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Volta a Catalunya stage 5 - Live coverage

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Hello there and welcome back to the Cyclingnews live race centre for stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya. After Wednesday's big summit finish and Thursday's three big mountain passes, we have more of a medium mountain day today. At 200km, this looks like fertile terrain for a successful breakaway, although the Port de Montserrat and the descent to the finish in Manresa could provide some GC sparks later on. 

A hazy day in La Pobla de Segur and the riders have lined up on the start line, having signed on for today's stage. After the roll-out, it's a short neutral zone before the stage proper gets underway.

The big news this morning is that the Spanish ProTeam Kern Pharma are out of the race. They've had two COVID positives in their ranks and have withdrawn "out of respect for the Volta, the world of cycling, and society more widely". 

Before we get going, here's your re-cap from yesterday. Lennard Kamna went on a mad breakaway but Ineos controlled things and rolled out the mountain train to end up with the top three positions on GC (Adam Yates, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas). However, Esteban Chaves did escape their clutches to win his first race in almost two years. 

We're off!

Numerous attacks but nothing clear yet in this fast start on gently downhill roads.

Geraint Thomas was understandably happy with how things went yesterday. 

And here are Ineos Grenadiers at the start this morning.

We have a group of 15 on the move in the early stages here.

Fausto Masnada is in this move. The Deceuninck-QuickStep man is 17th overall at 2:39 so they might not want to let this go. 

Ineos are on the front of the peloton and it looks like Masnada has sat up and left the group.

A selfless act from Masnada, it seems, but the break isn't sailing clear just yet. We have counter attacks from behind.

The road is tilting uphill now and we'll soon be on the first climb of the day, the COll de Comiols.

180km to go

Movistar had also put Marc Soler in there, which might give some clues as to their tactics today. Ineos, frankly, look unassailable, and most of their rivals must now be thinking about stage wins rather than the overall. 

Important story this morning as we reveal details of UK Anti-Doping's failure to act when presented with extensive material relating to doping allegations surrounding former British Cycling and Ineos coach Shane Sutton. 

We're on the lower slopes of the first climb now, before the categorised section. This should provide a better selection ground for a breakaway.

Nothing sticking on the lower slopes as we hit the climb proper now.

Attack from Antwan Tolhoek. The Jumbo-Visma was also in the break yesterday.

The Coll de Comiols averages 5% over 8km. 

Tolhoek has been brought back and so has the next mini-move.

We're nearing the top of the climb now and it's still full whack.

162km to go

Onto a fast descent now and Cavagna goes again. He has Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) for company.

Cavagna and Mohoric have a lead of around 20 seconds as they head downhill.

The duo aren't being allowed away. Trek look particularly active in the peloton. Ineos chased the first move down because Masnada was there but when new moves do go it'll be the breakaway hopeful teams who shut them down when they miss the boat.

We're off the descent and onto a rolling section before another dip downhill 

Cavagna and Mohoric take their lead out to 35 seconds.

The peloton has split!

It looks like Ineos have been caught out here.

Wow. The Ineos peloton is 30 seconds down on the main bunch here.

Cavagna and Mohoric are still out front with a lead of 30 seconds. We have around 40 riders in the first split. Unclear at the moment which GC contenders are where, but Ineos are behind.

It looks like all the GC contenders in the top 20 overall are in the Ineos group. This first peloton, then, is more of a monster breakaway group.

Thymen Arensman (DSM) and Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) are in the group of 40 but not for long. They've attacked and made their way over to Cavagna and Mohoric.

Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi) looks to be the best-placed on GC in that big group of 40. He's 19th overall at 4:07.

And that's a neat segue into the news just in that the 2023 Tour de France will start in the Basque Country

The gaps...

Here's Mohoric and Cavagna a little earlier. They've since been joined by Schelling and Arensman.

It's still full gas everywhere on the road. The main peloton is now eating into the 40-strong break's advantage. 

Names in the big break on the way. The leading four are now 1:45 in front of them, and 3:15 in front of the peloton. Long uphill drag now, with a bonus sprint then an intermediate sprint at the top of a stiffer uncategorised climb.

These are the 41 names we have for that group

110km

Arensman is first at the bonus sprint but the bonus seconds don't really matter for these guys.

