Chaves into seventh overall after first summit finish of La Vuelta

Wed 28 Aug 2019

Former overall podium placer Esteban Chaves has moved up to seventh overall at La Vuelta a Espana following the first summit finish on stage five.

The Colombian lost touch with some of the general classification contenders on the steep ramps of the final climb, but paced himself with maturity to eventually finish one-minute 46seconds behind stage winner Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), who won from the breakaway.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider also limited his overall losses to one minute to Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), who was the best placed overall contender and now moves into the race lead.

Day for the break:
Whilst there was a little more fight at the beginning of proceedings than the previous two days, it still took less than 10km for a breakaway of three to form. 

José Herrada(Cofidis) was the closest on general classification at over 13minutes down and as such the peloton gave them considerable breathing space and with 30km remaining they had 11minutes advantage.

Despite the general classification battle dramatically closing the gap on the final climb, it wasn’t enough to rain on the breakaway’s parade and they contested the stage victory. 

GC battle behind:
Jumbo Visma set the tempo on the initial slopes of the final climb and in the process created a smaller group towards the front, but it was an attack from Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) with around three kilometres to go that cause the first real damage. 

The attack saw Chaves lose contact almost immediately, choosing to set a steady tempo on the front of a small group that also included Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First).

The 29-year-old continued to keep the same tempo as Nario Quintana (Movistar Team) also lost touch and sat in behind him. 

Ahead, Lopez put in an unanswered attack with 1.5km remaining which resulted in him being the big winner of the day in the overall battle and the new race leader. 

Chaves lost around one-minute on Lopez, and 45seconds to Valverde and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) whilst moving ahead of many others, including teammate Mikel Nieve, to jump from 13thto seventh overall. 

Esteban Chaves – 10th on stage:
“It was a good result for me.

“Like the second stage, I couldn’t find the change of rhythm yet, but it reminds me of 2016 when we finished in Lagos de Covadonga where it happened the same. 

“Normally later in the race, I will improve but we are calm, there’s a long way to go. I think they are spending a lot of bullets early in the race, and hopefully that will be an advantage for us in the third week.” 

Julian Dean – Sport Director:
“It was a pretty different sort of day. It wasn’t aggressive at all throughout the day until the final climb, and it felt like everyone was holding their cards back a little bit until the final.

“Esteban was there or thereabouts. He hasn’t races for a while so we were always going to have to wait and see how he measured up on a day like today, but all indications are good and we feel positive about his performance today.”

La Vuelta – Stage 5 Results:
1. Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) 4:58:31
2. Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) +0:10
3. Jose Herrada (Cofidis, Solutions Credit) +0:22
10. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:46

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 18:55:21
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:14
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) +0:23
7. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:17

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.