Vuelta a España - Alexey Lutsenko takes stage victory, Chris Froome keeps Red
Aug 23 2017 11:59 pm CET

Vuelta a España - Alexey Lutsenko takes stage victory, Chris Froome keeps Red

Astana's Alexey Lutsenko has won the fifth stage of the Vuelta a España. The Kazakh was the strongest at the first uphill finish of the race.

The fifth stage of the Spanish race took the riders from Benicassim to Alcossebre over a route of 175.7 kilometres. The stage took place in the mountains with two climbs of the third category and three of the second, featuring a short but steep uphill finish.

The breakaway formed early on the day and contained nine riders. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobón) formed the original escape group and were later joined by several others.

As the climbs passed, the front group broke leaving Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) alone at the head of the race and with an advantage of more than seven minutes over the peloton. Behind them, the remainders of the breakaway struggled to catch them.

On the last ascent of the day, to the Ermita de Santa Lucia, Lutsenko showed to be stronger rider and dropped Haller. Behind them Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) did the same with AG2R's Alexis Gougeard. The Eritrean couldn't arrive to the front on time and the Astana rider got the stage victory, the biggest so far in his career.

Behind, the favourites fought for a good position and at the end of the climb only Chris Froome (Team Sky), Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) could keep the pace and arrived as a compact group. Fabio Aru (Astana), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Nibali) crossed the finish line seconds later.

Froome gets to keep the leader's Red Jersey for another day.
Photo of Alexey Lutsenko (cropped) by youkeys - License: Cc-by 2.0





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