The opening kilometers saw a fierce battle to make it into the breakaway and after many attempts, a three-man leading group was formed. The trio opened up a significant lead of 11 minutes but, with a long and steep climb ahead, it seemed like the bunch was not worried about catching the attackers.
Eventually, none of the teams wanted to take the responsibility of chasing and with 20 kilometers to go, the gap was still at ten minutes. The advantage began to drop as soon as the climb started but, not quickly enough to catch the breakaway.
The trio was able to hold on and battle for the win and with the pace increasing behind them, the bunch was reduced to around 40 riders and, with five kilometers remaining, de la Parte was still in the mix.
The Spaniard lost contact with the General Classification favorites around four kilometers from the top when the attacks were launched and, in the end, he finished in 19th place, 2’30” behind the winner, Madrazo, and around 1’40’ behind Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), the first rider from the main group and new race leader.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
Víctor de la Parte
“It was a quiet day in the peloton until the final few kilometers of the last climb, when the pace picked up. I was feeling very well early in the climb and I was able to ride just behind the top GC guys but, when they started to attack each other, I was not able to respond. I continued to ride my own tempo and I think I did well to limit the losses. I’m still not that far back in the General Classification and I believe we are still in a good position after the first mountain test. The race is long and there are still many opportunities to make up the time.”
Stage 5: L’Eliana > Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre, 170.7km
Top 3: 1. Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) 2. Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) 3. José Herrada (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)
CCC Team Top 3: 19. Victor de la Parte 57. Patrick Bevin 101. Patrick Bevin