visbeek after the Tour. Sunweb has yet to officially announce his departure.

The Dutch former pro had been with the team since 2013.

Coming up at the Vuelta

Stage 13 of the Vuelta a España should deliver plenty of action.

166.4 kilometers from Bilbao to Los Machucos, the stage features seven categorized climbs, none more fearsome than the final ascent. The special-category Los Machucos climb runs 6.8 kilometers with a brutal average gradient of 9.2 percent and numerous sections that pitch up over 15 percent.

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Feature Image: Philippe Gilbert on stage 12 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: Luis Angel Gomez/Cor Vos © 2019

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