Philipsen wins Uphill Sprint as Brutal Weather plagued Stage 15
Belgian Jasper Philipsen on Thursday won the Vuelta a Espana's 15th stage, the longest of the race at 230km, as Slovenian Primoz Roglic retained the overall lead
Philipsen claimed his first Grand Tour stage success by pipping Pascal Ackermann at the line, with Jannik Steimle in third on the longest day of the three-week race which was cold, mostly into a head wind and it rained for the last 40 km.
Riders were seen dropping back to team cars for jackets and additional clothing.
"I can't describe how happy I am. It means a lot for me. I've been waiting all of the Vuelta for this moment, it was unexpected," 22-year-old Team UAE Emirates' rider Philipsen said.
"It was a really strong breakaway. In the end I started believing it more and more but at the beginning of the day I never expected a bunch sprint," he added.
Defending champion Roglic kept hold of the red jersey ahead of Richard Carapaz after a rain-sodden 230.8km in north-western Spain.
Jumbo-Visma's Roglic has a 39-second advantage over Ineos' Ecuadorian rider, with Hugh Carthy 47 seconds behind ahead of Friday's 162km hilly stage from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo.
Primoz Roglic said afterwards, "It was - oof - a hard day. I'm really happy that now it is behind us, I dont' know how much it was enjoyable, it was a hard pace, it was fast all day long and the cold and rain - a big and tough day behind us."
The red jersey standing times were taken with 3km left because of a reported oil slick near the finish line close to the border with Portugal after a mistake-free day for the contenders.
An early group including previous stage winner Tim Wellens broke after 55km approaching the Alto de San Amaro.
The pace stayed high despite humid conditions on an arduous day before Italian Mattia Cattaneo made his solo shot for glory with 30km left.
He stretched his lead to 90 seconds at one point on the Alto de Padornelo descent ahead of a flat finish and a head wind before arriving at the finish line near to the Portuguese border.
Philipsen split and edged Ackermann and Steimle on the flat finish.
VIDEO: 2020 La Vuelta Stage 15 Highlights
2020 La Vuelta Stage 15 Top 10
1 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates 06:22:36
2 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck-Quickstep
4 Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain McLaren
5 Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
6 Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
7 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling
8 Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
9 Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 00:00:04
2020 La Vuelta GC after Stage 15
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 60:19:41
2 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:39
3 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling 00:00:47
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation 00:01:42
5 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:03:23
6 Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren 00:06:15
7 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:07:14
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:08:39
9 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team 00:08:48
10 David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 00:09:23