VUELTA: Stage 5 won by Joaquin Rodriguez

Stage 5 – After a determined break by Tour of Britain winner Michael Albasini failed to see him reach the finish first, Joaquin Rodriguez was the chosen one to win the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain.


The stage began with a long descent down from Sierra Nevada and onto a course with two second category climbs and a break finally did get a gap but the peloton was giving them much room to move. Back in the peloton, Team Sky’s Arvensen crashed in the feedzone while another rider, Acosta, also crashed and was taken to hospital.

With the chasing peloton not giving Albasini any room in the break, the Swiss rider went off alone and eventually was chased down by two others, Frohlinger amd Madrazo. Still the peloton would not give them any rope to play with and as they started the final climb, a category two but long and steep in sections right at the end, they were caught.

The peloton meanwhile was pretty much complete as it approached the climb but that all soon changed. With Katusha and Liquigas doing the work as they hit the mountain with 9k of climbing to go, riders quickly started to go backwards.

The tempo though by Katusa and Liquigas didn’t deter attacks and Alexsandr Dyachenko of Astana had a go before Moncoutie then went clear. The Cofidis rider made it all the way to the 500 meters to go part of the climb before he was finally caught and passed by Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez who sprinted up the steep slopes, gapping those behind him and having time to raise his arms in victory.

“We knew it would be a very hard stage to win” says Rodriguez at the finishing line. “The fact that the breakaway contained strong riders made things even more complicated. It wasn´t easy to catch them: the team did an excellent job  once again, allowing me to fight for win. Surely, my shape is brilliant, but the work done during the training before Vuelta and in Andorra training camp, was made keeping in mind that Vuelta is made by three hard weeks. Katusha has never hidden the fact that we´re here to win the general classification, but we know there are still a lot of stages and our rivals are strong and well-organized. Now our wonderful team and I just want to enjoy these two wins”.

Team Sky endured a mixed day as Bradley Wiggins finished towards the head of the pack while Kurt-Asle Arvesen suffered a hard crash. The high-speed accident happened on a descent midway through the undulating 187 kilometres stage from Sierra Nevada to Valdepenas de Jaen after a child appeared to run into the road. It left the Norwegian, who is riding in his final Grand Tour before retiring at the end of the season, with severe cuts and bruising while his bike frame was damaged beyond repair.

The young boy was taken to hospital with a cut nose and lip but thankfully emerged relatively unscathed. The team contacted his father after the stage finished and he reported the child is expected to be released from hospital on Thursday. Arvesen was able to get back on a spare bike and managed to complete the stage within the time limit.

Geert Leinders, Team Sky Doctor: “We have examined Kurt tonight and the initial signs are good. We don’t have any reason to think that he has any concussion to his brain. He remembers everything and never lost consciousness during the accident, which is obviously a very good sign. He is covered in cuts and grazes but we can treat those effectively, and his only complaint tonight has been with his left knee. We have checked over the area thoroughly and don’t feel the need at this moment for any further investigation. There is no swelling and there doesn’t appear to be any broken bones or major trauma with the ligaments both inside and outside the knee.

“At this moment we expect him to be able to continue in the race, although clearly he is going to be very sore for the next few days.”

Steven de Jongh, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was a really hard day again. It was hot and the speed was very high throughout. The whole day it was up-and-down, there were really no flat patches. “Brad had another good day and did a good climb at the end – it was really sharp and steep which isn’t the sort which suit him best but he did really well to limit his losses.”

(On Kurt-Asle Arvesen’s crash) “It was a really big impact and Kurt has lost a lot of skin. He’s having all the wounds cleaned by the doctor now and will then be bandaged up. There’s not much skin left on his knees and back so we’ll see what happens in terms of him being able to carry on but he’s going to be stiff for sure in the next stage and beyond. It’s not going to be easy but Kurt showed great determination to get back on his bike and finish the stage. He’s got great support from the team and we all really hope he can carry on racing.

“Kurt’s main concern was that he wanted to know that the child was okay; we spoke to the hospital about him and the great news is that nothing appears to be broken – we were told he just has cuts on his nose and lip.”


1    RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin    KAT    4h 42′ 54”
2    POELS, Wouter    VCD    + 4”
3    MORENO, Daniel    KAT    + 5”
4    MOLLEMA, Bauke    RAB    + 7”
5    SCARPONI, Michele    LAM    + 8”
6    ZUBELDIA, Haimar    RSH    + 8”
7    FUGLSANG, Jakob    LEO    + 8”
8    ROCHE, Nicolas    ALM    + 8”
9    VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen    OLO    + 8”
10    KESSIAKOFF, Fredrik    AST    + 8”
20    WIGGINS, Bradley    SKY    + 20”
22    FROOME, Christopher    SKY    + 20′
30    MARTIN, Daniel    GRM    + 29”

1    CHAVANEL, Sylvain    QST    18h 02′ 34”
2    MORENO, Daniel    KAT    + 9”
3    RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin    KAT    + 23”
4    FUGLSANG, Jakob    LEO    + 26”
5    NIBALI, Vincenzo    LIQ    + 33”
6    KESSIAKOFF, Fredrik    AST    + 36”
7    MONFORT, Maxime    LEO    + 38”
8    PARDILLA, Sergio    MOV    + 43”
9    VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen    OLO    + 44”
10    BRUSEGHIN, Marzio    MOV    + 52”
18    MARTIN, Daniel    GRM    + 1′ 04”
20    FROOME, Christopher    SKY    + 1′ 20”
21    WIGGINS, Bradley    SKY    + 1′ 20”

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