Tour of the Basque Country 2015: Landa wins after super-steep finale

Mikel LandaStage 5 in the Tour of the Basque Country is a 155 kilometres ride from Eibar to Aia. Young Belgian Tim Wellens opens fire with an early attack and he is accompanied by 29 riders. Wellens is one of the survivors at the super-steep closing climb, but in the last few hundred metres Mikel Landa is stronger and the Basque rider climbs to the win. Henao retains the GC lead. Simon Yates is brilliant on the closing climb and storms onto the podium. The 22-year old Briton is the new number three, ahead of Quintana. (Slideshow route/profile)

Tour of the Basque Country 2015: Race results stage 5

1. Mikel Landa (spa)
2. Tim Wellens (bel) + 0.03
3. Tom Danielson (usa) + 0.16
4. Rein Taaramae (est) + 0.28
5. Tony Gallopin (fra) + 0.38
6. Simon Yates (gbr) + 0.53
7. Sergio Henao (col) + 0.56
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
9. Tom-Jelte Slagter (nld) + 1.05
10. Alexis Vuillermoz (fra) + 1.06

11. Michel Kwiatkowski (pol) + 1.08
13. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.

CC after stage 5
1. Sergio Henao (col)
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
3. Simon Yates (gbr) + 0.07
4. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.12
5. Michele Scarponi (ita) + 0.22
6. Simon Spilak (slo) s.t.
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.28
8. Ion Izagirre (spa) s.t.
9. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 0.36
10. Thibaut Pinot (fra) s.t.
11. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol) + 0.42

Race report
It is an animated race with young Belgian Tim Wellens first to attack. Bit by bit he welcomes visitors from behind until he is roaming the Basque Country with a troupe of 30 riders. Most prominent riders are Rohan Dennis, Tom Danielson, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Rein Taaramae, Tony Gallopin, Mikel Landa, Tony Martin, Julián Arredondo and KOM leader Omar Fraile.

The troupe races to a maximum gain of 5 minutes and with 26 km’s left it’s down to 1’59”.

At the Alto de Aia the front-group is shattered into pieces. Rein Taaramae is the first to crest and in the descent he is accompanied by Mikel Landa, Tim Wellens, Tony Gallopin, Tony Martin and Tom Danielson. The pack is 2 minutes down.

Kwiatkowski left the pack at the Aia-climb and Martin waits for him and they try to bridge the gap to the front group, but the coupe doesn’t work out.

Gallopin is dropped from the front and the group with favourites is at 1 minute when reaching the Muro de Aia for the last climb.

Simon Yates is super-strong and is heading for the front of the race. He will never get there since Wellens et al are not sleeping either, but his performance is impressive nevertheless.

Taarmae is the first to crack upfront, next is Danielson. The initiator of the big break Tim Wellens and Mikel Landa are strongest, with the Basque outperforming the Belgian rider in the super-steep closing section before entering the village Aia.

Tour of the Basque Country 2015 stage 5: Route, profile, climbs, and more

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Mikel Landa


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