Guadalajara (Spain) (AFP)
Primoz Roglic holds the shock: the Slovenian reinforced his red jersey Wednesday at the 17th stage of the Tour of Spain won by the Belgian Philippe Gibert and marked by the "remontada" Colombian Nairo Quintana who grabbed the second place .
The dream continues to gain strength for the solid "Rogla", 29, in good position to keep the red jersey until Sunday in the streets of Madrid and win his first "grand tour".
And even if the unexpected Nairo Quintana played a funny number to invite himself on the podium and reduce by 24 seconds the gap that Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) held on his first pursuer Thursday morning.
Sixth at 7'43 '' from Roglic before the stage, the winner of the Vuelta 2014 and Giro in 2016 has nibbled time and is now in 2nd place overall.
The outcome of this 219-kilometer race was played from the fourth, during a breakaway of forty riders who surprised the pack, with the Colombian Movistar and the Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) to the man intensive.
The scouting group at the front then narrowed but the gap widened, carrying "Kingtana" more than 6 minutes ahead, repositioning him on the podium in front of teammate Alejandro Valverde and thrusting Tadej Pogacar off the podium (4th).
"The idea was to weaken the leader's team," said Quintana after the stage, pleased with the strategy employed.
"Nairo is back in the race" greeted his partner Movistar Alejandro Valverde, third in the general 2:48 Roglic, which however keeps a comfortable lead four days from the end.
"I was not scared, I knew how to stay calm," said the former ski jumper, who has once again demonstrated his strength by limiting the impact of the breakthrough Quintana.
The Colombian's number almost eclipsed Gilbert's performance, which on Wednesday between Aranda de Duero and Guadalajara was his second stage victory.
The indefatigable 37-year-old Deceunink-Quick Step rider won the sprint ahead of Ireland's Sam Bennett (Bora) and team-mate Rémi Cavagna, six days after triumphing in Bilbao.
© 2019 AFP