Team Sky continued to dominate the racing in the Tour of the Basque Country on Friday, with Richie Porte taking a solo win and Sergio Henao placing third to maintain his overall lead in the WorldTour race.
Porte put in a late attack from the contenders’ group on the last of the day’s 10 categorised climbs to take a solo win and claw back some valuable seconds from overall rivals Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) came home in second, four seconds behind Porte, closely followed by Henao.
Henao leads the general classification by six seconds over Quintana, and Porte in third at the same time. Contador is fourth at 10 seconds.
With just Saturday’s 24-kilometre individual time trial stage remaining, strong performer against the clock Porte is in the ideal position to take the top spot on the podium.
Tasmanian Porte is enjoying his most successful season yet, with an overall win in Paris-Nice and second behind team-mate Chris Froome in Criterium International. He goes into this year’s Tour de France as a key support rider for Froome, and is putting a convincing case forward to be a back-up contender in his own right.
With defending 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins also in attendance in July – after he attempts to win the Giro d’Italia in May – Sky has an embarrassment of Grand Tour riches.
Tour of the Basque Country 2013, stage five: Eibar to Beasain, 166km
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky in 4-40-43
2. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4 secs
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
5. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
6. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r
7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
8. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at same time
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 20 secs
10. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha at same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky in 21-04-07
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 6 secs
3. Richie Porte (Aus) SKy at 6 secs
4. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 10 secs
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 10 secs
6. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge at 25 secs
7. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r at 37 secs
8. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 47 secs
9. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha at 51 secs
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1-03
Richie Porte solos to win the stage
Stage winner Richie Porte on the podium
Sergio Henao maintains overall lead
Tour of the Basque Country 2013: Related links