Welcome to live coverage of the Vuelta a Espana stage 5 from Rota to Alcalá de Guadaíra.
Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending where you are in the world. The riders are already underway with the peloton making its journey through the neutralised zone. Racing should begin any moment.
191 riders took to the start this morning, which means that there have been no abandons over night.
Today's stage should be relatively straightforward for the peloton - like we ever get any of those these days. There is a sting in the tail with the uphill finish, which should see John Degenkolb and Peter Sagan going head to head.
The flag has been dropped for racing and there are already attacks coming off the front. Tsgabu Grmay of Lampre-Merida didn't need to be asked twice. Unfortunately the move didn't stick.
A quick reminder of how things went down yesterday. Alejandro Valverde out-kicked Peter Sagan in the uphill finish to Vejer de la Frontera. Here are the top 10 standings from yesterday's stage.
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 5:07:30
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
5 José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
Grmay has continued to push on in his attack and he now holds a minute on the peloton. Is he going to get some company or will he have to spend the whole day out on his own?
Today's stage shouldn't see any real changes to the overall standings. Esteban Chaves is still 5 seconds ahead of Tom Dumoulin at the top and we should see the Colombian in the red jersey for at least another day. Here is how things stand at the start of today's racing.
1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 13:11:31
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:05
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:15
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:24
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:28
6 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:35
7 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:36
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
9 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:40
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:47
Grmay remains out there alone and the peloton seem happy to let him at it. The Lampre rider has two minutes on the peloton after 10 kilometres of racing.
This year's Vuelta is Grmay's second time at a Grand Tour. The Ethiopian time trial and road champion moved from MTN-Qhubeka to Lampre-Merida last winter and has ridden the Giro d'Italia already this season. Grmay is also the African continental time trial champion.
Vincenzo Nibali might have left the race three days ago but he's still making headlines. In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport today, Nibali hit back at his critics. He also said that he's looking to get back to racing as soon as possible but he first needs permission from the Vuelta organisers ASO and the UCI. Read Nibali's full comments here.
The Cyclingnews team discussed Nibali's disqualification in the latest episode of the Cyclingnews Podcast, plus a whole lot more. You can listen to the podcast here and if you want to make sure that you get the latest episodes first then subscribe to the podcast on itunes.
148km remaining from 167km
Grmay's gap has dropped below the minute mark after 18km. It's a bridgeable gap, so let's see if he can get some company for the day.
@Col_Coldeportes Wed, 26th Aug 2015 12:12:15
Grmay's solo bid had expended to a trio of escapees. Iljo Keisse (Etixx-QuickStep) and Antoine Duchesne (Europcar) have jumped across with 19 kilometres of racing done.
With two more on the breakaway bandwagon the gap extends to just over a minute.
Antoine Duchessne is the only rider in this escape not to have ridden a Grand Tour up until this point. With his team dropping down to Pro Continental this season, they decided not to ride the Giro d'Italia and he missed a spot on the Tour team. This is, in fact, the 23-year-old's debut Grand Tour after joining Europcar last year.
Good news for Duchesne is that his team manager Jean-Rene Bernuadaeu has said that the team is safe for next year. He didn't elaborate any further, however.
The gap is growing at a great rate. The three out front now hold a 4:14 advantage over the peloton after 30 kilometres.
Yesterday's stage saw a crash with just over 30 kilometres remaining, which caught out a number of riders including Ben King. Live footage showed a man jumping on his bike but it turns out that someone also stole his Garmin power meter during the incident. You can read about it here
129km remaining from 167km
The gap to the escapees continues to grow and the leading trio have 6:40 on the bunch behind.
Iljo Keisse is the most experienced of the escapees after turning professional way back in 2005. Today is not expected to be one for the escapees but remember that he won the final stage of the Giro d'Italia so don't count it out. Keisse's biggest achievements come on the track with multiple victories at the Gent Six Day.
Giant-Alpecin are controlling things on the front of the bunch as the gap goes out to 7:20. Giant are looking to John Degenkolb for today's finish. After missing out at the Tour de France, he'll be keen to take a stage of the Vuelta.
Fancy looking at some bikes while the riders settle in for the day? Take a look our extensive gallery from the team time trial last weekend.
There was some other tech news today with the unveiling of the SRAM Red eTap. At over £2,000 it's not cheap, but it is free to look at it here.
