Welcome to live coverage of stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana
Hello and welcome to our live coverage today. We're just 10 minutes away from the roll out this morning. All the riders starting have signed on and are making their way to the start line.
One rider that isn't on the start line is John Degenkolb. The German has been suffering with bronchitis for a few days and was forced to call it quits. It's the first time since 2013 that he's had to leave a Grand Tour early. His teammate Alberto Contador is currently suffering from stomach problems. Not good all around for the Trek-Segafredo team really. Read the full story here.
Matteo Trentin won yesterday's stage, making him one of a select group of riders that has won a stage in all three of the Grand Tours at some point in his career. This is how the stage finished yesterday.
1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 4:43:57
2 Juan José Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
3 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
4 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7 Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
8 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
9 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
10 Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
Chris Froome got himself into the mix at the finish yesterday to make sure that he didn't give away a single second in the overall classification. He remains at the top of the standings with a two-second advantage over David de la Cruz.
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 13:37:41
2 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:02
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:10
6 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:11
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:38
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:39
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:48
10 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
The riders have set off into the neutralised section. It's a long one today and it'll be almost 20 minutes before the racing proper begins.
Esteban Chaves talking to the press ahead of the start. Chaves was the only rider who was able to stick with the initial attack from Chris Froome on Monday and seems to be going quite well thus far.
Today should be an interesting day. Looking at the parcours, which you can see above, there is ample opportunity for a breakaway to take something home at the end of the day. Thanks to the team time trial and early mountain stage, there are plenty of riders who could get into a move without threatening the lead.
While the day could be one for the break, there should still be plenty of action between the general classification riders. As we saw with the standings a little earlier, there is very little covering the top 6 riders. There are bonus seconds available if the break doesn't stay away, but there is also a very steep climb to the finish that could put a few in trouble. Froome staying in red today is not a foregone conclusion.
The official information on the Vuelta website hides the true nature of the final climb. It has the Ermita Sta. Lucía. Alcossebre as a 3.2km climb that averages 4.2% but information elsewhere has the ascent with a much punchier average of 8% with ramps of up to 18% on several sections. It should be a corker anyway.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 11:15:48
The flag has been dropped for racing proper. We wait and see who can make it into today's break. There are a few flat kilometres to start but the road rises quickly after the 16km mark for the first categorised climb of the day.
Francisco Giner, the technical director of the Vuelta a Espana, has had this to say about today's stage.
"It's a beautiful place. We go there for the first time ever. It's an explosive climb with 3km at an average gradient of about 9%, with slopes of 19% at some point. I think it's a nice hard stage, that offers ground for attacks with many climbs and winding roads on the way to the finish. And then the finish is really nice. It's a beautiful touristic place where we want to put on a show."
Nine riders have gone up the road after seven kilometres of racing. The pace is very high at the moment but they have 26 seconds on the bunch.
We'll bring you names as we get them, but is appears that Luis Mas Bonet was the instigator of the move.
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Marc Soler (Movistar) and David Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) are also among the riders at the head of proceedings. Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobón) complete the nine out front.
There are seven riders trying to bridge the gap to the leaders. They are 20 back on the nine-man group, who now has a 1:10 advantage on the peloton.
The leaders are already onto the first climb of the day.
The gap to the peloton has increased to 2:10 while the chasers still hover around 20 seconds behind the nine leaders. There is disagreement at the moment regarding how many riders are in that chase group. It is either 5 or 7, but we'll confirm that when we get the names of all the riders in the move. Schwarzmann and Saez are reportedly in there.
The chasers have made contact with the leading group, making that 16 riders up front. They have a 1:22 advantage over the peloton.
The riders in that leading group are as follows: Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors), Rubén Fernandez and Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Valerio Agnoli (Bahrain-Merida), Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas and Hector Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobón)
Katusha already has one rider in that group but it is Marco Haller, who is unlikely to fare too well on some of these ascents, so Mamykin has now set off in chance. He is at 1:15 while the peloton is back at 2:10.
The gap to the peloton is growing and is almost at three minutes. Mamykin continues to plug along in no-man's land for now. He's got the gap down to 32 seconds.
Villella takes the full points at the top of that first climb to increase his lead in the mountains classification. He takes five points, with Mas getting three behind him and Lutsenko pocketing a single point.
It is hot out there today, as one would expect at the Vuelta a Espana. Bahrain-Merida are ready with the ice to keep their bidons nice and cool. A lukewarm bidon isn't nice for anyone.
