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Vuelta al País Vasco 2017 Stage 5

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photo credits @ Team Movistar

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is the new leader of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, after claiming today’s stage 5 ahead of Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran.

Today’s Queen Stage saw riders face six challenging climbs, culminating with the final summit finish of the Puerto de Usartza.

Valverde managed to close down a late attack from Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) and Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) near the summit of the climb, bringing along Bardet and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) with him. 

Meanwhile, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) came across the line three seconds behind Woods and Meintjes, with Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Sergio Henao (Sky) and Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) a further 12 seconds later.

Overnight race leader David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) lost contact on the steepest part of the final climb, but rallied to keep himself inside the top 10 overall, coming across the line 22 seconds behind Valverde.

Valverde now leads the race with one stage remaining, but on the same time with Bardet and Uran.

Race Highlights

A large group of 21 riders succeeded in riding clear from the outset of today’s stage.

However, that group continued to breakdown rapidly during the first 40 kilometers, to where only Laurens Ten Dam of Sunweb and Dimension Data’s Omar Fraile were left out front.

But, it was only a short time before the duo was reined in by the peloton as well.

It wasn’t until the final climb that things became animated in the peloton, when Woods decided to attack – followed by Contador, Valverde and Henao.

Several more riders would later join the lead group, just as Woods decided to attack once more – immediately opening up a significant gap with only Meintjes able to follow.

However, Valverde, Contador, Romain Bardet, Uran and Samuel Sanchez eventually regained contact with Woods and Meintjes.

From there, Valverde timed his sprint to perfection during the closing meters, to easily beat Bardet and Uran.

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Stage 5 Results
ESP 1 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) 3:26:31
FRA 2 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
COL 3 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
CAN 4 WOODS, Michael (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
RSA 5 MEINTJES, Louis (UAE Team Emirates)
ESP 6 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 3
ESP 7 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 15
COL 8 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
GBR 9 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT)
ESP 10 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 22
AUT 11 KONRAD, Patrick (BORA – HANSGROHE)
FRA 12 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ESP 13 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING) + 34
SLO 14 ŠPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 47
GER 15 BUCHMANN, Emanuel (BORA – HANSGROHE)
NZL 16 BENNETT, George (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 58
ESP 17 MAS NICOLAU, Enric (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
FRA 18 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB)
FRA 19 EDET, Nicolas (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
RUS 20 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (ASTANA)
SLO 21 ROGLIČ, Primož (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 1:11
ITA 22 CARUSO, Damiano (BMC RACING)
IRL 23 ROCHE, Nicholas (BMC RACING)
ESP 24 ROSON GARCIA, Jaime (CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA)
ITA 25 VISCONTI, Giovanni (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 1:27
BEL 26 PAUWELS, Serge (DIMENSION DATA)
NED 27 OOMEN, Sam (SUNWEB)
FRA 28 CHEREL, Mikael (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
FRA 29 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ) + 1:42
ESP 30 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR) + 1:55
BEL 31 VANENDERT, Jelle (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 1:57
ESP 32 NIEVE ITURRALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 2:00
POL 33 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (SKY)
CZE 34 CINK, Ondrej (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 2:16
ESP 35 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 2:30
ITA 36 ULISSI, Diego (UAE Team Emirates) + 2:43
ESP 37 ANTON HERNANDEZ, Igor (DIMENSION DATA)
ITA 38 CONTI, Valerio (UAE Team Emirates)
GER 39 GESCHKE, Simon (SUNWEB)
POR 40 CARDOSO, André (TREK – SEGAFREDO)

General Classification after Stage 5
ESP 1 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) 20:05:18
COL 2 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
FRA 3 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
RSA 4 MEINTJES, Louis (UAE Team Emirates)
CAN 5 WOODS, Michael (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
ESP 6 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 3
ESP 7 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 15
COL 8 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
ESP 9 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 19
AUT 10 KONRAD, Patrick (BORA – HANSGROHE) + 22

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