Philippe Gilbert speaks of a historic stage after his Wednesday victory in a fan ride of the Vuelta a España. The 37-year-old Belgian was in a large leading group and sprinted with force majeure to his second stage win in the Tour of Spain.
"I have never experienced anything like this," said Gilbert, who received support from six Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammates in the leading group against Cyclingnews .
"We acted as if it were a team time trial over 220 kilometers and kept the pace high. It was a historic ride."
The leading group, including classification riders Nairo Quintana and Wilco Kelderman, crossed the finish line five minutes earlier than the group with red jersey carrier Primoz Roglic.
"We have hurt a lot of riders at such a fast pace. Many teams will want to take revenge in Thursday's mountain stage."
Philippe Gilbert sprinted with force majeure to his second stage win in the Vuelta on Wednesday. (Photo: Getty Images)
"World Cup is exactly on time"
For Gilbert it was already his second stage win in this Vuelta, after being the strongest in the eleventh stage. The rider notices that he will be in shape for the World Cup in time, which is scheduled for this month in Yorkshire, England.
"I didn't see many chances of winning the stage beforehand, but now I have two wins and I think a third is also possible."
"This Vuelta is a confirmation that I have found the right form and power in time for the World Cup. That is the most important thing."
The Tour of Spain continues on Thursday with a mountain stage of 177.5 kilometers from Colmenar Viejo to Becerril de la Sierra. On the way the riders have to cross four cols of the first category.