Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko climbed to a solo victory during stage 5 of the Vuelta a España today, while Chris Froome (Team Sky) extended his overall lead.
Lutsenko was initially part of a 17-rider breakaway group, who succeeded in riding clear of any challengers during the final 3 kilometers to claim a solo victory in Alcossebre, 42 seconds ahead of his closest rivals Merhawi Kudus (Team Dimension Data) and Marc Soler (Movistar Team).
Meanwhile, Froome (Team Sky) distanced his GC rivals during the last kilometer, crossing the line in a group also containing Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac).
Froome now leads the race by 10 seconds over Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), followed Chaves a further second back.
A large breakaway group containing Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors), Rubén Fernandez and Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Valerio Agnoli (Bahrain-Merida), Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas and Hector Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobón), managed to ride clear of the peloton early on in today’s stage.
However, despite power in numbers, the escapees never succeeded in establishing much of an advantage over the chase.
Haller later decided to jettison the group after cresting the penultimate climb with 42 kilometers still left to go, while Mohoric and Lutsenko took up the pursuit.
Haller was eventually caught, but Mohoric later began to suffer and was subsequently drop by his companions.
From there, the duo gradually opened up a sizable gap of around six minutes over the chase.
Alaphilippe in turn tried to muster a chase, along with the help of Kudus and Gougeard.
However, Haller and Lutsenko managed to remain outside of their clutches, as they reached the base of the final climb.
Lutsenko immediately dropped Haller and began to find his rhythm, while Kudus did the same to Gougeard.
At one point, it appeared that the Eritrean rider might catch Lutsenko, but the Kazakhstan managed to hold-on and seize a solo victory.
In the meantime, the peloton remained in a fairly calm state until the climb, where Froome was able to do some damage, but was unable to shake Chaves.
Stage 5 Results
KAZ 1 LUTSENKO, Alexey (ASTANA) 4:24:58
ERI 2 KUDUS, Merhawi (DIMENSION DATA) + 42
ESP 3 SOLER GIMENEZ, Marc (MOVISTAR) + 56
SLO 4 MOHORIC, Matej (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) + 1:11
FRA 5 GOUGEARD, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:24
AUT 6 HALLER, Marco (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 1:37
FRA 7 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 1:40
NED 8 BOL, Jetse (MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM) + 2:04
RUS 9 MAMYKIN, Matvey (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 2:18
FRA 10 MAISON, Jérémy (FDJ) + 2:31
NED 11 KREDER, Michel (AQUA BLUE SPORT) + 3:20
ITA 12 VILLELLA, Davide (CANNONDALE DRAPAC) + 4:00
ESP 13 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 4:31
GBR 14 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
CAN 15 WOODS, Michael (CANNONDALE DRAPAC)
COL 16 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA – SCOTT)
USA 17 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 4:39
GBR 18 YATES, Adam (ORICA – SCOTT) + 4:42
IRL 19 ROCHE, Nicolas (BMC RACING)
ITA 20 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA)
NED 21 KELDERMAN, Wilco (SUNWEB)
RUS 22 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
ESP 23 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 4:52
FRA 24 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB)
AUS 25 HAIG, Jack (ORICA – SCOTT)
General Classification After Stage 5
GBR 1 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) 18:07:10
USA 2 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 10
COL 3 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA – SCOTT) + 11
IRL 4 ROCHE, Nicolas (BMC RACING) + 13
ESP 5 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 23
ITA 6 NIBALI, Vincenzo (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 36
ITA 7 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 49
GBR 8 YATES, Adam (ORICA – SCOTT) + 50
GBR 9 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT) + 1:09
CAN 10 WOODS, Michael (CANNONDALE DRAPAC) + 1:13
NED 11 KELDERMAN, Wilco (SUNWEB) + 1:28
FRA 12 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:37
RUS 13 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 1:40
FRA 14 BARGUIL, Warren (SUNWEB) + 1:43
NED 15 OOMEN, Sam (SUNWEB) + 1:53
COL 16 BETANCUR GOMEZ, Carlos Alberto (MOVISTAR) + 1:56
ESP 17 ANTON HERNANDEZ, Igor (DIMENSION DATA) + 2:09
AUS 18 HAIG, Jack (ORICA – SCOTT) + 2:19
NED 19 POELS, Wout (SKY) + 2:23
NED 20 BOL, Jetse (MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM) + 2:29
POR 21 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) + 2:35
RSA 22 MEINTJES, Louis (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) + 2:38
NED 23 KRUIJSWIJK, Steven (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 2:42
POR 24 OLIVEIRA, Nelson (MOVISTAR) + 2:45
COL 25 LOPEZ MORENO, Miguel Angel (ASTANA) + 2:52
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