German wins Tour of Spain stage
Germany’s John Degenkolb has won the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain while Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez held on to the overall leader’s red jersey for the second straight day.
Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano, who also won the second stage, finished the 168-kilometre ride that began and ended in the northern city of Logrono on Wednesday just ahead of Italy’s Daniele Bennati.
Bennati of Radioshack-Nissan launched a sprint in the final minutes and managed to open up a significant gap but in the final seconds Degenkolb picked up speed and inched ahead of the Italian at the finish line.
“It was unbelievable it was so fast. My team delivered me perfectly and I just did the sprint in the final 200 metres,” Degenkolb said of the final kilometre of the race.
Rodriguez finished safely in the peloton to hold on to his overall race lead as well as his one-second advantage over Chris Froome of Team Sky.
Thursday’s stage will take the riders from Tarazona to Jaca, a distance of 175.4 kilometres that includes two virtually back-to-back third category climbs.
The 21-stage race finishes on September 9 in Madrid.
The Vuelta is one of cycling’s three ‘major tours’ along with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.© AFP 2013
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