De la Cruz, Jungels, Valter and Omer Goldstein (Israel (where did he come from)) attack from the group of 40.

This is outstanding UCI-trolling 

Brambilla on the attack now. With so many riders in that breakaway group, cooperation was always going to be an issue.

100km

The Ineos-led main peloton is now 4 minutes behind the four leaders. In between we have another group of four, a lone Brambilla, and a group of 40. Got it?

95km to go

Brambilla is reeled back in.

Downhill again now, before another little kick up and then more downhill towards the final climb. It's going to be a fast day.

Soler and Knox are the next to jump from the big breakaway group.

The gaps are getting tighter now. The leading four are just 30 seconds in front of the chasers, while the big break is just over a minute back. The main peloton is at 3:40

Soler and Knox are across to the chasing four. That's a six now, and they're closing in on the front four, which could soon be a 10....

82km to go

The 10 leaders have a lead of just 45 seconds over the big breakaway group that contains around 35 riders. The peloton is at 3:45.

The group of 35 has got its act together and the pace is high and sustained. They're closing in on the lead group of 10 now, so we could have a general regrouping shortly.

The intermediate sprint a little earlier

69km to go

We're heading downhill towards the second intermediate sprint. The collaboration wanes in the chase group and they start to lose ground again.

Here's Ineos controlling the main peloton. They'll be happy to come through such a chaotic stage unscathed, but we've still got a first-cat climb to come.

A fast third hour gives us an average speed so far of 47km/h

60km to go

The road heads uphill now for another uncategorised climb. Just two categorised ascents today but there'll be quite some elevation accrual. 

The chase group is still 25 seconds behind the lead group.

Ineos have their full team on the front of the peloton. This has been a tiring one to control but they have the strength in depth to do so. Rowe, Dennis, and Castroviejo have been doing the work. They've got Yates, Porte, and Thomas as the top three overall, plus a Richard Carapaz for good measure.

54km to go

A moment of hesitation up there and the Frenchman is off. The other nine are soon caught by that large chase group.

More disorganisation in that second group now, and fresh attacks start to come.

It's just attack-swing off-attack-swing off in that second group. 

Cavagna opens up a lead of 25 seconds as the group comes back together ahead of the next wave of accelerations. The peloton is at nearly four minutes now. 

Cavagna crests that small climb and starts to head downhill once more. 40 seconds is his lead.

Ineos appear calm as Rohan Dennis hands out the contents of a musette. They still have Rowe on the front. A reminder that Mikel Bizkarra is the most dangerous rider up the road from a GC perspective. He started the day 19th at 4:07. The Ineos-led peloton is currently three minutes behind Bizkarra's group.

Bouwman, Soto, and Lopez have dropped from the break and are back in the bunch.

45km to go

The story of that large unruly breakaway - Ide Schelling calling for cooperation

And there's Cavagna on the front of the group before he attacked and went solo.

Cavagna takes his lead out to 1:10. 

It's downhill to the foot of the late cat-1 climb, the Port de Montserrat. Measuring 7.5km at 6.5%, it's a tough one, and it's followed by a stinging plateau before the descent to the finish.

Cavagna extends his lead to 1:40. The peloton is at 4:30 now. 

As Craig Charles said when me and my mates found ourselves watching him DJ in a very strange tent at Bestival a few years ago, while Chaka Khan was on the main stage... "What on earth are you doing here?"

Cavagna continues to gain. He's almost two minutes up the road now. There are still plenty of strong climbers in the chase group, though.

Ineos don't seem too worried in the peloton. It looks calm back there as their deficit to Cavagna rises to 4:45.

33.5km to go

The chase group hits the climb 1:50 in arrears. It's still together but the attacks will soon come. 

Movistar have the numbers in the chase group and they've taken it up. 

This was the chase group as it hit the climb. We've already lost some riders who've been dropped on the lower slopes

Goldstein, Impey, Ladagnous, Barcelo all dropped.

Carapaz leads the bunch onto the climb. Dennis is still there but Rowe and Castroviejo are gone. 

Hirschi, Schelling, Arensman, Pichon are the next to lost contact in the chase. 

