Jasper Philipsen sprints in horrific conditions to take stage 15 of the Vuelta a España 2020

The young Belgian sprinter kicked first to hold off a fast finishing Pascal Ackermann

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jasper Philipsen took stage 15 of the Vuelta a España 2020 in a very select sprint after an incredibly difficult stage that happened to be the longest of the entire race.

Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) managed to hold off the power of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) to throw his arms in the air after a gruelling race through the wind and rain.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) held on to the red jersey as he finished along with the other overall contenders.

How it happened

The riders set out on what was the longest day of the day between Mos and Puebla de Sanabria over 230.8km taking in five category three climbs along with several uncategorised climbs.

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It was a very fast start as riders tried to get up into the breakaway, and after a couple of large incarnations of the break went and were brought back, 13 riders eventually stayed away.

Those riders were Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Mattia Cattaneo (Decuninick - Quick-Step), Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott), Luis León Sánchez (Astana), José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), Robert Power (Sunweb), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Julien Simon (Total Direct Energie), Mark Donovan (Sunweb), Jonathan Lastra (Caja-Rural), Alex Aranburu (Astana), Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal).

The break managed a maximum time gap of 5-45 but the peloton started to peg them back and brought the gap down to 2-15 with 55km to go. This saw two-time stage winner, Wellens, sit up and drop back to the peloton.

Behind, the peloton was being controlled by Ineos Grenadiers, Trek-Segafredo, NTT Pro Cycling and Bora-Hansgrohe.

The gap continued to drop to 40 seconds as the rain closed in on the riders. Then Cattaneo started pressing on solo with 30km to go, which saw the rest of the break left looking at each other, Cattaneo managed to pull out 1-28 in a very short amount of time.

Sánchez started to drill the pace in the chasing group for his team-mate, Aranburu, as Lastra and Stannard were the first to drop back to the peloton but they were still 1-27 down on Cattaneo.

The peloton was closing in to the chasing group however, and this saw Gino Mader (NTT Pro Cycling) try and bridge to the group that was stuck in no man's land between the lead and the peloton.

Mader caught and very quickly dropped the chase group with 18km to go but he was 1-15 behind Cattaneo as the rain was joined by fog with the leader starting the descent towards the line.

The peloton brought the main group of chasers back with 12km to go as Bora-Hansgrohe really started upping the pace with Mader brought back a kilometre later. The gap up to Cattaneo was 1-04 at that point.

More and more teams started to come to the front as they could see that the gap was coming down to Cattaneo as he was riding straight into a stiff headwind.

They caught the Italian with 3km to go as Lotto-Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe, NTT Pro Cycling, UAE Team Emirates and several other teams started to fight for control.

But it was Mitchelton-Scott who led the peloton into the final kilometre and the gradual climb up to the finish line.

It was led out by Deceuninck - Quick-Step, but with 150 metres to go, Jasper Philipsen launched and no-one could get near him.

Ackermann and a fast-finishing Steimle did their best but could not get on terms with the young Belgian. British rider, Fred Wright (Bahrain-McLaren) managed a superb fourth.


Vuelta a España 2020, stage 15: Mos to Puebla de Sanabria (230.8km)

1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates, in 6-22-36

2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

3. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck - Quick-Step

4. Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain-McLaren

5. Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott

6. Reinhart Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling

7. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Pro Cycling

8. Dorian Godon (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale

9. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, all at same time

10. Michael Mørkøw (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at four seconds

General classification after stage 15

1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 60-19-41

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 39 seconds

3. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling, at 47s

4. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 1-42

5. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 3-23

6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren, at 6-15

7. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 7-14

8. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 8-39

9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana, at 8-48

10. David De La Cruz (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 9-23

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

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