Team Sky's Sergio Henao moves into Tour of the Basque Country overall race lead ahead of the final time trial

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Italian Diego Rosa (Astana) took an impressive solo win on stage five of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain on Friday.

Sergio Henao (Sky) finished in second place, with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) in third.

Overnight leader Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) lost the yellow jersey to Henao, with visible rips in his clothing suggesting he had crashed during the stage. Contador sits in second at six seconds, with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) in third at 10 seconds.

Rosa had been part of a large, 24-rider escape group but had gone solo after around 50km of the 159km stage. He quickly opened up a significant time gap as the escape group behind him splintered over the day’s eight categorised climbs.

The peloton containing the general classification favourites also fractured in the final 12km, with stage winner Mikel Landa (Sky) linking up with team-mate David Lopez from the earlier break, along with Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Carlos Verona (Etixx-QuickStep).

>>> Simon Yates and Fabio Aru among those abandoning Tour of the Basque Country

Contador attacked from the bunch with 5km to go, with Henao on his wheel. They quickly caught and passed Landa, and worked together up the final climb to distance their rivals.

Sergio Henao on stage five of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Sergio Henao on stage five of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Rosa’s time advantage was such that he had time to stop before the finish, dismount and walk across the line holding his bike aloft in celebration. Henao and Contador crossed the line together over three minutes behind Rosa.

>>> Diego Rosa’s victory celebration was a bit different (video)

There were several high-profile abandons during the stage, namely as a result of crashes on wet descents. British rider Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), Fabio Aru (Astana), Daniel Martin (Etixx-QuickStep), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) were among those withdrawing during the day.

The 2016 Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco) concludes on Saturday with a decisive, hilly 16.5km individual time trial.


Watch: 2016 WorldTour contenders


Tour of the Basque Country 2016 result

Stage five: Orio to Arrate (Eibar), 159km
1. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana
2. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky at 3-13
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 3-15
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale
9. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
10. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data

Sergio Henao after stage five of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Sergio Henao after stage five of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

General classification after stage five
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky in 22-15-24
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff at 6 secs
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 10 secs
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 12 secs
5. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 31 secs
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 31 secs
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale at 1-00
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1-09
10. Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ at 1-11

  • blemcooper

    Yeah, it was cool, though I was expecting him to kiss the bike while holding it up as a bid to get a big spot in the Specialized ad campaigns.

  • llos25

    That was some win and I liked the finish celebrations.