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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2016: Stage 5

Welcome to live coverage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage 5 from Oria to Arrate (Eibar).

Welcome to the Queen stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Diego Rosa is currently out front on his own and there is a chasing group at 1 minute behind with the peloton four minutes back. 

The riders are 76km into the stage and we are hearing that Vasil Kiryienka has just abandoned. 

 

82km remaining from 159km

Rosa's gap continues to go up, he's now 1:35 up on the group as he climbs the Kanpanzar.

 

Wilco Kelderman is in the race lead today, with a four-second advantage over Sergio Henao. It's going to be a tough job for the LottoNL-Jumbo rider to keep hold of it though. Here are how things stand in the GC at the moment. 

 

1 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 17:52:48
2 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:04
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:07
4 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:08
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:10
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:12
7 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:00:14
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ

 

This is what the riders are facing today

 

 

The chase group behind Rosa is made up of four riders. They are Armee, Monfort, Edet and Verona. Despite the numerical advantage, they are losing ground on Rosa still. The gap is now 2:35 while the peloton is at 4:45.

 

Apologies, the peloton is 3:45 down not 4:45.

 

Samuel Sanchez was the victor yesterday. It was his first for the BMC team and the first in more than three years. This is what he had to say after it. 

 

Crash in the group and Fabio Aru has gone down. 

 

No news on how Aru is. We'll let you know as soon as we do. 

 

Another abandon to tell you about, Dan Martin has climbed off. It's a wet and cold day today in the Basque Country and it seems to be taking its toll. 

 

Lotto-Jumbo have almost the whole team at the front as they try to keep control of this move. Sky is sitting just behind the Dutch team as there are some brief signs of sunshine over the peloton. 

 

52km remaining from 159km

Rosa is not taking too many risks on this descent as the roads are still pretty slippy. He's managing to hold off this chasing group at the moment. They're still 2:21 down on the young Italian. 

 

Rosa ploughing a lonely furrow out front, via the Astana team. 

 

 

Something happening in the bunch, Lotto-Jumbo have sat up in the chase as has everyone else. Not sure the reason but there doesn't seem to be any sign of Kelderman at the moment. 

 

47km remaining from 159km

The riders are now back on the flat and heading towards the sixth ascent of the day the Izua. There will still be two more climbs to come after that. It really is a hard day out for the riders. 

 

Trek Segafredo have confirmed that Ryder Hesjedal is among the many abandons today. 

 

Pais Vasco is not the only racing this week. This Sunday is, of course, Paris-Roubaix. It's one of the oldest races on the calendar and we've put together a gallery from the past 30 years. You can flick through it here

 

Confirmation that Fabio Aru has abandoned following his crash. Here are some others who have called it quits today: Jelle Vanendert, Jan Bakelandts, Vasil Kiryienka, Dan martin, Carter Jones, Pirimin Lang, Sindre Skjoestad Lunke.

 

A few more abandons to add to that, Simon Yates, David Tanner and Tom Jelte Slagter. 

 

39km remaining from 159km

Rosa on the Izua and this is a very difficult climb. It's already hitting gradients of 16 per cent but will peak out at 21 up near the top. 

 

It's a narrow climb too and the teams in the peloton are keen to get their leaders to the front of the group. Movistar move up along with Tinkoff and Sky. Looks like Lotto-Soudal has been bossed out of this for now. 

 

Race radio reporting that Aru is still in the race but Astana saying that he has quit. We've got no visual of him at the moment but we will confirm as soon as we do. 

 

The peloton is thinning under the pace and it's going to blow apart once they hit this climb. Rosa is looking much more comfortable as he sets his own pace. Monfort has struck out from the chasing group with Armee just behind him. 

 

37km remaining from 159km

The consensus now seems to be that Aru is out of the race. Race radio finally reporting that he has climbed off. Simon Gerrans is another victim of the stage. 

 

The peloton are now at the foot of the climb with Tinkoff right at the front. Will Contador try something here?

 

The remnants of the early break is now being mopped up by the peloton on this climb as riders are being shed out the back like water through a sieve. 

 

If you fancy some listening material while you follow this stage, why not take a listen to our latest Cyclingnews Podcast as we take a look back at Tom Boonen and the 2002 Paris-Roubaix. You can find it here. 

 

Rodriguez has moved to the front of what is left of the main group. It's not an attack but he's cranked up the speed and forced many riders out of their saddles. It looks like Contador right on his wheel. 

 

Rosa onto the descent and his gap over the main group is dropping. He's got just under 4 minutes over the Rodriguez-led chasers. 

 

31km remaining from 159km

It seems that the race leader is missing from this leading group. We're likely to see a change in the leader's jersey at the finish. 

 

It's kicking off in the peloton and yesterday's stage winner Samuel Sanchez leads the group over the top of the climb. He's a very strong descender, what can he do to this gap?

 

There is still the climb of San Miguel and the final ascent of Usartza to come, so Rosa has a long way to go if he wants to take this victory. He's pushed the gap out a touch to over four minutes. 

 

25km remaining from 159km

Alberto Contador and Rui Costa are leading the main group of riders down the descent of the Izua, which looks like it only has around 10 riders. 

 

It is Lotto-Soudal teammates Monfort and Armee that are stick in no man's land between Rosa and the group of favourites. They are three minutes down but they are closing the gap.