Alaphilippe said he wasn't quite 100 per cent as he recovers from an injury earlier in the season, but he must fancy his chances today with that uphill finale. He struggled on stage 3 but the competition is very different today so it'll be interesting to see how he goes.
Mountains classification leader Villella could be a threat to Alaphilippe as could Mas and Kudus. Soler is surely the favourite out of that group, however, given his past climbing performances. He's now got the help of Ruben Fernandez in that group too. If he doesn't have to drop back for Nibali, then Agnoli is also one to watch.
Mamykin has finally caught up with the leaders. No time to take a breather as they race towards the second climb of the day. We can throw Mamykin into the mix of potential winners today.
138km remaining from 175km
Team Sky hasn't let this move get totally off the leash and they're keeping the 17 men at a gap of 3:15 for now. That may have something to do with Jetse Bol, who is only 4:56 behind Froome in the overall standings and is the best placed of the escapees.
As Team Sky stretch the bunch out while keeping this break close by, Przemyslaw Niemiec has a crash in the peloton.
The official website reports that Haller actually dropped back to help Mamykin make the gap to the escapees. Sensible from Katusha because Mamykin has a much better chance of getting a good result from that move than Haller, who is more used to working in the lead-out on the flat days.
Team Sky is still bringing the gap down ever so slightly. They're not going to let the leaders run away with this and are likely to keep them at close quarters until they're happy Bol is not a threat to the race lead.
A sizable 43.1km was covered in the first hour of racing. It has been a very fast pace thus far and the advantage for the escapees has been reduced to just 2:35.
Every second counts has been the approach to racing from Team Sky at this year's Vuelta a Espana. Chris Froome nabbed bonus seconds on stage 3 to help put him in red and he got into the mix in the sprint yesterday to avoid losing any time. After the stage, he said that the three-second rule should be applied on flat stages. The rule was trialed during the Tour de France. You can read the full story here.
Froome's little foray as a sprinter didn't go down too well with some of the actual sprinters. Lotto-Soudal's Jens Debusschere said that he was almost taken out by the Team Sky riders. You can read his comments here, along with an injury update on Domenico Pozzovivo and more, in our latest edition of news shorts.
The leaders are onto the second ascent of the day, the Alto de Cabanes. The gap remains at around 2:45.
Robert Gesink has been lending his moral support to the LottoNL-Jumbo team. He has paid a visit to the Vuelta with some snazzy back support gear on show. He's still in a brace as he recovers from the crash he had on stage 9 of the Tour de France, which resulted in a broken back.
@TourDeJose Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 12:46:50
Villella once again takes the top points on the climb with Mas behind him and Lutsenko in third. Team Sky has relented the leash a little bit and allowed the escapees a gap of 3:17 on the peloton.
This was the mountains classification at the start of the day. Villella now has 20 points after the first two climbs of the day.
1 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 12 pts
2 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 10
3 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 10
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 5
5 Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates 4
6 Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 4
7 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 3
8 Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 3
9 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 3
10 Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 2
Domenico Pozzovivo had a bit of a mixed day yesterday. He crashed and lost time in the finale, but soon after the stage his move to Bahrain-Merida was announced. The Italian will get some of his own chances, but he will also ride for Vincenzo Nibali at races. "To think we used to be rivals when we were young," Pozzovivo said about the thought of racing for Nibali rather than against. Read the full story here.
102km remaining from 175km
Team Sky is still controlling the bunch, but they have allowed the leaders a bit more space. 3:23 is the latest gap as the riders approach the 100km to go mark.
The next climb of the day is quickly approaching. It will arrive in about 12km. It is a 4.6km ascent with an average of 7.6%. It is only second cat but it is a tough enough climb.
It is Ian Stannard on the front of the bunch with Christian Knees behind him. Stannard has just extended his contract with Team Sky, which you can read about here. Stannard was due to ride the Tour de France for the team, but illness meant that they decided not to bring him along. He's been making up for it and then some at the Vuelta, doing a lot of the grunt work in the early stages.
Alexis Gougeard is the only rider in the leading group that has won an individual stage of a Grand Tour. The Frenchman, who was a last-minute addition to the AG2R La Mondiale team, won a stage of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana.
Valerio Agnoli has a couple of Grand Tour wins to his name, but they have both come in team time trials. He was part of the Liquigas team that won the team time trials at the 2008 Vuelta and 2010 Giro.
