Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 5 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
The final stage is the traditional flat ride to Valencia, where a sprint finish is expected.
The stage has just started in Paterna and will end in the regional capital after 97km of racing.
We'll have all the action as Tadej Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates try to defend their six-second race lead.
It was another warm, sunny day in Spain as the race rolled out.
Corte de cinta en última etapa de la #VCV2020 GP @BancoSabadell #Paternq-#Valencia pic.twitter.com/eKw2IizvX3February 9, 2020
Double stage winner Dylan Groenwegen is the big favourite to win today's expected sprint finish.
🇪🇸#VCV20203 overwinningen uit 3 sprints vandaag voor @GroenewegenD? De laatste etappe van de Ronde van Valencia begint over 30 minuten...#TJVSlive #TJVSupporters pic.twitter.com/ndv8XuEh3uFebruary 9, 2020
We're waiting to see who attacks first on the stage after the roll-out.
Earlier today the women raced the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana Féminas, with Italian national champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) taking the win.
🇮🇹 La championne d'Italie Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) s'est montré la plus rapide au sprint sur la course d'un jour du Tour de Valence. Elle a battu sa compatriote Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team) et Teniel Campbell (Valcar - Travel & Service). #VCV2020 #uciwwt pic.twitter.com/L3tbxxlBxPFebruary 9, 2020
The 21-year-old Slovenian leads Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos) by six seconds.
There are no time bonuses in this race and Pogacar seems on track to win overall.
Click here to read our full stage report and see our photo gallery of stage 4.
This is the top ten on GC.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||16:38:28|
|2||Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:06|
|3||Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos|
|4||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00:13|
|5||Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:23|
|6||Wouter Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:25|
|7||Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:00:32|
|8||Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea||0:00:49|
|9||Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:01:11|
|10||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:14|
|11||Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Ineos||0:01:19|
|12||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:22|
|13||James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|14||Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:36|
|15||Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:01:43|
This is the roll out from the start.
#VCV2020 | El pelotón de la @VueltaCV GP @BancoSabadell empieza a rodar por las calles de #Paterna en la salida neutralizada de la ultima etapa que finaliza esta tarde en el centro de #Valencia. ¡Mucha suerte a todos! pic.twitter.com/tadXxJ086TFebruary 9, 2020
From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see an attack by four riders but the peloton is chasing.
In other news, the Merksplas Superprestige races was cancelled due to Storm Ciara.
The risk of 100km/h forced organises to act and so ends Wout Van Aert's cross season.
We have a break of four riders.
The four are: Hugo Houle (Astana), Sergio Samitier (Movistar), Francesco Romano (Bardiani CSF) and jon Agirre (Equipo Kern Pharma).
They have a lead of 1:00.
The riders are currently on a long loop in the countryside before a fast ride into the centre of Valencia.
While the Saudi Tour has ended and Jai Hindley of Team Sunweb secured overall victory at the Herald Sun Tour, the racing continues in the south of France at the Etoile des Besseges. Today is the decisive TT stage around Alès.
#VCV2020 68km remains & a breakaway of 4 riders has opened up a gap of 1 minute. pic.twitter.com/Atupz4MjuJFebruary 9, 2020
Click here to read our full report and see the photo gallery from the final stage of the Herald Sun Tour.
Our man in Australia Ellis Bacon was at the race.
🇪🇸 #VCV2020With 68 km left to do into today's stage we have some time to take you back to what our day was like in yesterday's queen stage. Sticking together to make sure @GroenewegenD survived the day without problems. #teamwork pic.twitter.com/18mQVOrTK9February 9, 2020
🇪🇸 #VCV2020With 50 km to the 🏁the gap has come down to 45 seconds. @JumboVismaRoad is leading the peloton together with Deceuninck-Quick-Step. pic.twitter.com/cdyhnPwCC1February 9, 2020
45km to go.
Hugo Houle (Astana), Sergio Samitier (Movistar), Francesco Romano (Bardiani CSF) and jon Agirre (Equipo Kern Pharma) are working smoothly together but the peloton, and especially Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-QuickStep are keeping them in check at 1:00.
Here's our expected race winner: Tadej Pogacar.
With 37km to go, the gap is down to 25 seconds. The peloton seems to be playing with the four breakaways.
As the road descends slightly, the peloton eases up to let the break push out their lead to 45 seconds. It's a game of cat and mouse.
Romano is a climber and so offers little shelter for the riders with him in the break.
25km to go.
The four attackers are giving it big licks but the peloton is gradually reeling them in like a huge tuna.
The road is flat and straight now as the stage passes through the Valencia orange groves.
The four lead by just 30 seconds now.
18km to go. The peloton can almost see the break now.
15km to go.
The Jumbo and Deceuninck teams continue to lead the peloton, swapping off on the front.
We can expect their lead our trains to take over in the final kilometres. This is going to be a high-speed finish.
