Vuelta a Espana 2022 : Stage 5 – Soler steals the stage, Molard moves into red

Wow! I bet no one was expecting UAE Team Emirate’s Marc Soler to grab victory on stage 5 of La Vuelta a Espana. To be honest, I’m still not sure I can explain it! In true Soler style, the mercurial Spaniard chased like crazy to get into the break, got dropped in a finale backloaded with climbs, somehow made it back, shot off the front solo on the Alto del Vivero, held his advantage on the descent and sailed over the line, arms aloft with four seconds to spare on his chasers. With Jumbo-Visma happy to let the race lead go to someone in the break-of-the-day, Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) played his cards – and Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) – perfectly to move into the red jersey for the second time in his career.

Peak Marc Soler

Fellow VeloVoice Luke always celebrates all the contrariness and quirkiness of Marc Soler, so I KNOW he will have been speechless with joy over this performance. I can say with hand on heart that our twitter DMs were full of sass and complete bafflement. The ride today was truly PEAK Soler, right up and including the fact he crossed the line with a Movistar bidon on board his UAE Colnago bike (after they gave him a bottle when he needed one). You could not make this up!!

All that being said, these trifles do not take away from the fact this was a ride of guts and self belief.

Bridging to the break…

Getting dropped and getting back on the climbs…

Scorching past a rampant Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ)

Sure, the chase group could have been better organised and not relied on Fred Wright to do all the work,

but Soler rode with heart and his earpiece firmly in and he deserved the victory – the first Spanish victory for 121 grand tour stages.

[still looking like Geraint Thomas’s younger brother – ed]

Fight for rojo

Once it became clear that Jumbo-Visma were happy for the break-of-the-day to go all the way to Bilbao, two riders were in with a chance of slipping the red onto their shoulders at the end of the stage – Rudy Molard and Fred Wright. After a tense day in the saddle where Molard stuck to Fred Wright like glue,

the Frenchman gained a crucial two second bonification on a climb and that made all the difference, even though Fred gained seconds for finishing third.

It’s the second time Rudy has worn red at stage 5 in the Vuelta

The frustration from Fred Wright was clear at the finish. He did have the legs, but was forced into a position of doing a lot of the work.

A word for Jake Stewart

Jake was immense today, his attack in the finale had me on the edge of my seat. Jersey undone, chest heaving, he gave it everything to grab the stage win.

Not bad for a young rider making his grand tour debut

Jake and Fred making Twitter a happier place.

The Last Word

A follow up to the Dan vs Tadej

Stay tuned for the next instalment


Stage 5 results

1 Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 4:15:23

2 Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech) +0.04

3 Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) same time

4 Rudy Molard (Groupama FDJ) s/t

5 Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco) s/t

GC Top 10

1 Rudy Molard (Groupama FDJ) 16:07:22

2 Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) +0.02

3 Nikias Arndt (BORA-hansgrohe) +1:09

4 Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco) +2:27

5 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +4:09

6 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma) +4:22

7 Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:35

8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) same time

9 Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +4:36

10 Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:42

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)

Points jersey : Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)

King of the Mountains jersey : Victor Langellotti (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

Young Rider Jersey : Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious)

Team competition : Groupama-FDJ

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Go here for the official La Vuelta website

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