Joaquin Rodriguez has won a truly beautiful fifth stage of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. Rodriguez attacked the peloton into the first of the final two climbs and chasing the breakaway that was lead by the King of the Mountains Amets Txurruka.
In the descent before the final categorized climb disaster struck Txurruka as he crashed without his team around for assistance and Rodriguez was suddenly in the first position in the break. The final climb was something to be seen. The incredibly steep pitch, with some sections of 26%, forced some riders to walk as J-Rod powered away from the group and hanging on for the win in the 8km decent to the finish.
Tomorrows stage is a 22km individual time trial in Vuelta a Pais Vasco fashion with a big up and down. It’s certainly not your typical flat TT, with a four km climb just two km into the stage. From there it’s high-speed time and it’s all downhill to the 18km point with two small inclines to cross before the finish.
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Stage 5 results
1 Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha)_________4:07:52
2 Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)________+ 0:14
3 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne)_______s.t.
General classification after stage 5
1 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne)_________22:54:56
2 Christopher Horner (Team RadioShack)________+ 0:02
3 Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha)___________+ 0:34
4 Jean Christophe Peraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto)_+ 0:38
5 Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi)___________s.t.
6 Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank)_____________+ 0:45