Where's that GPS?
Stage Five Re-cap:
Sometimes, it pays to be in a breakaway, ask Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).
After many breaks and attacks within those breakaways, Alexey Lutsenko proved the strongest when it counted and collected his first stage win of this year’s Vuelta by pedaling away from his breakaway rivals on a grinding uphill finish – Froome and Sky were focused on “the race within the race” – the General Classification.
The leaders kept it close but while Nibali had some weakness in his legs after his previous stage win, Contador seems to have found the right “sensations” and kept pace with Froome to the finish line. Tejay van Garderen, the Great American Hope for this race, now finds himself in second place just 10 seconds outside of Froome’s time. Long-term, I suspect Sky see Nibali is the greater threat, so I’m sure there will be smiles all around in “The Death Star” tonight.
So if Froome can stay consistent and his rivals continue to produce fluctuating performances, it bodes well for Froome’s chances to don the final red jersey in Madrid. But there is some tough riding between Froomie and his dream Tour/Vuelta Double – lots can happen – too early to pop the corks.
Top-ten on General Classification after Stage Five:
1) Christopher Froome (Sky) 18:07:10
2) Tejay van Garderen (BMC) 0:00:10
3) Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Orica-Scott) 0:00:11
4) Nicolas Roche (BMC) 0:00:13
5) David de la Cruz (Quick-Step) 0:00:23
6) Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 0:00:36
7) Fabio Aru (Astana) 0:00:49
8) Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) 0:00:50
9) Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) 0:01:09
10) Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) 0:01:13
Jersey Distribution after Stage Five:
Leader: Christopher Froome (Sky)
Points: Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step)
Mountains: Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)
Stage Six: Vila-real/Sagunt, 204.4 km
With four Cat 3 mountains and one Cat 2, this stage will put some tired in the legs. But the final stretch is a downhill run which looks good for another breakaway or sprint finish. I’m thinking Trentin will go for the double today.
Stage Six Map:
Stage Six Profile: