Vuelta 2016 Stage 5: Meersman again, Atapuma still in the lead

Stage 5 in La Vuelta totals 171.3 kilometres, while the race is marked by a tricky finale. A 1 kilometre climb at 5% with 3 kilometres to go and a false flat arrival. Despite a Gilbert/Clarke attack on that last climb the race boils down to a bunch sprint with Meersman powering to his second victory in this year's Vuelta. Atapuma retains in red. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 5th stage Vuelta

1. Gianni Meersman (bel)
2. Fabio Felline (ita) s.t.
3. Kevin Reza (fra) s.t.
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (spa) s.t.
5. Zico Waeytens (bel) s.t.
6. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
7. Romain Hardy (fra) s.t.
8. Jean-Pier Drucker (lux) s.t.
9. Kenneth Vanbilsen (bel) s.t.
10. José Goncalves (por) s.t.

GC after 5th stage
1. Darwin Atapuma (col)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.28
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.32
4. Esteban Chaves (col) + 0.38
5. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
6. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 1.07
7. Ruben Fernandez (spa) + 1.10
8. Leopold König (cze) + 1.12
9. Peter Kennaugh (gbr) + 1.14
10. Gianluca Brambilla (ita) + 1.22

13. Alberto Contador (spa) + 1.52
15. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.07
17. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 2.13
32. Steven Kruijswijk (ned) + 3.09
33. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 3.10

Race report
Once the flag is dropped, Tiago Machado and Julien Morice go on the attack and they race to a gap at almost 6 minutes before it stabilizes.

With 74 kms, en a 3 minutes margin, remaining Machado is on his own as Morice can’t follow his pace. The Portuguese pushes on to reach a new lead at over 5 minutes.

Obviously, Machado takes most KOM points at the Puerto de Marco de Alvare, while De Gendt sprints to second place. The pace in the peloton goes up and with 14 kms left the sole leader is reeled in.

Philippe Gilbert attacks with 2.4 kms left and Simon Clarke jumps to his wheel, yet they are brought back in the last km. Several crashes mark the finale (Kruijswijk a prominent victim), but Etixx’ lead out is perfect and Meersman powers to his second victory in the 2016 Vuelta.

Vuelta a España 2016 stage 5: Height profiles, maps, and more

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Gianni Meersman

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