Etixx-QuickStep's Gianni Meersman added another Grand Tour stage win to his palmares Wednesday in Lugo, taking the bunch sprint win at the end of the Vuelta a Espana's fifth stage. Meersman benefited from a textbook lead out from teammate Zdenek Stybar in the final kilometres, jumping off the Czech rider's wheel and holding off a charge from Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Feline. FDJ's Kevin Reza was third.
The 171.3km stage from Viveiro to Lugo was marred by several crashes in the finish, including a devastating mishap that knocked LottoNL-Jumbo's Steven Kruijswijk out of the race.
The day started with rain as the peloton left Viveiro, and a pair of escapees soon made their way clear of the bunch. Katusha's Tiago Machado and Direct Energie's Julien Morice battled off the front in the rain, but when the skies cleared, Machado decided to leave the Frenchman behind. The Katusha rider stayed clear until about 14km remained, and from there it was a constant battle for position as the sprinters' teams controlled multiple late attacks to set up the bunch gallop.
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