It remains to be seen if Peter Sagan will go all the way to Madrid or drop out early to prepare for the World Championships but if he does stick it all the way, he's made some good inroads into the points jersey. After a victory and second yesterday, he leads the way by 10 points over Alejandro Valverde. He could extend his advantage at the finish today.
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 45 pts
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 35
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 31
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 30
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 23
6 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 23
7 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 23
8 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 20
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 17
10 José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 16
112km remaining from 167km
Giant-Alpecin have brought the gap back a little bit the three escapees still have over seven minutes on the bunch.
The finish is not just uphill, it also twists a little and won't be simple. Former rider Juan Antonio Flecha posted this picture of the run to the line earlier on twitter.
@TrekFactory Wed, 26th Aug 2015 13:19:14
Orica-GreenEdge are have dual targets today with the leader's jersey to look after and a shot at the stage win with Caleb Ewan. As Orica DS Neil Stephen's explains, the red jersey takes priority.
"The most important thing for us is the jersey, not the stage win. Of course we have it at the back of our mind that Caleb must acquire experience. This year, his goal was to win races and he did, a lot. He came to the Vuelta to gain in experience and to understand what remains to be done, for instance to go up the climbs with the rest of the bunch, knowing that in the future he will have to go over the hills and go on to win. About the controversy over his so-called dangerous way of riding, it's ridiculous. They said the same about Bouhanni before him."
@Plastic_Peloton Wed, 26th Aug 2015 13:22:39
93km remaining from 167km
As we approach the halfway point, the escapees' advantage has fallen to 5:46.
Trek Factory Racing have confirmed that Ryder Hesjedal will be moving to the team for next season for next season.
Hesjedal won a stage of the Vuelta to La Camperona. He's not here this season but Cannondale-Garmin do have Andrew Talansky and Dan Martin.
The three leaders are making their way through the mixed zone. The gap is likely to increase when the bunch goes through but they are currently just over five minutes up the road.
We mentioned Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb as potential winners today but there are others who could get in there for the victory. The climb isn't as steep but Alejandro Valverde shouldn't be discounted. Nacer Bouhanni, Matteo Pelucchi and Boy van Poppel are also outsiders for this stage.
Trek Factory Racing also have the young Jasper Stuyven, who had this to say at the start. "The team is going to ride for me today. We looked at the finish and it's pretty hard, probably too hard for Danny (Van Poppel). I'm the kind of sprinter who likes a tough finish in the Degenkolb type. If we manage to have a train in the finale, I will be led out by Popo(vych), Boy and Danny. My form has been good since the Eneco Tour and it's been going well since," he told the Lavuelta.com website.
With just under 70 kilometres to go, the gap has stopped coming down quite as quickly and the advantage of the three escapees stabilises at 5:05.
If you'd like some audio to accompany as you follow this stage live then why not listen to the Cyclingnews podcast.
Away from the Vuelta and some riders we might see on the start list in the future at the Tour de l'Avenir. Mads Wurtz Schmidt had made it four wins out five for the Danish team there.
Giant-Alpecin continue to drill it on the front of the bunch. They've done the lion's share of the work at the head of the peloton, muhc to the delight of Orica-GreenEdge. Their efforts have brought the gap down to 4:35 with 60 kilometres remaining.
If you missed it earlier today, Vincenzo Nibali hit back at his critics in an interview with the Italian press after his disqualification from the Vuelta last Saturday.
There is still the intermediate sprint to think about for the riders. The sprint comes as the riders pass through Sevilla at kilometre 142. It is right after a tight right-hand bend, which could cause some problems for anyone hoping to take points and bonus seconds.
Chris Froome back in the cars after a mechanical problem. He sits behind the Tinkoff-Saxo car for a little while before the car pulls over to the side of the road. He's about 35 seconds behind the bunch at the moment.
Froome has Puccio and Knees with him for some help and AG2R's Kadri jumps onto the back of the Sky train.
Froome has made it back onto the peloton and his Sky team have sent a few more riders back to help him up to the front. No panic for Froome with the pace of the peloton not too high at the moment.
Peter Sagan's Tinkoff-Saxo team are keeping themselves out of the wind for now. He's in with a shot at victory again today. The Slovakian joked this morning that all of the pre-stage meetings begin with the phrase, this is a good day for Peter. Here's what his DS Tristan Hoffman had to say.
