Stage win for Gougeard in Avila

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Alexis Gougeard (AG2R) claimed the biggest win of his fledgling career in Spain on Friday, winning the 19th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Avila.

Gougeard claimed a superb solo win, finishing a full 40 seconds ahead of Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) in second.

Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) crossed the line in third a further four seconds back.

It was a good day for overall leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), who extended his overall lead after staging a late attack out of the small group of favourites on the day's final cobbled climb.

Dumoulin leads Fabio Aru (Astana) by six seconds, while Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) follows in third, 1:24 back.

Katusha’s Tiago Machado escaped the day's main breakaway after the category 3 Alto de Valdaviaand climb, but his 30-second lead was cut down to nothing when he was caught by Leonardo Duque (Colombia) and Gougeard with around 30km to go.

Gougeard attacked on the day’s final categorized climb and set off for what would turn out to be a superb solo victory.

Saturday's penultimate stage features a 175.8km route from San Lorenzo de El Escorial to Cercedilla.

Stage 19 results

1 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4:19:20     
2 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:00:40     
3 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:44     
4 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team          
5 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha          
6 Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team          
7 Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia 0:00:53     
8 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:03     
9 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky 0:01:17     
10 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team

General classification after Stage 19

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin    78:20:51     
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:06     
3 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:24     
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:31     
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:02     
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:24     
7 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:03:39     
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:03:46     
9 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:04:19     
10 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN – Qhubeka 0:07:09