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What we know almost halfway through the Vuelta

Gilbert needed that one

BMC Racing’s Philippe Gilbert rode intelligently to win Sunday’s ninth stage for what was his first victory in nearly a year. The Belgian star was winless all season and the media back home was laying into him. Throughout the season, Gilbert was expected to ride well in the “next” major event after missing out on the flowers in the race he had just completed. That played out at the spring classics, the Tour and Olympics, when everyone expected big rides, but they never came. With his third career Vuelta stage win now in the bag, Gilbert’s “next” big goal is the world championships. The rainbow jersey would go a long way toward helping everyone forget what’s been an otherwise forgettable season for the once-prolific Gilbert.