Jelle Wallays has had another tumble as the riders pass through the feed zone. Wallays came down hard in yesterday's frantic finale. It looks like he's ruined another jersey and taken off a bit more skin. It looks like Thomas De Gendt got caught up in that, but he doesn't seem too badly damaged.
Villella has moved to the front of the breakaway as they make their way up this climb. He's hunting this next selection of points available in the mountains classification.
1.4km to the top of this climb, the 17 leaders now have 3:47 over the Team Sky-led peloton.
Wallays has paid a visit to the medical car for a few more plasters and bandages. Let's hope that is the last of his crashes at the Vuelta.
Mas tries to surprise Villella at the KOM but the Cannondale-Drapac rider is wise to him and he out guns him to the line to add some more points to his growing tally.
As the peloton continues to much on their lunch, the gap grows to 4:33 for the escapees. Bol is close to being the virtual leader.
It is once again very hot out there today. The hot weather is one of the reasons that teams have designed some special edition jerseys for the hot weather. White is believed to be better in the hot conditions while in Team Sky's Tour jersey, the dye contained material to help protect the riders from sunburn. Read the full story here.
David de la Cruz has had a mechanical issue and is being guided back to the peloton by Tim Declerq - with a small bit of assistance from the team car. De la Cruz is 45 seconds back on the peloton.
De la Cruz is back in the caravan but there is still a way back into the peloton.
Haller had a little dig off the front of the leader's group, but he was quickly swept back up. Not entirely sure what that was about.
68km remaining from 175km
The leaders are approaching the penultimate climb of the day. On the climbs earlier in the day, the break has been happy to work together but we might see some attempts to break things up here with it cresting out 50km from the finish. It would take a brave rider to try and go solo from here though.
De la Cruz is back in the bunch and almost up to the front not far behind the Team Sky riders. He'll be happy he made it back before the next climb.
@Lotto_Soudal Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 14:06:59
While today's stage looked like a good one for the breakaway. Chris Froome hinted ahead of the stage that he and the team might be interested in fighting it out for the win and the bonuses on offer.
“After seeing some videos of today's final, I'm sure it will be very selective. Some ramps of 20% after two hard days of racing are going to produce some time gaps. Potentially, it would be interesting to fight for the time bonuses. It will depend on how selective the start will be and how hard we have to control the race," Froome told Lavuelta.com.
The leaders are onto the Alto de la Serratella. It is a 13.2km ascent and has a maximum gradient of 20 per cent.
The KOMs haven't been very contested much thus far with Villella only having to contend with Mas in the search for points. He might find he has a little more competition on this climb as we see more riders showing their face at the front.
And we have our first attack and it look like Ruben Fernandez. Villella is quick to follow and he brings most of the break back up to him.
Fernandez goes again and it's doing some damage. Villella and Mas respoond with Agnoli and pass him though and he's being forced to chase them down.
There are now some big splits in the breakaway as Mas now attacks. There's still 8.2km to the top of the climb.
58km remaining from 175km
Saez and Schwarzmann have been dropped by the repeated attacks.
Still 15 riders left in that front group, only those two have lost contact thus far. Sky continues to set the pace in the peloton with no help from anyone at the moment.
56km remaining from 175km
The surges in pace has helped to increase the leader's margin over the peloton to 4:32. 6.2km to the top of the climb.
There is a decent wind blowing across the climb. It will only make an already difficult stage a little more challenging. Villella leading the way up the climb at the moment. He's keeping a watchful eye on the rest of the bunch, particularly Lluis Mas.
Julian Alaphilippe is sitting quietly at the back of the breakaway group. He's kept pretty quiet so far today, not getting involved in any of the games and could have some fresher legs when it comes to the crunch.
Soler is only a few places ahead of Alaphilippe int hat move. He has the advantage of a teammate in Fernandez, who has already shaken the trees to see who falls out. The answer was Schwarzmann and Saez. Still plenty of competition in this 15-man group.
In the peloton, the large figure of Conor Dunne can be seen near the back with his teammate Aaron Gate. Dunne is the tallest rider at the Vuelta at 6ft 8. I'd need to stand on a chair to see eye to eye with him.
As the leaders approach the top of the climb, their advantage has stretched out to 4:44. Less than a kilometre to the top of the climb.
Despite the attacks earlier in the climb, Villella is allowed to go over the climb first and take maximum points for the mountains classification. Meanwhile, Soler calls for the team car.
