Two heavy crashes disrupted the finale on stage five of the Vuelta a Espana today with Esteban Chaves hitting the tarmac before the line but fortunately escaping with minor cuts and bruises.
All other ORICA-BikeExchange riders finished the stage without serious injury but the incidents clearly disrupted the progress of Magnus Cort and Chaves as the race favourites got caught up in the chaotic battle for position.
Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quickstep) won the stage from a heavily reduced bunch after the day’s two-man breakaway was caught with less than 15kilometres to go.
Sport director Neil Stephens lamented the frantic finale but was pleased that the team made it through without serious harm.
“Wow, that was a hectic finish,” said Stephens. “You had the sprinters, the lead out men and the race favourites all fighting for position at high speed through the last two kilometres and the run in was extremely narrow and technical.”
|1||Gianni Meersman (BEL) - Etixx - Quick-Step||4:16:42|
|2||Fabio Felline (ITA) - Trek-Segafredo||ST|
|3||Kévin Reza (FRA) - FDJ||ST|
|4||Luis Leon Sanchez (SPA) - Astana Pro Team||ST|
|5||Zico Waeytens (BEL) - Team Giant-Alpecin||ST|
|6||Alejandro Valverde (SPA) - Movistar Team||ST|
|7||Romain Hardy (FRA) - Cofidis, Solutions Credits||ST|
|8||Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|9||Kenneth Van Bilsen (BEL) - Cofidis, Solutions Credits||ST|
|10||José Gonçalves (POR) - Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||ST|
|27||Simon Yates (GBR) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:01:02|
|53||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:01:34|
|93||Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:02:55|
|94||Esteban Chaves (COL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:02:55|
|102||Damien Howson (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:06|
|106||Simon Gerrans (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:06|
|110||Sam Bewley (NZL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:22|
|127||Jack Haig (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:58|
|180||Svein Tuft (CAN) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:04:35|