Gilbert Wins Wind Whipped Stage 17, Quintana Back In Contention

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Belgian veteran Philippe Gilbert claimed a second win at this year's Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday as Slovenian Primoz Roglic remained in the lead but with a new challenger.

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Deceuninck-Quick Step's Gilbert, 37, backed up his victory on day 12 in Bilbao with a powerful finish on the flat in Guadalajara to pip Irish rider Sam Bennett.

Former winner Nairo Quintana, who started the day sixth overall, jumped to second.

The trio were part of a breakaway group of more than 40 riders to escape in windy conditions just after the start of in Wednesday's 17th stage. After aggressive riding on the longest day of this year's Vuelta, 14 survivors finished more than five minutes ahead of the pack.

"It was a very special one. I think it's the kind of stage that will stay in history, because of the way we rode. It was crazy from the gun," Gilbert said.

"Sometimes on the flat we even went at 75kph. Throughout my career I have never done this. And that after 17 years," he added.

Race leader Roglic, who signed a new contract with his Jumbo Visma team on Tuesday, finished in the main pack with most of the other general standings rivals, including Alejandro Valverde and fellow countryman Tadej Pogacar but was unhappy the his team had to spend the day chasing.

"I made a mistake," said Roglic.

"I shouldn't have been in the position I was - I should have been totally in front. Maybe we lost the battle today, but not the war.

"It's still looking really good," he added.

Quintana rocketed to second, 2min 48sec behind Roglic and 56sec ahead of Valverde.

Quick-Step placed seven of its eight riders in the breakaway which escaped in cross-tail winds. The team was rewarded with Gilbert's 11th Grand Tour stage victory and with Briton James Knox breaking into the top 10 of the overall leaderboard.

Gilbert's patient work paid off in the final moments.

Bennett, who had won two sprints earlier in the race, burst clear with 500m to go but, with 200m left, Gilbert took the lead and finished two seconds of the Bora-Hansgrohe rider.

Thursday's 177.5km mountainous stage 18 includes four challenging climbs before arriving at Becerril de la Sierra, to the north-west of Madrid.

Underdogs For The Virtual Tour Of Flanders

How To Watch The Flanders Lockdown Edition

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The 2020 cycling season has been effectively postponed while global efforts are underway to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

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How To Watch The Virtual Tour Of Flanders

How To Watch The Flanders Lockdown Edition

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The real Tour of Flanders has been postponed but we have found an alternative for this Sunday with the first ever virtual race: De Ronde 2020, Lockdown Edition.

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Favorites And Underdogs For The Virtual Tour Of Flanders

How To Watch The Flanders Lockdown Edition

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The 2020 cycling season has been effectively postponed while global efforts are underway to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

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CCC Team Forced to Restructure Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

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CCC Team has been forced to suspend the majority of team support staff contracts due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while all rider salaries will be heavily reduced for the rest of the season.

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The Olympic champion is late to his media conference call because his wife is at the store, and he’s home with their young children—including a baby born in November.

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How To Watch The 2020 Tour Of Flanders

Celebrate Belgium With FloBikes

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The 2020 Tour of Flanders is back on! In an unprecedented move, FloBikes will be broadcasting the first ever World Tour virtual race, 2020 Tour of Flanders: Lockdown Edition, LIVE and on demand for subscribers. 

Covid-19 Forces Critérium du Dauphiné Postponement

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The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) called off the Critérium du Dauphiné this May 31 until the COVID-19 situation is under control in Europe. France currently has reported 52,870 cases.

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Secrecy And Suspense Over Tour De France's Fate

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Less than three months before the Tour de France's scheduled start, the possibility of cycling's greatest show taking place remains shrouded in doubt, while the organizers have thrown up a wall of silence.

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Julian Alaphilippe 'Just Happy To Be At Tour of Flanders Start'

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Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) is "happy just to be at the start" of the Tour of Flanders this April 5 in Antwerp.

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Former UCI Boss Brian Cookson Says 'Time To Consider 2-Week Tour de France'

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Cycling's former boss, Brian Cookson says the Grand Tours including the Tour de France should consider running only two weeks in 2020 if they want to find space in a season shortened by the COVID-19 outbreak.

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