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Itzulia Basque Country stage 5 - live coverage

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 5 of the Itzulia Basque Country. It's set to be another day of climbing and hard racing. 

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, we can see the break of the day. 

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80km to go

We're half way through the stage. but there is a lot of climbing to come.

These are the riders in the break. They lead by 1:20.

Marc Soler (UAE)

Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers)

Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange)

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo)

Sergio Samitier (Movistar).

Bilbao is chasing at 20 seconds.

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QuickStep-AlphaVinyl  are keeping the break on a tight leash: The gap is at 1:15.

The riders are on the terrible Alto de Gontzegaraine climb and  Kuss and Sergio Samitier of Movistar have been dropped. 

There are four riders up front now.

The peloton is actually at 2:40.

Crash! 

Lucas Hamilton goes over the barriers. Fortunately not a high speed but he crashes out of the break. 

The peloton passes Hamilton as he climbs back over the barriers. He's a little shocked and is being checked by the race doctor.  

62km to go

We have three riders left up front:

Marc Soler (UAE)

Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers)

Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo)

They lead by 2:50. 

Soler is on a mission today.

Soler is only 1:08 down, 14th in the GC, so he is riding back up the GC or even near the race lead. 

This is the moment of Hamilton's crash

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60km to go

As the roads climbs again, the three up front start to look at and attack each other.

Behind race leader Primoz Roglic is being protected by his Jumbo-Visma teammates. 

QuickStep are also riding in the chase to keep Julian Alaphilippe well-placed overall. 

The riders are the Trabakua climb. It is 3.3km long but at 6.8%. 

Sadly Lucas Hamilton has had to abandon the race after the crash.

Over the top of the climb and Kenny Elissonde is dropped from the break. 

Only Soler and Carlos Rodriguez are up front now. They're going all in for the stage win and Soler is hoping to shake-up the GC. 

Wow the gap is up to 4:00 as the peloton rides steady.   

The peloton and especially Jumbo and QuickStep are riding steady, perhaps to keep as many of their riders there to chase as possible. 

55km to go

There are still three hard climbs to come plus a climb up to the finish.

There are three teams chasing, with 

Upfront Carlos Rodriguez is not helping Soler in the attack.

We can only imagine Soler's thoughts on that. Perhaps we will seen them in a documentary one day.   

50km to go

The riders are about to pass through the finish area but face a lot of climbing before the end of the stage.

The riders pass Mallabia, where the stage ends. 

We're in the Basque Country and so every riders is cheered along.

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The two attackers are on the climb beyond Mallabia. Incredibly it is not a categorised climb.

Soler is doing all the hard work up front, keeping the gap at 4:00.  

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After another climb, comes another descent. Plus some tunnels. 

Jumbo-Visma and Quick Step-Alph Vinyl receive no help in the peloton for the chase but the other teams also lose their chances of success this way.

The GC contenders and their teams are riding a careful stage, thinking of the final climbs but also Saturday's final hilly stage. 

Stage racing is a tactical game.

40km to go

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Soler and Rodriguez are on another categorised climb, the road winding up though the green fields of the Basque Country.

Bahrain, Bora and even Cofidis are helping the peloton chase Soler and Rodriguez.

The gap has reduced to 3:30.  But there is alony 35km to go.

Rodriguez is not working because, as Ineos suggest, he is defending the interest of Adam Yates and Dani Martinez.

Over the climb, the riders descend to Abadiño for 15km of flat roads. 

Then comes the feared Karabieta climb, which tops out at 13km from the finish.

It is steep and 6.7km long.

30km to go

Sergio Samitier and Kenny Elissonde have been swept up by the peloton. That leaves just Soler and Rodriguez out front.

And the peloton at 3:40.

The peloton will surely try to surge on the 15km of flat roads to try and reduce Soler's lead. 

The gap has fallen below 2:50. 

Bahrain are dragging the peloton along at speed as the GC riders fight for position before the climb.

20km to go

The climb begins for Soler and Rodriguez. 

Their lead has dropped to 2:00. 

Jumbo seem to have disappeared from the front of the peloton. 

In theory Roglic has Vingegaard and perhaps Kuss to help him on this final climb.

4km to the summit of the Karabieta climb. 

Bora are leading the chase for Vlasov and so the gap is down to 1:00.  

Alaphilippe seems to be suffering but attacks could come any moment.  

There are less than 20 riders in the chase group now. 

The Karabieta climb eases for a moment now but kicks-up again very soon.

Bam! 

Evenepoel attacks!

There are five riders with the Belgian.

Martinez is there, Vingegaard too. Where is Roglic?  

