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Alcala de Guadaira - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Caleb Ewan (Team Orica Greenedge), John Degenkolb (Team Giant - Alpecin) pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 5 from Rota to Alcala de Guadaira - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

Vuelta’15 St.5: Caleb Confirms!

Race Report: Stage 5 was billed as a power sprinters stage finish and so it proved as Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb tussled for the win. What they didn’t see was the diminutive Australian Caleb Ewan shoot past to demonstrate his future capabilities. Stage for Orica, but red jersey for Giant-Alpecin as Tom Dumoulin slipped into the lead by 1 second.

Today’s stage was short at 167 kilometers, but had it been longer the boredom might have been too much and we would have missed a very exciting finish that brought a bright star to the fore of Grand Tour cycling. Caleb Ewan has been winning big races since he was a junior, but today was the biggest win of his life and there will be more where that came from. At the start in Rota he said: “Today is the day for me. It’s the stage I had written down and the team will work for me as much as possible. The finish is a hard one, it’s going to be a difficult sprint but I’m convinced the best sprinters will be there.”

The stage starts in the fishing town of Rota and works its way up the coast towards Portugal for 20 kilometers before turning inland to Jerez de la Frontera. From there the race heads north to finish in the walled city of Alalá de Guadaira after 167.3 kilometers. There are no mountains to climb, but there is one intermediate sprint in Sevilla with 25.6 kilometers to go. A sprinters stage, but the final is not easy, it’s uphill and tight, in the last 700 meters there is a right turn on a round-about, then a left after 200 meters and then a right turn on another round-about with 100 meters to go with a bit of a ramp to the line.


Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida) went from the flag and after 10 kilometers he built up a 2-minute lead, a further 10 kilometers on and he only had 1 minute, but did have Iljo Keisse (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Antoine Duchesne (Europcar) for company. By the 30 kilometer mark the three had over 4 minutes and after 40 kilometers their lead was well over 7 minutes. Behind in the peloton Giant-Alpecin were working to keep the trio at a catchable distance.

100K to go
The lead dropped a little to 6 minutes with 100 kilometers still to race. One piece of good news is that the strong rumor of the day is that the Europcar team has a new sponsor for next year, saving the team. Two bits of contract news: Ryder Hesjedal is leaving Cannondale-Garmin for Trek and Rein Taaramäe is leaving Astana for Katusha. We spoke to Rein earlier this year, you can read it HERE.

The lead stabilized at 5 minutes for Grmay, Keisse and Duchesne with 70 kilometers ahead of them, mostly on long straight roads, the ones that remind you of the worst, long, dull stages of the Tour de France, could this be the influence of ASO on the Vuelta organization? In 10 kilometers the lead dropped a further 30-second under the pressure of Giant-Alpecin – Degenkolb must be keen.

There was a flurry of excitement at 53K’s out, Chris Froome (Sky) had some trouble, mechanical or natural we don’t know, but after a fast chase he regained the field without much effort.

La Vuelta 2015 stage-5
The break of the day: Grmay, Keisse and Duchesne

30 out
Into the last 30 kilometers and the lead was getting near 2 minutes, but before the intermediate sprint (25.6km) there was a falling out between Kaisse and Grmay which let Duchesne ride off while they argued. Eventually the three got back together, but Grmay did not want to do any work. Grmay came through for the sprint, but this just annoyed Kaisse and the Belgian shot off on his own for the 3 points and the €150.

Behind; Astana, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Movistar moved to the front to help Giant-Alpecin, they had Keisse at 1:30, 15 kilometers out and it looked like the man from Gent had no chance. Grmay and Duchesne were reeled in.

The Finalé
Tinkof-Saxo controlled the peloton for Sagan and the lead plummeted to 30 seconds as they entered the last 10 kilometers. 9 kilometers out and it was all over for Keisse as just about all the teams had someone on the front. Through one of the many roundabouts, the peloton was pulled into single file with MTN-Qhubeka doing the pace work. Tinkoff again moved forward to take Sagan forward as they entered 3 kilometers to go.

Alcala de Guadaira - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Caleb Ewan (Team Orica Greenedge), John Degenkolb (Team Giant - Alpecin)   pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 5 from Rota to Alcala de Guadaira - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015
Degenkolb and Sagan could do nothing

Orica-GreenEDGE swamped the front of the peloton for young Caleb Ewan at two out. Whoever has the lead into the technical section will have the advantage. As the lead-out men moved out of the way, Degenkolb kicked too early and started to loose strength on the last ramp, which let Young Caleb fire right past him for the win. Peter Sagan was well placed, but didn’t have the legs today to come off Degenkolb’s wheel.

The young Australian has a lot of talent and today we saw he has great promise for the future. Orica-GreenEDGE won the stage, but lost the overall leader’s red jersey as Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) found a gap to move into the lead over Esteban Chaves by 1 second.

Tomorrow’s stage 6 will be much more exciting with two Cat 3 climbs, the last one to the finish line on the Sierra de Cazorla after 200.3 kilometers. Keep it tuned to PEZ.

Alcala de Guadaira - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant - Alpecin)   pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 5 from Rota to Alcala de Guadaira - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015
It was a surprised Tom Dumoulin who received the red jersey as overall leader

Vuelta a España Stage 5 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE in 3:57:28
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
3. Peter Sagan (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar at 0:02
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
9. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
11. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
12. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
13. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis
14. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia
15. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
16. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC
17. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
18. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
19. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 0:08
20. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek
21. Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE
22. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky
23. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
24. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky
25. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 5:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 17:09:06
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEDGE at 0:01
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 0:16
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin at 0:27
5. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha at 0:31
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:33
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:35
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 0:36
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:39
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:52
11. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana at 0:52
12. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Sky
13. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:56
14. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:59
15. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:05
16. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky at 1:07
17. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:09
18. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana at 1:15
19. Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:16
20. Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka at 1:31
21. Romain Sicard (Fra) Europcar at 1:40
22. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 1:47
23. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC at 2:03
24. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 2:13
25. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:14.

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