46km remaining from 175km
Confirmation of how things played out on that climb, Villella took top spot with Mas in second. Mamykin crossed over in third. His teammate Marco Haller has attacked on the descent.
Not surprising to see someone like Haller having a go off the front. He needs a good advantage if he wants to get up that final climb first. It is likely to be a move to set up Mamykin though, rather than Haller trying for victory.
Three riders set off in chase of Haller, but they have been brought back. The Austrian is not too far up the road as it rises briefly again.
42km remaining from 175km
Haller has 12 seconds on the chasing group. He would need a much larger gap than that for any hope of a win with that finishing climb in mind. It's brutal.
Bol drops back from the leading group to get to the team car. He waves the camera bike out of the way. He stands to make the most if this breakaway works out today.
The chase behind Haller isn't working at the moment and the Katusha rider has extended his gap to 29 seconds. He is 4:49 ahead of the peloton too. Some riders having to dig deep to keep in touch with this chasing group.
A few riders have now shot off the front of this chasing group, fed up of the lack of cohesion. It looks like one is Mohoric. The other appears to be Mas, but it is hard to tell as the TV bikes can get nowhere near the riders on this fast descent.
Haller looks like he's on rails on this descent. He's not giving anything away, but it's very smooth for now. He's pushed out the gap to the peloton to over five minutes for the first time today. The latest gap to the chasers is unknown but it appears to be over 20 seconds.
Haller is almost at the bottom of the descent and he's got just 10 seconds on the chasers. It's actually Lutsenko with Mohoric (blue and green look the same from so far away) who are almost with Haller.
Lutsenko and Mohoric are now with Haller. He'll probably be thankful for the company. They have 25 seconds on the chasers with the peloton at 5:28. That means that Bol is the virtual leader at the moment.
With this gap suddenly going up above the five-minute mark, it looks almost certain that the win will come from the breakaway. It's just a question as to who it is that takes it.
A short surge from Lutsenko has shed Mohoric from this leading trio. Remember, Lutsenko went on that break on the Izoard at the Tour de France, but was eventually caught and passed by Warren Barguil, and finished almost three minutes down in the end.
@Lotto_Soudal Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 15:04:33
26km remaining from 175km
Lutsenko is trying to get Haller to do some work but Haller is concerned with his teammate Mamykin and doesn't want to. The main group of chasers are now 55 seconds behind Lutsenko and Haller.
In that leading pair, you would bet on Lutsenko taking the win, so it's no wonder that Katusha has asked Haller not to work with him. The gap to the peloton has gone up to 6:14 and it's quickly growing.
At this rate, it is entirely possible that Bol could take red at the end of the day, but that depends on how quickly the finish is raced by the group of favourites.
22km remaining from 175km
Mas has attacked from the bunch but he is brought back and Alaphilippe has a turn. The gap is coming down as they organise the chase properly.
Soler has come with him and Alaphilippe makes sure that he puts in some work.
Kudus is the rider trying to chase down Soler and Alaphilippe. He has Gougeard in his wheel with Villella and Maison a little further behind.
Alaphilippe's initial attack has done some serious damage. Gougeard is trying to keep up the pace as a four-man group forms the chase. Maison has been dropped as he struggles to keep up. The gap to the two leaders is just 30 seconds.
Bol has been dropped somewhere along the line during that flurry of attacks. No indication as to how far back he is but it seems like it could be over a minute already.
Mohoric is still in the middle of all of this and should soon be caught by group three.
18km remaining from 175km
Meanwhile, the gap to the peloton is close to 7 minutes.
Haller's obviously heard the news that Mamykin has been dropped and he's now helping Lutsenko with the workload.
Mohoric has been caught by the Alaphilippe group. They are still 26 seconds behind Lutsenko and Haller.
Alaphilippe is very animated in this chase. He's making sure everybody pulls their weight. The gap is still 26 seconds.
On the flat, this five-man chasing group will have a challenge catching the leaders, but they are stronger climbers so still stand a chance. On this long, straight road, the third group in the road is also visible behind. It could yet come back together.
We get our first sighting of the peloton in quite some time. Puccio is riding on the front for Team Sky with Quick-Step the second team in the bunch. They're taking it relatively easy at the moment.
11km remaining from 175km
Gougeard and Kudus have gone off the front of this chase group. In the background, Alaphilippe is having a go at Soler and Mohoric for not helping him chase. Soler has come to the front now for a brief moment.