The CN blimp is struggling to hold the pace, the peloton is riding at close to 60km/h.
The ride into Valencia includes a left turn with 5km to go, then a section alongside the park, before a sweeping turn with 1km to go.
There are two right turns in the final 500 metres, with the tightest in sight of the finish.
Positioning in the final two or three kilometres will be vital to ensure the best positioning for the late corners.
10km to go.
The race is on a wide highway, helping the catch of the break.
The adventure of @HugoHoule and his breakaway group ends with 9 km to go. Well done, Hugo! Nice race! 👏👏👏 #VCV2020 #AstanaProTeam 📷 @gettysport pic.twitter.com/yN9lBMjQ6EFebruary 9, 2020
Lotto Soudal and Mitchelton hit the front and up the pace.
Dylan Groenewegen won the sprint on the same finish last year. Can anyone beat him this time?
Pogacar is up front but alone. He is looking around for some of his UAE teammates.
Lotto are riding for Degenkolb, Mitchelton for Mezgec
5km to go.
UAE have to protect Pogacar and ride to help Kristoff in the sprint.
The riders dive into a tunnel for the sweep into central Valencia.
4km to go.
Pogacar has hit the front to avoid any problems.
3km to go!
Now Ineos take over. For Swift and to protect Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Last km! Here we go!
Deceuninck lead it out.
Oooohhh! That's close.
Dylan Groenewegen thought he had it but it looks like Jakobsen came back at him to take it.
Jakobsen had the speed to hold off Dylan Groenewegen and take his first win of 2020.
Tadej Pogacar finished in the peloton and so secured overall victory.
Fabio Jakobsen ganador última etapa #VCV2020 GP @BancoSabadell pic.twitter.com/ABeFdILVn2February 9, 2020
A nice 3rd spot for our @johndegenkolb in the ultimate bunch sprint 👊 #VCV2020 pic.twitter.com/r7v89eONcUFebruary 9, 2020
No top-10 for @cimo89 in the final stage of the @VueltaCV. @DanMartin86 finishes fourth in the GC.Full report follows. #VCV2020 pic.twitter.com/ODkpAhVcfeFebruary 9, 2020
Tadej Pogacar spoke briefly before pulling on the winner's yellow jersey.
"This win means a lot to me, especially after all the hard work we did in the winter to prepare. To start my first race and win is incredible," he said, admitting he is not yet at his best after making his season debut in Valencia.
"My form is really good but not as good as when I was in the Vuelta a Espana," he claimed.
Pogacar was one of the revelations of 2019, especially after his third place overall at the Vuelta. He will ride the Tour de France for the first time in 2020.
"I'll prepare at an altitude training camp and before my race before the Tour will be the Dauphine," he explained, revealing he has other goals for the spring.
"I've got the UAE Tour towards the end of the month, then I do Paris-Nice, Basque Country and the Ardennes classics."
These are the provisional top ten results.
1 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-Quickstep
2 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
3 John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
5 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
6 Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7 Jaume Sureda Morey (Spa) Burgos-BH
8 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
9 Enrique Sanz (Spa) Kern Pharma
10 Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team.
Final general classification:
1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 18:43:00
2 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:06
3 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:13
5 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:23
6 Wouter Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:25
7 Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
8 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea 0:00:49
9 Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:11
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:14
Dylan Groenewegen finished second on the final stage but won the orange points jersey and two other stages.
🇪🇸 #VCV2020 That's a wrap for this year's @VueltaCV ! Two stage wins, a second place and the points jersey for @GroenewegenD and above all some excellent teamwork 🤛.Next up: Tour de la Provence (13/2-16/2) pic.twitter.com/mAxUPEFa94February 9, 2020
Jakobsen's win in Valencia was the 15th of his two-year WorldTour career. He is now one of Deceuninck's lead sprinters.
"It was a short but fast stage. In the end the speed was so high and it was quite a technical finale with the roundabout and the corner with 250m to go. I'm happy to be in this team because they put me in the perfect position to win the sprint and I'm happy I won, for them and for me," he said.
Jakobsen will team-up with new Italian signing Davide Ballerini.
"I'll do a lot of races with Davide Ballerini; he will be my lead out guy. We wanted to start the season good, that's why we came here to try to win a stage. I'm very happy we succeeded," he said.
"The big goal for me this year is the Giro d'Italia, to win a stage there. I'm also going to do Tirreno-Adriatico and they will be my two big Italian goals."
"Now I'm going home to train for a few days to train and then I'm riding the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal."
🇪🇸 #VCV2020 It was close, very close! But 👏 for the team for all the work this week. #samenwinnen #teamwork pic.twitter.com/DH24PTtf2qFebruary 9, 2020
To read our full stage report, results and see our growing photo gallery from the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, click here.
Thanks for joining us for our live coverage. We'll have more live updates from other races in the days to come.
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