Doull reflects on 'bonkers' stage

19 Sep 2019

Doull reflects on 'bonkers' stage

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Owain Doull deemed stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana 'absolutely bonkers’ as Team INEOS had four riders in a large breakaway which led from start to finish in windy conditions.

Philippe Gilbert (Deuceuninck-Quick Step) was the eventual winner of the stage from the break, which at its largest contained 47 riders, as Wout Poels and Doull finished in the top 20 following sprint finish in Guadalahara. 

And Doull, present from the formation of the daring break with teammates Poels, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Ian Stannard, was surprised that they were able to maintain a frantic pace of close to 50km/h in the 219km stage which saw the escapees finish with a five minute advantage over the GC contenders.

He told TeamINEOS.com: “It was an absolutely bonkers day! We knew at the start that it was going to be really windy, with average wind of 35km/h and gusts of up to 50km/h for most of the day. 

“With crosswinds to start with and tailwinds to finish, it was a recipe for disaster, but nobody thought it would be that crazy. After five kilometres we blew it apart and luckily I was with Tao, Stannard and Wout Poels and we were able to make the split.”
Owain Doull

Owain Doull

We maybe went from a group of more than 40 to less than 20 throughout the stage and we stayed together and made all the right moves to avoid the splits."
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He added: “We maybe went from a group of more than 40 to less than 20 throughout the stage and we stayed together and made all the right moves to avoid the splits.

“In the finish we were all a little bit cooked, but it was good to be at the front after a solid day of action. 

“After 50-60km I thought we couldn't keep this pace, then 40km later we were still doing it and then 50km later we were still doing it and 220km into the stage we had done it - it was absolutely crazy.”

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