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Vuelta’17 St.5: Lutsenko On Top At Alcossebre

Race Update: Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko took a brilliant solo win atop the first summit finish of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, leaving his breakaway companions fighting for scraps, while Chris Froome remained red, and the Spanish press was a flutter over the fact that Contador didn’t get dropped.

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– Words from LaVuelta.com –
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) enjoyed the first summit finish of La Vuelta 2017 to win his first Grand Tour stage, on Wednesday at Alcossebre. The Kazakh rider attacked from the gun and dominated his breakaway companions for a brilliant solo win ahead of Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data). He succeeds to Alexandre Vinokourov, winner of three stages at La Vuelta in 2006. Among the GC contenders, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the first at the summit, just ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky), who retains the red jersey.


The leaders’ jerseys line-up at the start: stage 4 winner Matteo Trentin in the Sprinters’ jersey, Davide Villela in the KOM, and Chris Froome zipping up red.

John Degenkolb’s (Trek-Segafredo) abandon due to illness brought down to 192 the number of riders taking the start from Benicassim. The lumpy winding roads leading to Alcossebre attracted many attackers. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Ruben Fernandez and Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Marco Haller and Matvey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Valerio Agnoli (Bahrain-Merida), Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Lluis Mas and Hector Saez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport) and Jetse Bol (Manzana-Postobon) quickly jumped ahead of the bunch. Matvey Mamykin (Katusha-Alpecin) joined them after 32km of hard racing.

The collaboration between the 17 riders at the front of the race wasn’t enough to build a substantial lead. Chris Froome’s Team Sky controlled the gap between 3’30” and 4’30” for most of the stage. At the front, Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) dominated the four first climbs of the day to extend his lead in the KOM classification.

Another lumpy day and we’re only on stage 5 – plus the first summit finish of the Vuelta.

The situation heated up in the final 45km, following an attack from Marco Haller. Alexey Lutsenko joined him with 33km to go and the following battle tore the leading group into pieces while the gap with the peloton suddenly rose, up to 7 minutes as the race entered the last 20km.


Winner Lutsenko said after the stage: “This final climb was very hard. I attacked before. I rode mostly by myself. A Katusha rider (Marco Haller) helped me a little bit. There was headwind. I’m very happy. It’s been a nice stage. La Vuelta is great. I first took part in 2014 and I came second in a stage. This is the most beautiful win in my career so far. I had a nasty crash at the Tour de France. I recovered and I spoke with my team. I trained well for La Vuelta. I’m in good shape now. I’m here also to prepare for the world championships.”

Lutsenko unleashed his raw power to eventually drop Marco Haller in the final climb and cap his brilliant ride with a solo victory. Among the GC contenders, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the line ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky). Only Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) could follow them while Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) lost 26” and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) 49”.

La Vuelta 2017 Stage 5 Results
1. KAZ LUTSENKO Alexey 137 ASTANA PRO TEAM 04h 24′ 58” B : 13”
2. ERI KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN Merhawi 177 TEAM DIMENSION DATA 04h 25′ 40” B : 06” + 00′ 42”
3. ESP SOLER GIMENEZ Marc 59 MOVISTAR TEAM 04h 25′ 54” B : 04” + 00′ 56”
4. SLO MOHORIC Matej 126 UAE TEAM EMIRATES 04h 26′ 09” + 01′ 11”
5. FRA GOUGEARD Alexis 87 AG2R LA MONDIALE 04h 26′ 22” B : 01” + 01′ 24”
6. AUT HALLER Marco 105 TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 04h 26′ 35” B : 02” + 01′ 37”
7. FRA ALAPHILIPPE Julian 12 QUICK – STEP FLOORS 04h 26′ 38” + 01′ 40”
8. NED BOL Jetse 219 MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM 04h 27′ 02” + 02′ 04”
9. RUS MAMYKIN Matvey 108 TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 04h 27′ 16” + 02′ 18”
10. FRA MAISON Jérémy 166 FDJ 04h 27′ 29” + 02′ 31”
11. NED KREDER Michel 206 AQUA BLUE SPORT 04h 28′ 18” + 03′ 20”
12. ITA VILLELLA Davide 98 CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM 04h 28′ 58” + 04′ 00”
13. ESP CONTADOR Alberto 1 TREK – SEGAFREDO 04h 29′ 29” + 04′ 31”
14. GBR FROOME Christopher 21 TEAM SKY 04h 29′ 29” + 04′ 31”
15. CAN WOODS Michael 91 CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM 04h 29′ 29” + 04′ 31”
16. COL CHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban 41 ORICA – SCOTT 04h 29′ 29” + 04′ 31”
17. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay 38 BMC RACING TEAM 04h 29′ 37” + 04′ 39”
18. GBR YATES Adam 48 ORICA – SCOTT 04h 29′ 40” + 04′ 42”
19. IRL ROCHE Nicolas 36 BMC RACING TEAM 04h 29′ 40” + 04′ 42”
20. ITA ARU Fabio 131 ASTANA PRO TEAM 04h 29′ 40” + 04′ 42”

La Vuelta 2017 Overall After Stage 5
1. GBR FROOME Christopher 21 TEAM SKY 18h 07′ 10”
2. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay 38 BMC RACING TEAM 18h 07′ 20” + 00′ 10”
3. COL CHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban 41 ORICA – SCOTT 18h 07′ 21” + 00′ 11”
4. IRL ROCHE Nicolas 36 BMC RACING TEAM 18h 07′ 23” + 00′ 13”
5. ESP DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David 11 QUICK – STEP FLOORS 18h 07′ 33” + 00′ 23”
6. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo 151 BAHRAIN – MERIDA 18h 07′ 46” + 00′ 36”
7. ITA ARU Fabio 131 ASTANA PRO TEAM 18h 07′ 59” + 00′ 49”
8. GBR YATES Adam 48 ORICA – SCOTT 18h 08′ 00” + 00′ 50”
9. GBR YATES Simon 49 ORICA – SCOTT 18h 08′ 19” + 01′ 09”
10. CAN WOODS Michael 91 CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM 18h 08′ 23” + 01′ 13”

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