Hanninen, Samitier, De la Cruz, Van Rensburg are all distanced now as well.

Bizkarra attacks!

A reminder that Bizkarra is the best placed overall in this break - 19th at 4:07. The peloton are still three minutes behind so he's looking to take a leap up the leaderboard. 

29km to go

Reichenbach has gone with Bizkarra.

Bizkarra and Reichenbach quickly start to close in. They're a minute behind Cavagna now with just over 2km from the summit.

But the pace has picked up in the bigger break group now and it appears Cavagna is fading towards the top of this climb. He's only 1:10 up on the larger group now.

18 riders remain in the main chase group.

Carapaz and Dennis continue to lead the bunch. It looks like it's going to be calm among the overall contenders, although the fast and chaotic nature of this stage mean it's been anything but a straight-forward day in the saddle.

27km to go

Cavagna is into the final 500m of the climb. He only has 30 seconds now.

The road rises to double digit gradients now and Cavagna is really suffering. Bikzarra and Reichenbach are closing in.

The rest of the chase are only around 10 seconds behind those two.

26km to go

A group of six has come across now, as well, moving clear on that steep section.

Carlos Verona pushes it on. He's Movistar's only remaining man. Soler, Samitier, and Cataldo are all back in the bunch. 

Around 20 in the front group now but Kamna goes on the attack.

23km to go

Those three are trailed by a chase group of 12 riders now.

Meanwhile Ineos' pace on that climb has brought the gap between the peloton and the front of the race down to 2:30.

The leading trio hit a short descent. Another kick up then it's onto the descent down to the finish. 

20km to go

They're looking around and we're going to get another regrouping. 

How many attacks and regroupings today?!

Maybe not. Kamna drives it on with a big turn. 

Uran kicks on from the chase, which is splitting under the pressure

Reichenbach is there too. So is Dan Martin.

Verona attacks!

18km to go

In the chase group are Uran, Guerreiro, Martin, Edet, Kruijswijk, Reichenbach, Knox, Kamna, Gesbert.

Verona hits 80km/h on the descent. It's a wide sweeping one.

Carapaz leads the peloton down the descent 2:20 in arrears.

Storer, Smith, and Cerny are back in the chase group now as it swells to 13.

Kamna tries again

12km to go

Gesbert clips off now

Uran and Kruijswijk go with Gesbert.

10.5km to go

The gaps are small. Dion Smith is indeed still in there and he has a great sprint on him from a reduced group.

Back together up front as Verona, Uran, Gesbert, and Kruijswijk are caught. 

Storer is the next to go but he's brought back quickly.

12 riders in the lead with 8.7km to go and they're looking at each other

Kamna again!

The cameras missed that one. I'm not sure if he had sustained his earlier effort. Either way, he's clear here with 7km to go.

Kamna was the all-or-nothing attacker yesterday and he's at it again today.

The road flattens with 6km to go and there needs to be some cooperation in the chase. 

Kamna has 15 seconds! EF have numbers and think about a chase but no. Kruijswijk accelerates.

Uran takes it up now but this isn't a proper chase.

They're all saving themselves but there won't be anything to save themselves for soon. Kamna gains some more seconds. 

The main peloton, meanwhile, is at 2 minutes. No GC shifts today.

3.5km to go

An uphill drag now ahead of the flatter final 2km. 

Three riders join Gesbert in the chase - Guerreiro, Verona, Martin

2.5km to go

2km to go

That four-man counter comes to nothing. 12 riders back together in the cvhase but they're half a minute down and Kamna has this in the bag with 1.3km to go.

1km to go

Bizkarra attacks from the break. He can still move up a couple of places on GC.

Kamna into the home straight.

Kamna can barely sit up and celebrate, such is the fatigue. One try, two, and on the third time he gets it right and punches the air as he crosses the line.

Guerreiro catches and passes Bizkarra to take second place.

And the rest of the group comes home a few seconds later. 

The peloton comes home 1:55 down. Almeida sprints for the line for some reason.

Kamna Catalunya

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:29:13
2Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:39
3Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:42
4Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:00:44
5Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
6Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
9Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
10Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma

Adam Yates retains the overall lead and Ineos still have the top 3 places with Porte and Thomas.

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