Alberto Dainese sprints to victory on stage 19 of the Vuelta a España

Filippo Ganna goes from time triallist to sprinter to record a close second

Alberto Dainese
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alberto Dainese (DSM-Firmenich) has won the 19th stage of the Vuelta a España, sprinting to victory at the end of a hot 177.4km stage to Íscar in central Spain.

Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers launched first after a determined lead-out by Geraint Thomas and the team, but tied up just before the line for a still creditable second place.

The GC remained unchanged, with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) still in red.

Dainese who won a stage of the Giro d'Italia in May and has secured a fourth and a seventh place in this Vuelta so far, said the team had learned from its mistakes in the first two weeks.

"Today we executed the place 100%," he said after the stage. "It was really unlucky to lose a couple of guys in the crash, but at that point I was in the perfect position.

"I knew there was a big headwind so I let Ganna and the other guys go a bit early, and then I was waiting for my moment to go in the wind. I'm super happy."

Of his own and Ganna's efforts, Thomas said: "I thought 'let's just get stuck in. Castro [Jonathan Castroviejo] was real strong, and I tried to dig in, go as deep and as long as possible.

"It's easy to go early, it's hard to wait. We did go a bit early," the Welshman admitted, "but the commitment was there, unfortunately Pippo didn't quite finish it off. But that was more down to us I think."

A nasty crash with 1,300m to go took out Alpecin-Deceuninck points leader Kaden Groves as well as Dainese's British team-mates Max Poole and Sean Flynn. All three riders finished, albeit wearing some nasty looking road rash.

Crashes aside, after the previous three chaotic days in the mountains, stage 19 was comparatively relaxed, with a four-man break getting established early doors and the bunch riding calmly keeping it under control over the largely flat parcours.

No one would have been more grateful for this lack of excitement than Kuss, who remains in the GC lead, 17 seconds ahead of team-mate Jonas Vingegaard.

There are just two stages left now, but no chance to relax for the peloton, who take on a very challenging Classics-esque stage to Guadarrama on stage 20, featuring 10 category-three climbs.

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