GUADALAJARA, Spain (AP) — Philippe Gilbert mastered strong winds to win his second Spanish Vuelta stage on Wednesday, and Primoz Roglic lost a few seconds from his overall lead after a charge by Nairo Quintana.
Gilbert beat Sam Bennett in the final sprint of the 219.6-kilometer (136.4-mile) 17th stage, the longest of the three-week race that ends Sunday in Madrid.
Remi Cavagna, Gilbert’s teammate with Deceuninck-Quick Step, finished third in one of the fastest Vuelta stages due to strong winds that pushed riders to an average speed of 50 kph (31 mph).
Roglic, wearing the overall leader’s red jersey since the 10th stage, saw Quintana reduce his lead to 2 minutes, 24 seconds. The former ski jumper from Slovenia was nearly three minutes ahead of the pack after Monday’s 16th stage. Quintana’s Movistar teammate, Alejandro Valverde, dropped from second to third overall as he failed to keep up with Quintana on Wednesday.
Riders were coming off the race’s last rest day on Tuesday.
They face a tough mountain stage of 177.5 kilometers (110.3 miles) on Thursday with four Category 1 climbs.
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