Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 5 – Sprint win for Philipsen; bittersweet red for Elissonde

Stage 5 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana had the flattest profile of all the stages – a bunch sprint was a sure thing. Cycling fans, teams, and commentators alike, feeling starved of drama and excitement and desperate for a dose of action, had spent time pre-stage hyping up the potential for crosswinds and echelons, which, sadly, came to nothing. The stage, which proved to be an extremely dull affair, marred by a horrendous crash at 11.6km, but which also saw a second impressive stage victory for Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), felt extremely bittersweet. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche Wanty Gobert), caught up in the crash and unable to get sufficiently close to the front group, ended the day losing the red jersey to Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), while DSM’s Romain Bardet‘s grand tour bad luck continued, coming down hard in the crash and finishing the stage battered, bruised and with the biggest loss from all the GC contenders.

The E Word

Pre-stage there was so much talk of the potential for crosswinds on the day’s stage from Tarancon to Albacete

So much so, that I had to enforce an embargo on the ‘E Word’!

An extremely dull affair

Despite the excessive discussion and hype for crosswinds, in typical crosswind fashion, they came to nothing. With this and the pan-flat route, we were locked in for an exceptionally long and uneventful stage.

A mention should be given to the breakaway boys, Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH), and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who had a long stint in the saddle out front.

The crosswinds that never were

Crosswinds, crosswinds, wherefore art thou crosswinds?

The Crash

If anything, it is highly likely that the long, flat, straight stretches of Spanish terrain contributed to a lack of concentration in the bunch at just under 12km to go.

A touch of wheels high up in the peloton caused chaos and devastation

Rein Taaramae got caught in the pile-up and determinedly tried to chase back with his teammates. Unfortunately Taaramae ended the stage losing his red jersey to Trek’s Kenny Elissonde who had started the day in second place on GC.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM), who had started this Vuelta strongly with a decent time trial performance, looked to be the worst impacted of all, ending the day out of contention on general classification.

Let’s hope Romain can ride on and try to take a stage win!

The victory

In all the chaos it would be easy to forget the day’s victor. Yet another dominant team performance saw Philipsen take an impressive second stage victory at this year’s Vuelta. Chapeau Jasper and chapeau to Alpecin-Fenix, who seemingly cannot be stopped!

Hat Tip to King Kenny

King Kenny finished safely in the bunch at the end of Stage 5 and by rights became the new owner of the red jersey. Not an easy day for anybody – Kenny showed only respect and grace to Rein Taaramae.

The final word

All the results

Stage results 

1 Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:24:11

2 Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) same time

3 Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) s/t

4 Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) s/t

5 Piet Allegaert (Cofidis) s/t

GC Top 10 

1 Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) 17:33:27

2 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:05

3 Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën Team) +0:10

4 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +0:20

5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) +0:26

6 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:32

7 Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:32

8 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:32

9 Mikel Linda (Bahrain Victorious) +0:44

10 Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) +0:45

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Kenny Elissonde (Trek Segafredo)

Points jersey : Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)

King of the Mountains: Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty)

Best young rider : Egan Bernal (Ineos)

Best team : UAE Team Emirates

For full race results, go to

Official Vuelta website is here 

Leave a Reply