Remco could be riding into the race lead.  

He and the others are only 30 seconds down on Soler and Rodriguez and already 30 seconds ahead of the Roglic chasers.

Rogic is sat down the chase group. He could be on a bad day. 

Rodriguez goes over the top of the climb. 

Remco leads the chase group at 35 seconds. Not everyone in the group wants to work, including Martinez of course, and Vingegaard, who, in theory, is defending Roglic's race lead. 

10km to go

Evenepoel picks up the pace on the descent to drive the group along at speed.

The Evenepoel group sweeps up Soler. He must sit on and try to get a ride to the finish.

Rodriguez is in time trial mode but faces a huge challenge to stay away. 

The road rises towards the finish and then kicks-up to the line. 

The Evenepoel group is stick at 30 seconds. Rodriguez is holding them off for now.

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The Roglic group has slipped to 1:30. Groupama is working for Gaudu but the race and the fight for GC are ahead of them.  

It's rain slightly but the descents are now done. 

2km to go

Rodriguez is still 28 seconds close. 

If they don't catch him, it will be a real fight for the time bonuses between Evenepoel and Martinez.

This is a huge effort by 21-year-old Rodriguez. 

The chasers are running out of road to catch Rodriguez.

Last kilometre up to the finish.

Rodriguez leads  by 27 seconds. Can he hang on? 

Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos) goes deep and climbs to the line.

He stays away to win.

The road is slippy and so Vingegaard and Vlasov fall off on the 16% climb.  

The other GF riders come, with Adam Yates slightly ahead.  

Rodriguez almost slipped too as he crossed the line. 

Rodriguez hung on to win by 7 seconds. 

His Ineos teammate Dani Martinez was second, with Evenepoel third at 9 seconds.  

Vlasov and Vingegaard finished 7th and 8th, despite crashing and running over the line with their bikes.

Stage Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 4:07:09
2Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:07
3Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:00:09
4Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis 0:00:11
5Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
6Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:13
7Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:18
8Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:20
9Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:38
10Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:07

This is the new top ten on GC.

General classification after stage 5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 18:12:29
2Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:02
3Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis 0:00:21
4Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:22
5Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
6Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:29
7Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:37
8Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:05
9Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:15
10Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:30

So Remco Evenepoel takes the leader's jersey but Dani Martinez is only two seconds down on him. 

Saturday's terrible hilly stage will decide everything. 

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Here's Carlos Rodriguez as he wins the stage.

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 5th stage Zamudio - Mallabia 163,8k m - 08/04/2022 - Carlos Rodriguez (ESP - INEOS Grenadiers) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

Here's Rodriguez as he rides to the finish.

MALLABIA SPAIN APRIL 08 Carlos Rodriguez Cano of Spain and Team INEOS Grenadiers compete in the breakaway during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 5 a 1638km stage from Zamudio to Mallabia 305m itzulia WorldTour on April 08 2022 in Mallabia Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Primoz Roglic spoke briefly post-stage, indicating his overall hopes were over. 

"We raced good with the whole team, Jonas was in front so it went actually the way we wanted," he told Eurosport.

"Today was super hard, I could barely come to the finish. We'll see what tomorrow will bring."

Pello Bilbao initially went in the attack but dropped back when it was clear the peloton would not let him go. 

"I was just trying to find the right collaboration to make a strong group in the front. I'd seen that the QuickStep riders, also Ineos were pretty active," he said. 

"My intention was just to take some advantage and wait to make an interesting group. In the end I didn't find an optimum situation to try a long attack. Although Marc Soler showed he has great legs. 

"For sure if I was in the front group the race would be different and they would control more. I think we made the right decision and we also need to think about tomorrow's stage."

Here's the final moments of the stage.

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To read our full stage report and see the full results and our growing photo gallery, click below.

Itzulia Basque Country: Carlos Rodriguez solos to first pro win on stage 5 (opens in new tab)

MALLABIA SPAIN APRIL 08 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Blue Best Young Rider Jersey competes during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 5 a 1638km stage from Zamudio to Mallabia 305m itzulia WorldTour on April 08 2022 in Mallabia Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images)

The Cyclingnews live updates will be back on Saturday for the final stage of the Itzulia Basque Country and then on Sunday for the men's and women's Amstel Gold Race. 

It will be fascinating to see if Evenepoel can defend the yellow jersey on the many steep climbs of the final stage.

MALLABIA SPAIN APRIL 08 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl celebrates at podium as Yellow Leader Jersey winner during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 5 a 1638km stage from Zamudio to Mallabia 305m itzulia WorldTour on April 08 2022 in Mallabia Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

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