Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) won a small bunch sprint to take the victory in the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia on Saturday.
The Belgian outsprinted Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) after getting a leadout from his teammate Ben Hermans.
The riders faced a 199.3km course, with the category 1 Alto Collado Bermejo being the main difficulty of the day. The climb came with 80kms left.
An early breakaway was brought back inside the final hour of racing and Movistar put the pressure on at the front which reduced the peloton to a group of about 20 riders. leaving a group of about 20 riders in the front of the race.
BMC’s Tejay van Garderen went clear on the final climb, the category 3 Cresta del Gallo, with 13km to go but only got a gap of ten seconds.
However, there were still three other BMC riders left in the lead group when van Garderen was brought back, which gave Gilbert a nice advantage in the closing stages and the Belgian was able to capitalise on this advantage.
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 5:02:19
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
5 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:04
6 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:00:15
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18
8 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:05
9 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:06
10 Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:01:09