Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 5, the final day of racing at the Vuelta a Burgos. Can Remco Evenepoel hold onto his race lead or with the pure climbers bounce back?
Just to bring you up to speed, we've covered 80km so far and we've got a break up the road. The riders in the lead are - in star sign order: Arjen Livyns, Delio Fernández Cruz, Gotzon Martin, Angel Madrazo, Joel Nicolau and Dani Navarro. They have a 6'15 gap on the main field.
As you can see from the profile below, it's the second and final mountain finish today at Lagunas de Neila. We're about half-way through the stage, although my maths is terrible. If you squint really hard when looking at the race tracker it's about halfway, and that will do.
Here's how things stand coming into the race. Remco Evenepoel has a healthy lead over his rivals. He's actually got some decent support in the mountains but Mitchelton and Jumbo VIsma will turn themselves inside and out as they look to pressure on the young Belgian prodigy:
General classification after stage 4
1 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 15:26:47
2 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:18
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:32
4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:35
5 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:45
6 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Team Ineos 0:00:52
7 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:01:02
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:13
9 David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:42
10 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:45
A reminder of those in the break:
Dani Navarro (ISN) Ángel Madrazo (BBH) Arjen Livyns (WVA) Gotzon Martín (EUS) Delio Fernández (NDP) Joel Nicolau (CJR).
Dani Navarro easily the most experienced rider in the break, once a workhorse for Alberto Contador in the mountains and then of Cofidis and now ISN. He'll be happy with the 6 minute buffer that the break currently have over the main field.
At the front of the main field a number of teams are leading the chase. G.Bennett is right up there and he's got to see today as massive opportunity if he can drop Evenepoel. It will be fascinating to see if the QuickStep rider goes on the attack or plays a defensive game. His lead isn't huge so he can't afford to play games.
By the way if you're looking to stream today race, you can do. Just click here for our handy little guide.
In other news Moolman Pasio requires 60 stitches as training crash puts her out of Strade Bianche. You can read that news here.
The rider I'm looking forward to seeing in action is actually Aru. He's 1'03 down on GC but every race he does he seems to be getting better and better. There's still a world class rider in there. Out of contract too, and worth a gamble at the right price.
Into the final 35km of the stage now but still two final climbs to come that will decide both the stage and the GC. The gap to the break is rapidly coming down too.
There are two climbs to the finish, a steep 3rd cat, followed by a longer 4km 1st cat. The first climb is super steep, and then the second climb averages at 9.9 percent but has ramps of 17 per cent. Chavez and Landa have both won here in the past.
Right now it's Mitchelton Scott who are ramping up the pace and it's furious with the gap now down to just 2;02. Bahrain are close to the front too but it's all systems go. Meanwhile in Strade Bianche the women have 15km to race.
28km to go here and still Mitchelton push the pace through this rolling terrain. The entire peloton are lined out through these narrow, twist roads.
Now the gap is under two minutes and as we go to the break we can see that they're starting to fall apart. No stage win for the leaders today.
The leaders reach a short rise and a lot of shoulders are starting to rock, a sure sign that fatigue is starting to set in. The gap is now at 1.48 with 26km to go.
The five leaders crest that small rise and start to regain some momentum but Mitchelton want this win badly and they're committed to Chaves and maybe even Yates too for the stage win. The gap is at 1;34 as the intensity rises even more. We've still got 25km to race.
Bahrain want in on the action and have swarmed to the front, almost engulfing the sole Mitchelton rider. They sense that now is the time to isolate Remco from his team and put him under pressure really early. He's really not the sort of character to crumble though.
And now it's all Bahrain on the front as they work their socks off for Landa. Almost the entire team is on the front now with Haussler and Haller trading turns.The gap is down to 1;25.
A rapid descent now greats the six leaders but they'll be climbing soon enough as we see Navarro on the front and setting the pace.
Inside the final 20km now and the gap is down to 1;10. They'll be caught on the penultimate climb, for sure.
Under a minute for our leaders as a team car comes up to offer some last bits of advice. Not sure what they can say at this point other than offer a sticky bottle and confirm the rider's flight time post-race.
The leaders fan out over the road, the gap at 35 seconds. It's almost all over for them now.
The pace is so intense that we now haves splits in the main field. 15km to go.