With just 11km to go, Gougeard and Kudus are just 14 seconds behind Haller and Lutsenko. They are increasing their gap on the Alaphilippe group.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 15:17:42
Just six kilometres to the final climb and the gap between the first two groups has extended to 20 seconds. There is a bit of wind, which is making this chase a little harder.
7km remaining from 175km
This is a very cagey affair. Lutsenko and Haller are extending their gap, but it's more than bridgeable for the riders behind.
It's hard to pick a winner as things stand. Kudus is probably the best climber in this bunch, but Lutsenko is handy and he obviously has an advantage. Haller doesn't really stand much of a chance, but stranger things have happened. Gougeard will struggle on some of the steeper ramps but you can't count him out.
4km remaining from 175km
Lutsenko and Haller are about to hit the climb. They have 30 seconds on the two riders behind. Will it be enough?
The peloton is now 7:14 back. The red jersey could change hands at the end of the day, but first we have the stage win to contend with.
The climb has begun for Lutsenko and Haller.
Lutsenko puts in a small dig and Haller immediately goes pop. It didn't take much to shed the big Austrian.
Kudus and Gougeard are now onto the climb. They are 38 seconds back on Lutsenko at the moment.
2km remaining from 175km
Lutsenko is just trying to grind this one out. He stays in the saddle and he's pushing out the gap to 44 seconds.
Kudus attacks and Gourgeard has no option but to let him go. What can Kudus do?
Kudus is bringing down the gap gradually. It's just 35 seconds now with a little over two kilometres to go.
1km remaining from 175km
Kudus has passed Haller but Lutsenko is now extending his lead. The steepest ramps are still to come so it's still to play for.
Lutsenko looks cool as a cucumber. He refuses to get out of the saddle as he just grinds a big gear. Kudus is a stark contrast with a high cadence and constantly out of the saddle.
The big gear is working for Lutsenko. He's holding Kudus off quite well for now. Meanwhile, BMC Racing has taken over the front of the peloton from Team Sky.
The peloton is on the climb. No sign of Chris Froome in there a the moment.
Lutsenko being cleared a path quite forcefully by the police on the side of the road. Lutsenko is into the final kilometre with a 30-second gap.
Kudus is closing the gap, but it seems like it could be too late.
Back in the peloton, Froome has finally made an appearance near the front as Rosa takes control for Team Sky.
This final kilometre is very tough and Lutsenko is really grinding away. The finish line is almost in sight.
A last little dig from Lutsenko and he wins stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana.
That is his first Grand Tour stage win after missing out at the Tour earlier in the year.
Moscon putting in a big effort in the group of favourites as he tries to burn off a few riders. Chaves is sitting in the Wheel of Froome with Contador just behind.
Contador has been suffering with stomach problems and he doesn't look his usual smooth self.
A few riders dropped including Kruijswijk.
Igor Anton also struggling off the back of the peloton.
Moscon moves off the front and Froome ups the pace.
Chaves was with Froome all the way as he was in Andorra. Contador initially struggled but is keeping tabs on the race leader. Van Garderen also in this reduced group.
It looks like De la Cruz has been dropped from this group.
Froome in his wheel and they cross the line together. Chaves. Vincenzo Nibali has lost quite a bit of time in that finish.
Michael Woods was in that Contador/Froome group. That was a very good ride from the Canadian.
We wait to see what that has done to the overall classification. There should be a few changes in the top 10.
@TrekSegafredo Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 15:53:05
@BMCProTeam Wed, 23rd Aug 2017 15:54:43
Romain Bardet was one of those that suffered a bit today. He lost about 50 seconds on Froome et all.
Froome has increased his lead ever so slightly in the overall classification. He has a positively cushy 10 second advantage on Tejay van Garderen, who has moved up to second overall. Esteban Chaves keeps the same gap of 11 seconds but has moved up to third. De la Cruz dropped to fifth place, while Michael Woods is in the top 10 at 1:13 behind Froome.
Jetse Bol didn't make it into red, but he has cut the gap to 2:29 and moved himself into the top 20.
The moment that Lutsenko won
This is how things played out on the stage with Lutsenko eventually beating Kudus by 42 seconds.
1 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 4:24:58
2 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data 0:00:42
3 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:56
4 Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:11
5 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:24
6 Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:37
7 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:40
8 Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon 0:02:04
9 Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:18
10 Jérémy Maison (Fra) FDJ 0:02:31
This is the effect the stage had on the overall classification.
