Vuelta a Espana: Elissonde takes overall lead as Philipsen edges sprint finish

By Sports Desk August 18, 2021

Jasper Philipsen hailed an "incredible" team performance from Alpecin-Fenix after he clinched his second stage victory of this year's Vuelta a Espana.

Philipsen, who won stage 15 last year and triumphed in stage two three days ago, edged a bunch sprint at the culmination of a crash-hit stage five on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old powered away on the final straight of a 184.4 kilometre flat route into Albacete, crossing the line ahead of Tuesday's winner Fabio Jakobsen and Alberto Dainese.

"It makes it even more beautiful if you see the final five kilometres how we were there together all with the team. I cannot describe that," said the Belgian, who also took the green jersey as the points leader.

"This team, we haven't been riding so long together but it's incredible what we all do for each other, and I think it's so beautiful to finish it off together.

"After yesterday I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't do my sprint how I wanted but to win today is super nice to turn a page from yesterday and enjoy this moment together with the team."

His victory came after the group split with around 11km remaining – an incident that held up leader Rein Taaramae.

With Taaramae falling back, Kenny Elissonde nipped in to take La Roja, though Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, the two-time defending champion, is only five seconds behind ahead of a summit finish in stage six.

"This is not the way I wanted to take jersey, but we know in cycling that when there's wind there's risk," said Elissonde.

"Okay, I don't like it, it was not a pleasure, but at the end of the day I cannot do anything else. It is what it is. 

"It's still incredible to wear the jersey. After the Tour [de France] and Olympics, I took it easy, my team said 'Kenny, go to the Vuelta and see day by day', and look. It's incredible. It's super cool."

STAGE RESULT

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 04:24:41
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) same time
3. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time
4. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Piet Allegaert (COFIDIS) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +17:33:57
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:05
3. Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroen Team) +0:10

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A 158.3km route from Requena to Alto de la Montana de Cullera descends into a mostly flat run until a sharp, category three summit finish.

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    1. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 3:43:44 
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