Gilbert outsprints Valverde in Vuelta Murcia

Philippe Gilbert took out the small bunch sprint to win the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia, after getting a high-speed lead-out from teammate Ben Hermans in the finale. Gilbert topped Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde by a clean set of wheels, with Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) pipping Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) for the final podium spot.

The 2016 edition of the Vuelta a Murcia was held on a 199.3km course that brought the riders from San Javier to the city of Murcia. After a flat start, the riders hit the category 3 Alto de Aledo and the category 1 Alto Collado Bermejo in quick succession at the midpoint of the race before they headed back onto flat roads. In the finale, the tackled the category 3 Alto Cresta del Gallo which summited just 13.1km from the finish and was followed by a difficult descent and a short flat section.

After Valverde had opted for a tactic that saw him take off in an early move, Gilbert used his strong BMC team to reel the Movistar rider and his teammates Ion Izagirre and Ruben Fernandez in. He then sent Tejay van Garderen off in an attack on the final climb of Alto Cresta del Gallo and when it ultimately came down to a 7-rider sprint he used his fast turn of speed to best his rivals.

Vuelta Murcia 2016 results:

1 Philippe Gilbert (BMC)


2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


3 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)


4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)


5 Ben Hermans (BMC)


6 Tanel Kangert (Astana)


7 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)


8 Dario Cataldo (Astana)


9 Daniel Navarro (Cofidis)


10 Víctor De La Parte (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)