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 18:07:10
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:10
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:11
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
5 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:23
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:36
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:49
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:50
9 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:01:09
10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:13
Froome and Team Sky have controlled things very well in this first week and Froome doesn't look like he's suffering too much from the fatigue of the Tour de France. Of course, there is still more than two weeks to come, that could still come to bite him.
Stage winner Alexey Lutsenko had this to say after the stage.
"In 2014 I did my first Vuelta and managed to get a second place, but this is the biggest win of my career, no doubt.
"It was very hard before the final climb, and we were a bit alone out there. Into the headwind we knew it would be tough, especially with lots of guys chasing behind. In the end it was a great stage for me, and I want to thank my teammates.
"I crashed at the Tour de France, and it was hard, but the team supported me, and I at home, carried on training, restarted quietly, and have been feeling better and better, and here I am.
Adam Yates has a trip to the podium. He is in the lead of the young rider classification. There is no jersey for this competition, but he gets a nice trophy at the end of each day.
Merhawi Kudus was oh so close to his first Grand Tour stage win. Despite missing out, he was quite pleased with how he performed on today's stage.
"Generally it was tough race. With the uphill finish it was quite hard to be in the break at the start. The last climb was steep and hard, especially after riding for four hours into a headwind and chasing the guys at the front. It was a super hard race.
"There was a lot of attacking before the climbs, most of which climb not steep enough for me, and there were teams who could play with two – if I followed the first guy then the other guy could attack.
"I’m really happy with second place, still. There are lots of opportunities to come. I’m really happy."
There are a few lumpy days to come but the next big challenge for the GC shouldn't be until stage 8 to Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior. Riders such as Nibali and Bardet will be hoping to find their climbing legs again before then. Contador will be happy with his ride today and will hopefully have fully recovered from whatever stomach problems have ailed him.
Tejay van Garderen continues to be quietly consistent without the pressure of nominated leader and Michael Woods put in a strong ride today. However, Esteban Chaves continues to look like Froome's biggest rival for the red jersey. He has so far stuck with him through the all the attacks and appears quite strong. Considering how differently their Tour de France was, the third week of the Vuelta will be very interesting indeed.
For today's report, results and a gallery click here.
You can find our post-stage quotes, right here.
Of the top 10, Nibali lost the most time today at 26 seconds, dropping one spot on the overall classification. De la Cruz lost 21 seconds and tumbled to 5th overall. Van Garderen and Chaves are the movers of the day, jumping two and three spots up, respectively.
We've got full results, lots of photos and Barry Ryan's full accounting of what happened in today's stage - be sure to read it here.
We will have news from Spain about Contador's big day, Tejay van Garderen's strong ride (no jinx!) and more - stay tuned!
Matej Mohoric, the U23 world champion in 2013, is still looking for his first big pro win. Here's what the UAE Team Emirates rider had to say about his attempt today:
“It was a very tough stage during a very warm day. I found myself in the breakaway at the start of the stage but unfortunately the stage was not well suited to my skill and characteristics. My strategy was to try and conserve as much energy as possible and to defend myself during the climbs. Towards the end of the stage I managed to be at the front of the split in the breakaway and tried to pace myself in the last climb to achieve the best result possible. Fourth is the best I could manage today, unfortunately I couldn’t get the win for the team. Fortunately for us there are many more stages where we can try for a stage win.”
Alberto Contador discusses his ride today vs. Andorra in our latest news article here.
Will Tejay van Garderen continue to fight for the Vuelta a Espana podium? Currently second overall at 10 seconds, the American has seemed to struggle with Grand Tours ever since he dropped out of the Tour de France while sitting third overall in 2015 on stage 16. His performances have been a far cry from the two 5th places in the Tour (2012, 2014) he earned earlier.
Alexis Gougeard missed a big chance today when Lutsenko got away, and says he regretted missing the move:
"It was not part of the plan today to be in the breakaway. But when I saw a large group take off, I thought to myself that we shouldn’t let it go without having a member of the team among the escapees.
"That finish didn’t really suit me, but my legs aren’t terrible at the moment. A finish with a false flat would have played more to my strengths.
"The final climb was not obvious with really steep gradients. I regret a little letting Lutsenko go, but it was a tactical choice, and those don’t always play out the way we plan. I have been feeling good the past few weeks, and those good sensations are being confirmed during this Vuelta. I certainly would like to take a stage victory.”
Thank you for following today's Vuelta stage with Cyclingnews. We'll be back again for the full length of Thursday's stage 6. Please join us then!
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