photo credit @ Vuelta Pais Vasco
Mikel Landa (Astana) claimed the 5th stage of this year’s Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, with a well-timed attack during the final climb of the day.
Meanwhile, Sergio Henao (Team Sky) finished safely in the lead group to secure the overall race victory, while Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finished in second place.
Simon Yates managed to nix Nairo Quintana from the podium, rounding things out in third spot.
A large breakaway group containing Bruno Pires, Chris Anker Sorensen (Tinkoff), Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), Giovanni Visconti, Igor Antón (Movistar Team), Carlos Betancur, Matteo Montaguti, Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale), Daryl Impey (Orica), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM), Nick Van Der Lijke (LottoNL), Mikel Landa, Valerio Agnoli, Rein Taaramae (Astana), Tony Gallopin, Louis Vervaeke, Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Tony Martin, David De la Cruz (Etixx-Quick Step), Matteo Bono, Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), Tom Jelte Slagter, Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Julian Arredondo, Laurent Didier (Trek), Omar Fraile, Antonio Molina, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-RGA), Yohan Bagot, Romain Hardy and Rudy Molard (Cofidis), managed to ride clear during the first hour of racing. And, from there, the group succeeded in building up a four minute advantage over the peloton.
Back in the peloton, a crash occurred involving Trek Factory Racing’s Bauke Mollema and Fränk Schleck crash. However, both riders were able to remount and rejoin the race.
As the breakaway tackled the climb of the Alkiza, their lead was still holding at four minutes. But, by the time they reached the summit of the Andazarrate, their gap had been reduced to three minutes.
With 28 kilometers remaining, Philippe Gilbert set about bridging himself to the breakaway group, but to no avail.
Back up front, Vervaeke was the first rider to attempt an attack from amongst the breakaway group. However, despite having the support of his teammates, Wellens and Gallopin, the Belgian rider’s efforts had little effect.
From there, Astana’s Taaramae was the next rider to launch an attack, this time making things stick.
As the gradient kicked to 20 percent, the Astana rider managed to create a slight gap for himself as he crossed over the summit.
As a result, Wellens and Gallopin sponge to life, subsequently latching onto the leader.
Landa and Danielson soon followed.
Back in the main field, Michal Kwiatkowski succeeded in making his way up through the remnants of the breakaway group, taking Tony Martin with him. However, the leaders continued to remain outside of their grasp.
Back up front, as the leaders hit the final climb, Gallopin started to wane. As a result, Danielson easily dispatched the French rider – taking over at the front.
At that point, Danielson looked poised for victory. But, with less than a few hundred meters to go, Landa unleashed an attack, that left the American rider unable to respond.
photo credit @ Twitter
Stage 5 Results
ESP 1 LANDA MEANA, Mikel (ASTANA) 4:06:01
BEL 2 WELLENS, Tim (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 3
USA 3 DANIELSON, Thomas (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 16
EST 4 TAARAMAE, Rein (ASTANA) + 28
FRA 5 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 38
GBR 6 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 53
COL 7 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 56
ESP 8 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
NED 9 SLAGTER, Tom Jelte (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 1:05
FRA 10 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:06
General Classification after Stage 5
COL 1 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) 21:20:48
ESP 2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
GBR 3 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 7
COL 4 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 12
ITA 5 SCARPONI, Michele (ASTANA) + 22
SLO 6 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA)
RUS 7 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA) + 28
ESP 8 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (MOVISTAR)
USA 9 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 36
FRA 10 PINOT, Thibaut (FDJ)
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