"We're happily surprised by Peter's form. And we even think he's not 100 %. Today again we're going to work for him hoping that others will help us as we have been the only team working so far in this Vuelta and we need to spare the boys for our other objectives. Today is a stage that suits Peter ideally but he went really deep yesterday. He was second but he was not disappointed. The first thing he said when he came into the bus was: 'Hey! I'm a climber now!'"
@tweetingashley Wed, 26th Aug 2015 14:38:17
42km remaining from 167km
The breakaway is working well together but they can do nothing to stop the peloton from coming back to them. With 42km to go they have 3:16.
Unsurprisingly, the average speed is rising as the peloton approach the finale. It is now a pretty quick 49.3kph.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 26th Aug 2015 14:42:02
Mountains jersey leader Omar Fraile is doing a turn on the front. The Caja-Rural team will be hoping that Carlos Barbero can turn out the victory today. He's had a strong later half of the season after taking a stage win at the Vuelta a Burgos.
30km remaining from 167km
Caja-Rural's turn on the front is doing some damage on the advantage. The three escapees have just 2:13 on the bunch. They could be caught before this intermediate sprint, which is in 12 kilometres time.
Vincenzo Nibali has decided to keep a low profile after the controversy of this week and he's shut down his twitter profile. He told Cyclingnews that the abuse he received on the social media site made him angry. Read the full story here.
23km remaining from 167km
The panic looks like it's settling into the break a little and they've visibly upped the pace. The peloton are still just over two minutes behind.
Lots of teams moving to the front with the intermediate sprint just four kilometres away. Cofidis, Astana, Tinkoff-Saxo have all moved to the front. Giving Giant-Alpecin a bit of a rest.
Duchesne has gone up the road, leaving his two escape companions behind. Keisse looks at Grmay but the Ethiopian doesn't want to help Keisse is going to have to do all the work if he wants to pull this one back.
Keisse has brought Duchesne back and it's three all together at the front once again. Grmay still sitting on the back. Is he tired or is he planning something?
Duchesne has been pretty active in the past few kilometres. He's keen for these points at the sprint but Keisse makes his own attack and distances the other two.
16km remaining from 167km
Keisse takes the full compliment of points and three bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. The peloton are just 1:34 behind now.
Keisse has decided to go it alone can he hold the bunch off today?
Keisse has previous with attacks like this. He took a surprise win on the final stage of the Giro d'Italia this year and a heartstopping win at the Tour of Turkey in 2012 despite crashing and dropping his chain.
Tinkoff-Saxo have amassed on the front of the bunch. Grmay and Duchesne has a slim margin over them but Keisse continues alone with a 1:20 gap.
Duchesne and Keisse have been caught and it's just Keisse on his own. He's still got 12km to go and the gap is just over a minute.
Keisse is into the final 10 kilometres. There are some lumps and bumps before the final little climb to the finish. His advantage has gone down to just 30seconds.
It doesn't look like Keisse will be able to hold it. He's looking over his shoulder and he can sense the pack are close.
Movistar are coming to the front to help Tinkoff-Saxo and its all over for Keisse with just under nine kilometres remaining.
Katusha also making their presence felt. Are they just working to keep Rodríguez safe or do they think he has a shot today? It's not out of the question.
There was a bit of a lull in the peloton after they caught Keisse but the speed is really turning up with 6 kilometres remaining. MTN-Qhubeka have joined the party at the front.
5km remaining from 167km
There are plenty of roundabouts to contend with in this run in and the peloton is really strung out as they navigate the road furniture.
We've got three or four trains forming on the front of the peloton, The group is using the whole road at the moment.
3km remaining from 167km
There is a small decent towards the finale where we might see someone trying to make a late solo break but the pace is really high and it's going to be hard to break free.
Orica-GreenEdge come to the front with 2km to go. They have kept Chaves safe and now they're working for Ewan now.
Cofidis are all over the place and they don't seems to be able to form a train right now.
Orica lead onto this final climb with Sagan sitting on the back.
Sagan now second rider on the road and Giant Alpecin have disappeared.
Degenkolb is now on the front but Ewan passes him
It was Degenkolb that begun the sprint but Ewan just blew passed him. What a big win for the young Australian.
