Vuelta a Espana: Wellens stage delight as Roglic retains race lead

By Sports Desk October 24, 2020

Tim Wellens powered to victory on stage five of the Vuelta a Espana as he emerged as the strongman from a three-way battle for supremacy in Sabinanigo. 

The 29-year-old Belgian, twice a stage winner on the Giro d'Italia in seasons gone by, is making his Vuelta debut this year and ensured it would be one to remember. 

He was locked in a scrap for first place with Frenchman Guillaume Martin and Dutch youngster Thymen Arensman, but the Lotto Soudal rider would not be denied, victory carrying him to the top of the early King of the Mountains standings. 

Wellens resisted a charge from Arensman at the flamme rouge and pushed clear on the uphill finale of the 184.4-kilometre ride from Huesca, with Martin taking second place, four seconds back. 

"It feels super good," Wellens said. "It was the goal of the team to have minimum one victory in the Vuelta and it's super nice it's come so early. 

"Now in the next weeks we don't stress, so I'm super happy with the victory." 

Assessing the race in the closing stages, he said: "We rode super good together. All three of us were a little bit at the same level but I had the kick at the end that brought me to victory." 

A hilly second half of the stage had split the field, with Wellens part of a mid-race breakaway of a dozen riders that was gradually whittled down to the trio that entered the last kilometre with the spoils up for grabs. 

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) led the sprint from the peloton to cross the line in fourth, remaining the General Classification leader as the race heads to the Pyrenees on Sunday. 

Roglic's closest rival overall in the red jersey stakes, Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), crashed in the closing metres, along with David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), but the Irish rider was able to get back on his bike and complete the stage. 

STAGE RESULT

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 04:19:25
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +00:04
3. Thymen Arensman (Team Sunweb) +00:12
4. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +02:13
5. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +02:13

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 20:52:31
2. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +0:05
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:13

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 79
2. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 57
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 57

King of the Mountains

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 19
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 18
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 16

WHAT'S NEXT?

The riders have tackled moderate hills so far but Sunday takes them into the Pyrenees, albeit not on the route that was planned initially. French coronavirus restrictions have forced Vuelta organisers to cancel the scheduled Tourmalet summit finish, with the stage instead ending with the category one Aramon Formigal climb.

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    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:10:56
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) "
    4. Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal) "
    5. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) "

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 38:30:17
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.14
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.22

    Points Classification

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 108
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 91

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

  • Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win

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    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:08:23
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +07secs
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) "
    4. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +10s
    5. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) "

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    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 35:19:22
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.15
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.21

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    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 83
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    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

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    1. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) 4:06:47
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    4. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +41s
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    3. Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) 18

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