- - Vuelta a España 2023 Stage 19

Vuelta a España 2023 Stage 19

photo credits @ La Vuelta

Alberto Dainese (DSM-Firmenich) sprinted to victory in stage 19 of the Vuelta a España today, beating Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) in a finale that was marred by a crash during the last kilometer, taking down points classification leader Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), along with DSM-Firmenich riders Max Poole and Tobias Bayer. Fortunately, all three were able to remount and finishes the stage.

“It’s really nice for sure,” Dainese said of his third career Grand Tour stage win after two in the Giro d’Italia. “We did a super job. We were looking at the sprints in the first two weeks and what we did wrong there. Today we executed the plan 100%.

“I think was really unlucky to lose a couple of guys in the crash but to that point, I was in a perfect position where I wanted to be. And it was a bit headwind so Ganna and the other guys just went a bit early and then I was waiting for my moment to go in the wind. I am super happy to finish a hard Vuelta in this way.”

Dainese will head to the Tudor Pro Cycling team next season and said he wanted to end his time with DSM well.

“Obviously this feels special because of that,” he said. “Today I’ve had a lot of pressure because I knew there was kind of the last opportunity for a sprint. Then I really want to say thanks to the team. They did a good job.”

Meanwhile, race leader Sepp Kuss and his Jumbo-Visma teammates finished safely in the peloton to retain their 1-2-3 dominance in the overall classification.

The Finale

Dainese had lost his entire sprint train as two of his team-mates, Chris Hamilton and Sean Flynn, hit the deck at speed alongside Bayer, while Groves nimbly unclipped and was able to jump off his bike and avoid disaster.

Despite this setback, Dainese kept his cool before timing his sprint to perfection to power past compatriot Filippo Ganne (Ineos Grenadiers) on the home straight. Dutchman Marijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) took third place ahead of Italy’s Davide Cimolai (Cofidis) and Spain’s Ivan Garcia (Movistar).

Initially, Ineos Grenadiers had set out their stall early by sending three riders to the front to place Ganna on the front entering the final kilometers of the 177km stage from La Beneza in central Spain. Ganna was next to Bayer when the Austrian looked over his right shoulder and veered into an EF Education-EasyPost team-mate of Van den Berg, who was bringing the Dutchman into position ahead of the final kilometer.

Ganna then used his time trial strengths by going long into the wind on the long home straight, but was just pipped to the line by a resurgent Dainese, just as he was by Groves in Stage 5.

Dainese’s win was greeted by celebrations by his bloodied team-mates Flynn, Hamilton and Max Poole as they picked themselves off the ground following the crash. It was the sixth win of the career of a 25-year-old who has looked bereft of form and confidence in this Vuelta.

“It was really unlucky to lose a couple of guys in the crash but until that point I was in the perfect position and where I wanted to be,” said the Tudor Pro Cycling-bound Dainese.

“I knew there was a big headwind so I let Ganna and the other guys go a bit earlier while I was waiting for my moment. I’m super happy to finish a hard Vuelta in this way. I really wanted to end the season and my adventure with DSM in a good way.

“Obviously, this feels really special because of that. Today I felt a lot of pressure because I knew it was one of the last opportunities, and I want to say thanks to all the team for doing a great job.”

Earlier, Mathis Le Berre (Arkéa Samsic), Paul Lapeira (Ag2r-Citroën), Michal Schlegel (Caja Rural) and Clément Davy (Groupama-FDJ) escaped the peloton during the opening 15 kilometers, with the quartet remaining out from for some 150 kilometers before being reined in with 17 kilometers to go.

Samuele Battistella launched a short-lived attack to give Astana-Qazaqstan some lime-light, while the stage was building up for an inevitable sprint finish, with Geraint Thomas leading the charge for Ineos Grenadiers teammate Ganna through a crucial right hander into Íscar during the final 1500 meters.


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