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Miguel Ángel López Leads La Vuelta After Stage 5

By Monica Buck

An exciting stage saw the red jersey change hands. It was Ángel Madrazo, however, who stole the spotlight on the first mountainous stage.

The 31-year-old Spaniard was dropped early on the climb but came back in the final kilometre to take the victory away from his team-mate Jetse Bol and José Herrada (Cofidis). This spectacular win is easily one of the biggest highlights of Madrazo’s career.

Miguel Ángel López lost a lot of time last Sunday but on the first summit finish, he was clearly the strongest of all the GC candidates. He was one of the few who followed Alejandro Valverde’s attacks and eventually went into a solo mode few kilometres from the summit finish. The Colombian thus regained his lead, now holding a 14-second advantage over Primož Roglič.

That means Nicholas Roche’s stint in the red is over. The explosive attack by Alejandro Valverde was something the Irishman just couldn’t follow.

“I could see everyone was on their limits when Valverde attacked. That just killed me. This kind of climb isn’t ideal for me, with the changes of pace and accelerations,” Roche said after the stage. Limiting the losses, he now sits in fifth, trailing 57 seconds on the leading Colombian.

Vuelta a España 2019 – Stage five results

1. Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) – 4:58:31
2. Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) + 10s
3. José Herrada (Cofidis) + 22s
4. Miguel Ángel López (Astana) + 47s
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) + 59s
6. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
7. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) + 1:29
8. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) + 1:41
9. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)
10. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) + 1:46

General classification after stage 5

1. Miguel Ángel López (Astana) – 18:55:21
2. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) + 14s
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) + 23s
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) + 28s
5. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) + 57s
6. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) + 59s
7. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) + 1:17
9. Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) + 1:18
10. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) + 1:49