Sagan had no response to the pace of Ewan and Degenkolb. He finished third with Drucker crossing the line in fourth.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 26th Aug 2015 15:38:06
It was a clever sprint from Ewan. He wheel hopped until he fond the right moment to go. John Degenkolb perhaps going a little too early.
@petercossins Wed, 26th Aug 2015 15:41:07
Confirmation of the GC classification has come through and it looks like Chaves has unexpectedly lost the red jersey. Tom Dumoulin now holds the lead by a single second.
Here is confirmation of how things finished on today's stage.
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
3 Peter Sagan (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
4 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
9 Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx-Quickstep
Caleb Ewan's teammate Mitch Docker spoke after crossing the line. He had this to say about Ewan. "He’s just brand new at a grand tour and he showed that he is ready for the next step it’s amazing."
A little more from Docker at the finish. Sounds like they're going to have a good old knees up this evening.
“There two stages for him here at the Vuelta and he wanted to make amends for missing out the other day. The last part of the stage was very hard but the final was very smooth after some great work for the team. We’ll have lots of champagne tonight!”
Tom Dumoulin is up on the podium to take his red jersey. Here's how the standings look after that stage.
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 17:09:06
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 00:00:01
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 00:00:16
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:27
5 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:31
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 00:00:33
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:35
8 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:36
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:39
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:52
Peter Sagan looking pretty disappointed at the finish and he says he just didn't have the legs in the finale. The Slovakian says that perhaps he gave to much in yesterday's stage.
Tom Dumoulin says that he was on his way to the team bus after the stage when he found out he would be in the red jersey. This is a great result for the Dutchman, especially considering the Vuelta is his first race back since crashing out of the Tour de France.
Tomorrow's stage is going to be a tougher prospect for the riders with a summit finish on the third category Alto de Cazorla. Take a look at our stage preview here.
Stage winner Caleb Ewan had this to say after stepping on the podium: "It was super tough up there. I didn’t realise it was going to be so hard but my team put me in a perfect position coming into the climb and I started the climb at front. My teammate went to the front but I knew it was a little early, so I dropped back a few spots onto Degenkolb’s wheel. He went at probably the right time but I waited and waited, and then got over him on the last steep bit. It turned out perfect.
“It’s an incredible feeling. This is by far the biggest victory of my career. When I crossed the line there was so much emotion, I was so happy. It means a lot to me to beat two of the best sprinters in the world and that finish really suited them and they’re strong. I knew it would be tough to beat them but I felt good and my team did an awesome job and delivered me perfectly."
Tom Dumoulin: “I think I delayed the podium ceremony because I was already on my way to the team bus and drinking from my recovery bottle. Then I heard on the radio that I had the red jersey. It was really not the plan today because I was helping John Degenkolb for the sprint. That didn’t work out and so I was a bit pissed after the finish but now I’m here in the leader’s jersey. It’s great! After my crash in the Tour de France, it’s something It’s great to wear the leader’s jersey.”
“I’m going to defend it for sure. It’s a nice surprise, an unexpected surprise. We’re going to try to defend it as long as possible. I won’t give it up without a fight. We’ll see how long I can keep it. There’s a time trial after the second rest day and that was my main goal for this Vuelta but first I’m trying to enjoy and defend this jersey.”
At 21 years and 46 days, Caleb Ewan is the youngest Vuelta stage winner in the past 30 years.
Peter Sagan: “It was a technical, hard sprint and so perfect for me. But today I didn’t have good legs. I had a perfect position from the last corner but I messed up the sprint and that was my fault. I can only thank the team because they did a good job and put me in the perfect position. But maybe I tried too hard to keep up yesterday and lost a bit today. But everything can happen, the Vuelta is still long.
“Unfortunately every stage seems suits me and so I can only try. I won one stage and so I had nothing to lose.
“For sure the heat is not good for me. I think tomorrow won’t be an easy day but I’ll try to save some energy for the next few days.
We've got an extensive gallery from today's stage plus a full report. You can find it all here and full results will be on their way very soon.
@Etixx_QuickStep Wed, 26th Aug 2015 16:22:44
@BenKing89 Wed, 26th Aug 2015 16:26:59
That is it from us today. Tune in tomorrow for full coverage of stage 6 and stick with Cyclingnews for all the reaction from today's stage.
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