Jasper Philipsen (UAE Emirates) won stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana in an uphill sprint finish.
Stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana was the longest of the race at 231km in length. The day was lengthened further due to the fact there was a prevailing headwind throughout the stage.
With over 4000m of climbing but with no climbs categorised higher than cat 3, it seemed today would be another good chance for the breakaway.
Every NTT Pro Cycling rider got involved in trying to make the break, but eventually when a group of 13 riders got up the road, we had missed the move.
We than contributed to the chase effort from the peloton, and it took a mega team effort to stay in contention for the stage on such a difficult day. As the race came into the final 40km, the weather also turned south and riders had to deal with rain and freezing cold temperatures.
Stefan de Bod and Michael Valgren both put in very strong rides, together with Trek-Segafredo and Bora-Hansgrohe, to bring the breakaway to within sight.
On the final categorised climb of the stage, Gino Mader then rode clear from the main group, went straight over the top of the remnants of the breakaway and was in pursuit of the final lone escapee, Mattia Cattaneo. Mader would be reeled in on the descent and Catteneo soon after, as the peloton raced into the finishing town of Puebla de Sanabria.
The final sprint saw the last 500m kick up to the line and Janse van Rensburg was well positioned heading into the final corner. Having to brake in late final cost out South African valuable finishing speed but he would cross the line in 6th place.