País Vasco: Landa wins penultimate stage

Mikel Landa (Astana) won stage 5 of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco from Eibar to Aia with a well-timed and powerful attack on the final climb.

The Spaniard helped form a 30-rider break in the opening hour of the stage and broke free with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin) and teammate Rein Taaramae (Astana) on the final of three ascents of the Aia but dropped his companions inside the final kilometre. Wellens held on for second with Danielson in third.

In the race for the overall Sergio Henao (Team Sky) finished alongside Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) to retain his leader’s jersey. Nairo Quintana, however, was dropped in the closing stages and lost time to his nearest rivals.

How it unfolded

The first hour of the stage saw a large group break away and establish a lead of over four minutes, including Bruno Pires, Chris Anker Sorensen (Tinkoff), Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), Giovanni Visconti, Igor Antón (Movistar Team), Carlos Betancur, Matteo Montaguti, Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale), Daryl Impey (Orica), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM), Nick Van Der Lijke (LottoNL), Mikel Landa, Valerio Agnoli, Rein Taaramae (Astana), Tony Gallopin, Louis Vervaeke, Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Tony Martin, David De la Cruz (Etixx-Quick Step), Matteo Bono, Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), Tom Jelte Slagter, Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Julian Arredondo, Laurent Didier (Trek), Omar Fraile, Antonio Molina, Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-RGA), Yohan Bagot, Romain Hardy and Rudy Molard (Cofidis).

Team Sky and Katusha set about holding the break at a reasonable gap but with nine categorised climbs, including three lung-busting efforts up the final ascent to Aia, the break had to work through the day.

The harmony lasted until the first ascent up to Aia. By then the peloton were stretched out and at full throttle and the fight for positioning saw Trek Factory Racing’s Bauke Mollema and Fränk Schleck crash. Both were able to remount but a long chase ensued with Team Sky setting a relentless pace at the front of the peloton. Mollema would lose his top 10 standing by the end of the day.

On the Alkiza the gap had held at four minutes and by the time the Andazarrate was crested the leaders had lost another minute. Philippe Gilbert launched a speculative but ultimately fruitless attack and with 28 kilometres to go the gap was reduced to two minutes.

Vervaeke was the first to kick-off the attacks from the lead group with his teammates Wellens and Gallopin both well positioned. Lotto’s aggression came from a desire to shed the break of as many passengers as possible but it was Astana’s Taaramae who launched the most significant attack on the first ascent to the finish.

The Astana rider kicked clear just as the gradient pitched out at over 20 per cent and with elbows out and back hunched over his bars, he lurched to the summit with a small gap on the chase.

Lotto sprung into life on the descent with the Paris-Nice combo of Wellens and Gallopin latching onto the leader. Landa and Danielson made it a party of five soon after.

Back in the field, Michal Kwiatkowski, attacked with a dash of tactical improvisation, cutting through the remnants of the break before allowing Tony Martin to drag him closer to the leaders, and away from the yellow jersey. Having started the day 30 seconds off the leader’s jersey the Pole was a genuine threat to Henao but on the penultimate ascent to Aia his renegade attack began to falter as Movistar and Katusha drilled home their superior climbing prowess.

At the front of the race the leaders hit the final brutal climb with Gallopin already running on fumes and he was instantly dispatched with Danielson taking over at the front.

The veteran looked in control as he led up the steep banks lined with fans but with less than a few hundred meters to go Landa struck out. Danielson was forced to concede, first to the Spaniard and then to Wellens.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team4:06:01
2Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:03
3Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:16
4Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team0:00:28
5Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:00:38
6Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge0:00:53
7Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky0:00:56
8Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:01:05
10Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:06
11Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:08
12Simon Spilak (Slo) Team KatushaRow 11 - Cell 2
13Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:11
15Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:14
16Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 16 - Cell 2
18Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:01:22
20Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:01:26
22Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team0:01:37
23Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:44
24David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky0:01:51
25Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha0:01:58
26Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:07
27Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing0:02:11
28Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida0:02:18
29Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:24
30Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:29
31Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:34
32Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 31 - Cell 2
33Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:38
34Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:43
35Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida0:02:50
36Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:02:56
37Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge0:02:59
38Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdgeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:03:05
41Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 40 - Cell 2
42Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:12
43Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:03:37
44George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:41
45Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:43
46Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 45 - Cell 2
47Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:03:55
48Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing0:04:01
49Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 48 - Cell 2
50David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 49 - Cell 2
51Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 50 - Cell 2
52Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:26
53Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:27
54Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling0:04:37
55Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 56 - Cell 2
58Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 57 - Cell 2
59Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:04:41
60Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:53
61Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:05:01
62Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling0:05:34
63Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:05:51
64Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing0:05:54
65Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:01
66Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge0:06:14
67Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 66 - Cell 2
68Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge0:07:47
69Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 68 - Cell 2
70Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:55
71Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:08:00
72Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:08:12
73Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling0:08:46
74Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky0:08:53
75Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 74 - Cell 2
76Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:57
77Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:09:10
78Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:09:21
79Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:09:37
80Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:10:04
81Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:10:28
82José Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM CyclingRow 85 - Cell 2
87Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:10:32
88Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:10:40
89Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:10:51
90Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 89 - Cell 2
91Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:10:53
92Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:11:16
93Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 92 - Cell 2
94Mario Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida0:11:20
95Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 94 - Cell 2
96Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:11:26
97Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:11:30
98Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 97 - Cell 2
99Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 98 - Cell 2
100Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.frRow 99 - Cell 2
101Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:11:39
102Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 101 - Cell 2
103Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 103 - Cell 2
105Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:11:47
106Eduard Beltran (Col) Tinkoff-Saxo0:11:58
107Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida0:12:08
108Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr0:12:14
109Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 108 - Cell 2
110Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:12:18
111Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team Sky0:12:20
112David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:12:28
113Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team0:12:47
114Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:13:29
116Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:14:03
117Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:14:13
118Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:15:39
119Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:18:28
120Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:18:38
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team25pts
2Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Asteasu, 106,4 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3pts
2Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1Row 2 - Cell 3
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