Sam Bennett has narrowly missed out on a third stage victory in this year's Vuelta a Espana.
The Irish sprinter finished just two seconds behind the winner on stage 17, Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) retains the leader's red jersey with a 2-minute 24-second lead over Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team). The Colombian led for most of the day to move from 6th to 2nd on general classification.
Bennett was the first to make a dart for the line in Guadalajara, but saw Gilbert claim the stage victory instead and the Carrick-on-Suir rider puts that purely down to stamina, "I couldn't take them all on", he told Eurosport.
🏁 La llegada | The finish
🙋🏻♂🏆 @PhilippeGilbert #LaVuelta19 pic.twitter.com/OW2DxdHJay
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) September 11, 2019
Bennette tried hitching his wagon to the Deceuninck-QuickStep as he attempted to complete a hat-trick of Vuelta wins, "If I didn't go after him [Zdenek Stybar] it was just going to go to the finish and then I had to go really hard so that they couldn't keep on my wheel.
"I just ran out of legs for the last 300 metres, I just didn't have anything left".
It will be no surprise that Bennett cut such an exhausted figure at the line as today's 219.6km stage was the fastest stage or one-day race over 200km in length in history with an average speed of 50.6kmph.
Asked if he gleaned any enjoyment from the stage, Bennett claims, "I did enjoy it, but there came a point where I thought I was going to be dropped after 100km - my legs fell off - but I just had to keep going and they kind of came back around in the final [few kilometres].
"I'd stay behind Quintana or whoever, his teammates weren't going to ride away from him so I just played that card and tried to recover but it wasn't enough today."
Tomorrow's 18th stage features several mountain passes as the peloton makes the 177.5m trek to Becerril de la Sierra.
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:20:15
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:02
3. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep "
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida "
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb "
6. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team "
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First "
8. Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep "
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale "
10. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:06
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 66:43:36
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:24
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:48
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:42
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:59
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:05:05
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:40
8. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:08:03
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:10:43
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:12:21