Vuelta 2014: John Degenkolb - and that’s two

John degenkolbWednesday, August 27 – The ‘frayed trail’ between Priego de Córdoba to Ronda is fodder for sprinters. The arrival is similar to yesterday's and the winner is exactly the same: John Degenkolb. The German powerhouse is outsprinting Bouhanni and Hofland, whilst Michael Matthews will still be in red for at least one day. Tomorrow brings the first mountain stage in this year's Vuelta. (Slideshow route/profile)

Vuelta 2014: Results 5th stage

1. John Degenkolb (Ger)
2. Nacer Bouhanni (fra) s..t.
3. Moreno Hofland (Nld) s.t.
4. Jasper Stuyven (bel) s.t
5. Paul Martens (Ger) s.t.
6. Lloyd Mandory (fra) s.t.
7. Philippe Gilbert (bel) s.t.
8. Vicente Reynes (spa) s.t.
9. Kristian Sbaragli (ita) s.t.
10. Roberto Ferrari (ita) s.t.

88. Rohan Dennis (USA) + 2.14
90. Ryder Hesjedal (can) + 3.19
101. Andrew Talansky (USA) + 3.51

GC after 5th stage
1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.13
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.20
4. Rigoberto Uran (col) +0.24
5. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 0.26
6. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.
7. Haimar Zubeldia (spa) + 0.29
8. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) + 0.32
9. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
10. Robert Gesink (spa) s.t.

13. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.38
17. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 0.47
19. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 0.48
21. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.50
38. Laurens ten Dam (Nld) + 1.51
46. Ryder Hesjedal (can) + 4.15
51. Andrew Talansky (USA) + 4.47

Race report
The flag is down and immediatly Tony Martin and Pim Ligthart try to form a break away, but MTN-Qhubeka reacts and starts chasing. Obviously they want to see their own colours upfront.

After 12 kilometres the two have a 3 minutes lead and MTN gives up the pursuit.

Tony Martin has a reputation of taking early escapes to victory – like he did in stage 9 of recent Tour de France – and the gap never really widens when the teams of Bouhanni and Degenkolb start pumping energy into the peloton. The gap is shrinking and then stabilizing at around 2 minutes. With 80 kilometres to go Tony Martin calls it quits and Ligthart is alone upfront in the blistering heat.

Chris Froome takes 2 bonification seconds at an intermediate sprint with 50 kilometres left.

At 35 kilometres Tinkoff-Saxo speeds up and soon Ligthart is caught. The peloton breaks, but most GC-men and sprinters Bouhanni, Degenkolb and Matthews are in the first group. At the Puerto el Saltillo the second group with Daniel Martin rejoins, whilst Ryder Hesjedal and  Andrew Talansky are still around 2 minutes behind.

It all boils down to a bunch sprint in Ronda. John Degenkolb powers to the win, besting Nacer Bouhanni and young Moreno Hofland.

Vuelta 2014 stage 5: Images and more

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John Degenkolb

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