Sam Bennett is done for the day and he takes a bottle from the car and sits up.
Madrazo has pinged off the front of the break and now the lone leader. 13km to go as the sun beats down on the final stage of this year's Vuelta a Burgos.
Nice little lead for our lone leader with the rest of the break swallowed up by the peloton with 11.6km to go. Still those two final climbs to come...
Jumbo, Movistar and Trek now come to the front. Ineos are there too for Carapaz.
Caught and all back together now with 10.5km to go as we start to climb.
The road starts to climb and we're already down to just 40 or 50 riders with 9.4km to go.
Bahrain step on the gas once more with Landa neatly tucked in at the end of their train. 8.3km to go on this penultimate climb.
The pace is so high at the moment that there's no chance to even try and attack.
Now it's Mitchelton's turn and their increase in speed sees another batch of riders dropped.
5km to go and landa has his men move back to the front and line out the leaders. Evenepoel looks good and is just in fourth wheel.
Riders , one after another, are being dropped by the peloton. It's complete carnage at the moment but they can't get rid of Evenepoel.
Attack and Landa is going clear with just one rider with 3.9km to go but Mitchelton are chasing as Valverde goes backwards.
Landa has been caught but there are less than a dozen riders left as Jumbo Visma set the pace for Bennett.
Dunbar has been dropped.
Landa goes again and it's just Kuss that goes with him but now he's dropped and 3.5km to go and Landa is out of the saddle and going clear.
Landa only has a few seconds and it's not going to be enough at this stage to take the race lead.
Landa started the day 35 seconds down on GC but Mitchelton have him at about 5 seconds.
2.9km to go and Evenepoel looks goo for the GC at the moment.
Landa is caught and we have just Sosa, Chaves, Landa and Evenepoel left. Bennett has cracked.
Landa continues to tap out the pace for the four leaders but he needs to do more of he wants to move up and then threaten and with 2.3km to go he attacks again and Chaves pops. Just three left.
Evenepoel now hits the front and set the pace. He has this in the bag if he can keep Landa under control.
And now 1.4km to and Evenepoel attacks. Incredible.
They cannot respond but the Landa drags Sosa and back with him. He is racing for second on GC.
Mitchelton are leading a chase a few seconds back but Landa is now back on the front and leading Evenepoel and Sosa, who hasn't been on the front even once.
The leading trio have 26 seconds with 700m to go.
Put now Sosa puts in a massive attack and the others cannot follow. Evenepoel is cracking too.
Landa tries to go with him but he can't. Sosa is heading for the stage win unless Landa can find something.
Evenepoel is losing ground but he should have enough left in the tank.
Sosa takes the stage win for Team Ineos.
Landa comes over the line and takes second on the stage. Has he done enough to take second on GC? I think so.
And Evenepoel takes third on the stage and the GC.
Landa only picked up two seconds at the finish. So Evenepoel seals the GC win. Impressive ride from the young Belgian.
We're just waiting on final results but you can find our brief report, results and photos from the stage, right here.
On GC Landa has indeed finished second, with Evenepoel's teammate João Almeida taking third overall. He put in a huge effort on that climb to leave Bennett and Chaves in the dust.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ivan Sosa (Col) Team Ineos||3:47:56|
|2||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:09|
|3||Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:00:11|
|4||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:00:38|
|5||Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:43|
|6||Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:44|
|7||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:58|
|8||Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:02|
|9||Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:10|
|10||David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:12|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||19:14:42|
|2||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:30|
|3||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:01:12|
|4||Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:26|
|5||George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma||0:01:40|
|6||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Team Ineos||0:01:58|
|7||Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:02:25|
|8||David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates||0:02:34|
|9||Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:02:36|
|10||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||0:03:00|
There are the results for stage 5 and the overall standings at the conclusion of the race.
Looks like I jinxed Aru by mentioning him earlier. He fell outside of the top 10 on the stage and the GC. Bennett and Chaves, they had no answer when Landa and Evenepoel attacked either.
No spoilers but over in the women's Strade Bianche race we had a winner (obvs). If you want to know who won, click here.
That's almost all we've got time for today from Burgos. It's been a welcome return to racing for a number of teams, especially QuickStep, who took two stages and the overall in the race. The hype around Evenepoel will only increase as we head towards the Giro d'Italia later in the year.
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