Vuelta a Espana: Lutsenko wins on stage 5

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) won stage 5 of the Vuelta a España after dropping the last of his breakaway companions on the short, steep haul to the finish at Alcossebre, while Chris Froome (Sky) buttressed his lead atop the overall standings with an acceleration in the final kilometre.

Froome crossed the line in the company of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), 4:31 down on Lutsenko, but ahead of some of his key rivals for final overall victory.

Sky's Gianni Moscon – ostensibly a man for the cobbled Classics – whittled down the red jersey group by setting a stinging pace on the final climb of Ermita Santa Lucia before Froome delivered a rasping chase in the closing metres.

By the time Contador took over in the finishing straight, only four men remained in the red jersey group, while others incurred losses of varying significance: Fabio Aru (Astana) conceded 11 seconds to Froome, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) lost 26 seconds and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) coughed up 49 seconds.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) rode well to limit the damage in the final kilometre, and the American moves up to second overall, 10 seconds behind Froome, with Chaves a further second back in third.

The stage winner Lutsenko was part of the 16-man break that forged clear in the opening kilometres, and the Kazakhstani rider was live to the danger when Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) ghosted off the front on the descent of the Alto de la Serratella with 47 kilometres remaining.

The duo took advantage of the lack of cohesion in the chasing group to reach the foot of the final ascent with a lead of half a minute, and Lutsenko promptly dropped Haller as soon as the gradient began to bite in earnest with three kilometres to go.

Despite a spirited chase from Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), who dropped Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) around the same point, Lutsenko always looked a likely stage winner, and he made light work of the final climb to claim the biggest victory of his career.

Kudus came home in second place, 42 seconds down, having caught and passed Haller, while Marc Soler (Movistar) took third, 56 seconds behind Lutsenko. World champion as an espoir in Valkenburg in 2012, Lutsenko's versatility has seen him win stages at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse, and deliver some solid displays in the cobbled Classics.

"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," Lutsenko said afterwards. "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."

How it unfolded

The break of the day formed in three instalments after the race left the start in Benicassim, with Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) leading a nine-man squadron clear after six kilometres, and seven chasers bridging up to them shortly afterwards, before Matvey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin) made it across alone to bring the complement up to 17 riders.

The group, comprising Mamykin, Alaphilippe, Rubén Fernandez, 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, Hector Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobón) maintained a lead of around five minutes over the peloton for the bulk of the day.

With Bol the nearest threat on general classification, Sky were content to grant the group its freedom, and Villella augmented his lead in mountains classification on a rugged day of racing that included the climbs of Alto del Desierto de las Palmas, Alto de Cabanes, Coll de la Bandereta and the Alto de la Serratella.

Indeed, the pace relented in the peloton on the Serratella, with the break's lead suddenly ratcheting up to seven minutes, but just as Bol began to entertain thoughts of an unlikely stint in the red, the unity of the leading group was fractured by Haller's attack on the descent.

Lutsenko initially had Mohoric for company when he bridged across to Haller, but he distanced the Slovenian soon afterwards. Haller and Lutsenko combined well thereafter to hold off the splintered chasing group, where a frustrated Alaphilippe was struggling to find any allies of circumstance.

Instead, the most spirited chase came from Gougeard and Kudus, who set off in pursuit with 12 kilometres remaining, though they never succeeded in closing within half a minute of the two leaders.

Once the 3.4-kilometre climb to the line began, Lutsenko's quality as a puncheur won out, as he distanced Haller with one, steady acceleration, and then maintained his tempo to the summit to claim the stage honours.

Under normal circumstances, Kudus would have thrived on a climb like the Ermita Santa Lucia, but the Eritrean had to settle for second place on the stage and explained that a long day off the front had taken its toll. "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," he said. "It was a super hard race."

It was equally difficult behind, at least once Froome's Sky train upped the reins once again on the run-in to the final climb. The infernal tempo laid down by the surprising Moscon ultimately proved too much for a number of fancied names, Bardet and Nibali among them, while Froome and Chaves confirmed the initial impressions of Monday's opening mountain stage in Andorra.

Contador, on the other hand, could draw solace from his display here. The Spaniard's final Vuelta looked set to be a disappointing one when he conceded more than two minutes in Andorra. He showed signs of a revival here, though he remains 3:10 behind Froome in the overall standings.

"My sensations were better than they have been for the past few days, and I'm pretty happy with how it went. We still have quite a bit of work to do. I'm reasonably happy with how it is going," Contador said. "The crowd was really impressive, and I'm happy that I could do something for them."

