Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) powered up the punchy finish on Stage 5 of La Vuelta to take his maiden Vuelta victory and the King of the Mountains jersey. The Belgian timed his effort to perfection, leaving breakaway companions Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and new Sunweb kid-on-the-block Thymen Arensman resigned to second and third place respectively. Top ten on GC remain the same with Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic in red, despite a full gas start and a tangled crash in sight of the finish line.
All hail Wellens
I have two words for Tim Wellens: tenacious and patience.
Tenacious to get to his first Vuelta stage after a crash before the Tour de France.
Tenacious to get into the break, to attack away from it with Arensman and to drive it forward when Martin bridged across to them.
Topped off with the patience to bide his time on a finish that ramped up to 13%. Take a look at the final kilometre – and what’s more, it wasn’t even raining!
The start was super difficult. I think we went full-gas for two hours. I was lucky enough to be in the first group. We were not turning super good as there were two riders that were in front of the GC, but then we went away with three [himself, Martin and Arensman] and were super-good together. I think all three of us were at the same level, but I had the kick and the end that brought me victory.
Couldn’t agree more, he’s a Midge favourite for his exploits at the BinckBank Tour alone.
Stage win, magnificent blue polka dots and a prolonged contract – not a bad day’s work.
Second and third step
There was excitement at VeloVoices Towers when it became apparent Journal Velo’s beloved Cofidis were in with a shout of a Grand Tour win with Guillaume Martin. The Frenchman looked slight and tiny compared to his breakaway companions, but he attacked with fire and played his cards with cleverness in the finale.
He didn’t attack on the penultimate climb where he might have been expected to have the advantage, hoping instead to float away on the fierce ramp at the finish. It didn’t work out this time, next time Guillaume!!!
With young riders winning all over the place this year, I was excited to see who would step into a spotlight at La Vuelta – always a showcase for new riders. Step up to 3rd step of the podium Thymen Arensman from Sunweb.
Some Thymen facts…
Podiums at Tour de l’Avenir, Paris Roubaix and cyclocross – now that’s a palmares already packed with promise. Watch out for him!
The break may have played for the win, but that didn’t mean the GC riders had an easy jaunt. The action was spicy hot for the first couple of hours and with a finish at Formigal on stage 6, there was little appetite for attacking on the climbs once the break had settled.
A crash in the finale split the GC group and left Israel Start-Up Nation’s Dan Martin entangled with bikes and riders on the tarmac. Thankfully he has taken no serious injury and was given the same time as GC group over the line.
Image of the day
This is what happened the last time La Vuelta finished at La Formigal in 2016 – enjoy the chaos
Stage 5 results
1 Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 4:19:25
2 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:04
3 Thymen Arensman (Sunweb) +0:12
4 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:13
5 Felix Grosschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) +2:14
GC Top 10
1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 20:52:31
2 Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up) +0:05
3 Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:13
4 Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:32
5 Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +0:38
6 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:44
7 Felix Grosschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) +1:17
8 Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +1:29
9 Marc Soler (Movistar) +1:55
10 George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) +1:57
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
Points jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
King of the Mountains Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal)
Best Young Rider Enric Mas (Movistar)
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Official race website: Vuelta a Espana
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