 

Some attacks coming off the front of the main group and we've got a Movistar rider and a Cannondale rider trying their hand. 

 

When today's stage is all done, head over to our YouTube page to watch the latest episode of inCycle as they look back on the Paris-Roubaix podium. You can also find it here

 

The attacks have been brought back as the pace knocks off in the favourites group. Rodriguez, Cotsa, Contador, Sanchez, Pinot and Richenback are in that group. 

 

22km remaining from 159km

And it looks like Mikel Landa has gone on the attack. We didn't see that move happen but he's now with a teammate. This could be very interesting.

 

Simon Clarke is with the Sky duo. No time gaps for them just yet. 

No concerted chase behind Landa right now. Tinkoff at the front of the main group. 

 

Rosa still holding a sizeable gap as he hits the penultimate climb. Gap is moving up to 4:40 for the Astana rider. 

 

17km remaining from 159km

The Landa group has mopped up Verona and have got their sights on another straggler. We're still waiting on time checks though.

 

Movistar and Tinkoff up to the front of the group of favourites. Contador is currently third wheel and looking comfortable.

 

Finally some timings. The Landa group is over six minutes down on Rosa with 15km to go. The chances of stage victory are slim but with Rosa some 14 minutes down in the GC, this is about the overall victory. 

 

One more little plug before we get to the pointy end of this stage. With Paris-Roubaix just a couple of days away, we've put together a list of riders to watch for the Hell of the North. Watch it here

 

11km remaining from 159km

Rosa has his arms resting on the handlebars. He's still got 11km to go but this stage victory is looking more and more likely. 

 

Serge Pauwels has also been inducted into the Landa group. They're bringing down the gap but it is still 5:45. Lopez doing all the work on the front. 

 

9km remaining from 159km

Visconti's day is done and dusted and he peels off the front, leaving Tinkoff to do the chasing.

 

8km remaining from 159km

Nope, Visconti must have been going back for a quick chat with the team because he's moved back up to the front. Sky reporting that Landa has 30 seconds on the main group.

 

Rosa getting in some fluids as he continues his solo break. He's been alone for a long time today and he's still got over 7km and another climb to get to the finish.

 

Rosa now begins the final climb of the day and he immediately starts munching on an energy bar. He's going to need as much energy as he can get. 

 

5km remaining from 159km

A few words of advice shouted from the Astana car to Diego Rosa. The 27-year-old won Milan-Turin last season but this would be a much bigger victory for him considering the contenders behind. 

 

Pauwels struggling to keep up with the Landa group as they move onto this final climb up Arrate.

 

Only 16 seconds between Landa and the chasing group. It would be enough for him to take the leader's jersey but it's going to be a tough ask. 

 

4km remaining from 159km

Lopez has pulled off the front of the Landa group, leaving the man himself to do the work. Verona has also dropped off as they catch Armee. Monfort is still up the road, but only just. 

 

With 4.7km to go, Rosa still has 4:47 on this group of chasers. 

 

4km remaining from 159km

The last Tinkoff rider is dropped from the group of favourites and it is left to Contador to pick up the pace setting and he looks determined. He has already pulled out a group and caught Landa. 

 

Henao moves into Contador's wheel and they're going away from the group of favourites. 

 

Pinot is leading the chase behind Contador with Joaquim Rodriguez in his wheel. 

 

3km remaining from 159km

None of this will bother Rosa, who still has a 4:30 gap on the Contador, Henao group

 

Kelderman is having to dig deep to keep up with Pinot as lots of others get dropped, including Mikel Landa.

 

Plenty of fans cheering Rosa on as he approaches the top of the final climb. There's a small descent once he reaches the top as he heads towards the finish line. 

 

2km remaining from 159km

Kelderman has finally gone pop and that's his time in the leader's jersey over. 

 

Henao is leading Contador up the climb. Henao should take the race lead on the finish line. 

 

Rosa passes under the flamme rouge.

 

250 metres to go for Rosa and he has plenty of time to celebrate. 

 

Rosa comes to the line and stops. He climbs off his bike and picks it up, walking across the line with the bike above his head. 

 

We now move a bit further back on the climb and Contador and Henao are still battling it out. They're a minute ahead of Kelderman and Landa. 

 

Kalderman is just pacing himself up the climb. He should be able to make up a bit of time in the time trial tomorrow. 

 

Henao attacks in the final few metres and Rodriguez chases himself and Contador down. 

 

Henao doesn't make any time on Contador but he takes the race lead as riders continue to trickle over the line in small groups. 

 

Kelderman crosses the line 4:24 down on the stage winner Rosa. 

 

Confirmation that Henao holds the race lead by 6 seconds over Contador. Still everything to play for in the final stage tomorrow. 

 

Here is the top 5 from today's stage.

 

1 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:19:19
2 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:03:13
3 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:03:15
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ

 

General classification after stage 5

1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 22:15:24
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:06
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:10
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:12
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:31
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:38
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:00
8 Wilco Kelderman 0:01:07
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:01:09
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:01:11

 

Tomorrow will be the final stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco with a 16km time trial in Eibar. It's a similar route to last year but 2km shorter but it has a small climb in the middle. 

 

We're building a report and a gallery from today's stage, you can find that here

 

That is it from us today, tune in tomorrow for the final stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. 

 

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