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team4:24:58
2Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data0:00:42
3Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:56
4Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:01:11
5Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:24
6Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:37
7Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:01:40
8Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon0:02:04
9Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:18
10Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:02:31
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:03:20
12Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:00
13Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:04:31
14Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 13 - Cell 2
15Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-DrapacRow 14 - Cell 2
16Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-ScottRow 15 - Cell 2
17Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:04:39
18Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:04:42
19Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 20 - Cell 2
22Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 21 - Cell 2
23David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:04:52
24Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 24 - Cell 2
26Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 25 - Cell 2
27Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Movistar TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 27 - Cell 2
29Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:04:57
30Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:04
32Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data0:05:05
33Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:05:08
34Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky0:05:10
35Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 34 - Cell 2
36Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:17
37Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 36 - Cell 2
38Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:20
39Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:05:22
41Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:05:24
42Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:05:26
43Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJRow 42 - Cell 2
44Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 43 - Cell 2
45Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 44 - Cell 2
46Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:05:33
47Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:05:39
48Aldemar Reyes (Col) Manzana Postobon0:05:40
49Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana PostobonRow 48 - Cell 2
50Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:43
51Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:47
52Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:51
53Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ0:05:54
54Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:05:59
55Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:06:03
56Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates0:06:12
57Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:27
58Daan Olivier (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:33
59Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:06:40
61Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:06:50
62Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:53
63Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:04
64Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 63 - Cell 2
65Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin0:07:06
66Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:07:11
67Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors0:07:12
68Hernán Aguirre (Col) Manzana Postobon0:07:24
69Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:46
70Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:57
71Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana Postobon0:08:06
73Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:29
74Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:43
75Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:08:48
76Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:50
77Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data0:08:52
78Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto SoudalRow 77 - Cell 2
79Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:08:54
80Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 79 - Cell 2
81Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 80 - Cell 2
82Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:56
83Hernando Bohórquez (Col) Manzana Postobon0:08:58
84Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:09:31
87Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:09:49
88Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 87 - Cell 2
89Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 88 - Cell 2
90Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue SportRow 89 - Cell 2
91Juan Felipe Osorio (Col) Manzana Postobon0:10:04
92Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team EmiratesRow 91 - Cell 2
93Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:10:10
94Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 93 - Cell 2
95Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:10:12
96Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 95 - Cell 2
97Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 96 - Cell 2
98Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 97 - Cell 2
99Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 98 - Cell 2
100Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 99 - Cell 2
101Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Dimension Data0:10:23
102David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky0:10:29
103Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 102 - Cell 2
104Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:35
106Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:10:40
107Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:10:56
108Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:11:06
110Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:11:21
111Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-Scott0:11:23
112Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:11:26
113Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 112 - Cell 2
114Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:11:27
115Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:11:47
116Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJRow 115 - Cell 2
117Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:11:53
118Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:11:55
119Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:11:57
120Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 119 - Cell 2
121Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 120 - Cell 2
122George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 121 - Cell 2
123Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 122 - Cell 2
124Nicholas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 123 - Cell 2
125Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue SportRow 124 - Cell 2
126Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 125 - Cell 2
127Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 126 - Cell 2
128Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale0:12:04
129Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 128 - Cell 2
130Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 129 - Cell 2
131Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 130 - Cell 2
132Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:08
133Sebastián Molano (Col) Manzana Postobon0:12:10
134Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 133 - Cell 2
135Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 134 - Cell 2
136Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
137Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 136 - Cell 2
138Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 137 - Cell 2
139Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 138 - Cell 2
140Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 139 - Cell 2
141David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 140 - Cell 2
142Juan José Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 141 - Cell 2
143Hector Sáez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 142 - Cell 2
144Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 143 - Cell 2
145Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-Drapac0:12:24
147Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:33
148Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 147 - Cell 2
149Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 148 - Cell 2
150Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:12:38
151Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 150 - Cell 2
152Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:12:43
153Michael Mørkøv (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 152 - Cell 2
154Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
155Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:12:46
156Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 155 - Cell 2
157Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:12:50
158Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-AlpecinRow 157 - Cell 2
159Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step FloorsRow 158 - Cell 2
160Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 159 - Cell 2
161Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 160 - Cell 2
162Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJRow 161 - Cell 2
163Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 162 - Cell 2
164Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:12:55
165Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 164 - Cell 2
166Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 165 - Cell 2
167Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
168Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 167 - Cell 2
169William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 168 - Cell 2
170Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:12:59
171Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:13:04
172Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 171 - Cell 2
173Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:13:06
174Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:13:14
175Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:13:46
176Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott0:13:49
177Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue SportRow 176 - Cell 2
178Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 177 - Cell 2
179Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 178 - Cell 2
180Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-DrapacRow 179 - Cell 2
181Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott0:13:53
182Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-ScottRow 181 - Cell 2
183Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 182 - Cell 2
184Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 183 - Cell 2
185Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:14:10
186Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb0:14:15
187Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:14:18
188Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport0:14:31
189Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-ScottRow 188 - Cell 2
190Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:15:12
191José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:21:47
DNFYoucef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension DataRow 191 - Cell 2
DNSJohn Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 192 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team25pts
2Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac1Row 14 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 1 - Alcalá de Chivert, km 160
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team4pts
2Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 2 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally