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Vuelta Stage 19: Gougeard Grabs Win, Dumoulin Grabs Precious Seconds

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Alexis Gougeard of AG2R-La Mondiale made a daring escape from the day's breakaway with more than 40km to go, first with company but mostly by himself, and made it stick with a memorable stage win of the Vuelta a Espana in Ávila. The 22-year-old track/ITT specialist showed his powerful form by holding on to a slim lead over his chasing ex-break-mates Nelson Oliveira, Andrey Amador and Maxime Monfort, holding mere seconds in hand before lengthening it in the final few km for a 40 second win. Well after Gougeard's moment in the sun, Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin made his own powerful move, stealing back three more seconds from Astana's Fabio Aru, who suffered on the climb and suffered earlier in the stage, calling for a doctor. Aru sped away from the podium ceremony as well, leading to speculation about whether he's OK ahead of tomorrow's final showdown.

Stage Results:

  1. Alexis Gougeard, AG2R La Mondiale 4:19:20
  2. Nelson Oliveira, Lampre-Merida, at 0:40
  3. Maxime Monfort, Lotto Soudal, at 0:44
  4. Andrey Amador, Movistar Team, s.t.
  5. Tiago Machado, Team Katusha, s.t.
  6. Amaël Moinard, BMC Racing Team, s.t.
  7. Fabio Duarte, Colombia, at 0:53
  8. David Arroyo, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 1:03
  9. Christian Knees, Team Sky, at 1:17
  10. Francisco Ventoso, Movistar Team, s.t.
GC:

  1. Tom Dumoulin, Team Giant-Alpecin, 78:20:51
  2. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team, at 0:06
  3. Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha, at 1:24
  4. Rafal Majka, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:31
  5. Nairo Quintana, Movistar Team, at 3:02
  6. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team, at 3:24
  7. Esteban Chaves, Orica GreenEdge, at 3:39
  8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez, Team Katusha, at 3:46
  9. Mikel Nieve, Team Sky, 4:19
  10. Louis Meintjes, MTN - Qhubeka, 7:00
Stage 19 profile
Medina del Campo - Ávila 185.8 km

Welcome to Day 2 of the "Tom Dumoulin tries to hang on to 3 seconds by the skin of his teeth"-show. On todays show our young Dumoulin faces what looks like an easier task than yesterday but he will still have to remain vigilant.

Wall conqueror of the Day: Alejandro Valverde

Because I'm not stupid and Ávila has a proud history with guys of Balaverde's ilk.

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