Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) pipped Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) to the line in a bunch sprint to with the fifth and final stage of the 2020 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Having lost out to his Dutch compatriot in each of the other two sprint stages, Jakobson at last got everything right on his final attempt, to pick up his first win of the season.
He can be thankful for excellent work from his Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammates, who lead him out perfectly to the line.
In a twisty finish in Valencia, first Yves Lampaert and then Davide Ballerini ensured that he was in the prime position going into two tight right hand corners in the final kilometre, while Groenewegen had to content himself with sitting in his wheel.
That gave Jakobsen enough of a head start to win the sprint, with Groenewegen in second and John Degenkolb (Lotto-Soudal) in third.
Elsewhere, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) finished safely in the peloton to seal overall victory.
How it happened
The final stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana was a straightforward affair. At 98km, it was comfortably the shortest stage in the race, and didn’t feature any climbs on the route to complicate matters.
It was also a warm, pleasant day – a world away from the storms currently affecting the UK – and the riders were able to enjoy a relaxed day in the saddle.
A bunch sprint therefore looked inevitable, although that didn’t dissuade chancers from trying their luck in the breakaway.
A group of four broke clear at the start of the day, consisting of Hugo Houle (Astana), Sergio Samitier (Movistar), Jon Agirre (Equipo Kern Pharma) and Francesco Romano (Bardiani CSF).
They were never given much leeway by the peloton, who barely allowed them a lead of over a minute throughout the whole stage.
The catch was eventually made with 9km left to ride, when sprinters trains from the likes of Jumbo-Visma and Lotto-Soudal upped the pace.
In truth the peloton could have made the catch considerably earlier,soon after the gap had been reduced to around 30 second with 40km still to ride, but the peloton opted to let them dangle out ahead for a while longer, perhaps fearful of potential counter-attacks.
After a roundabout 7km form the finish strung the peloton out in single file, the group bunched up again as no single team managed to take control.
After a brief turn at the front from race leader Pogačar – who presumably saw the very front of the peloton as the safest place to be – Deceuninck-Quick-Step took over at the front 4km from the finish.
There were attempts from Inoes and Israel Start-Up Nation to challenge their train, but the Belgian team always had matters in control, and delivered Jakobsen to the finish line perfectly.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2020, stage five: Paterna – Valencia (97.7km)
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, in 2-04-42
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
5. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren
6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Jaume Sureda Morey (Esp) Burgos-BH
8. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
9. Enrique Sanz (Esp) Kern Pharma
10. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team, all at same time
Final general classification
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 18-43-00
2. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 6 seconds
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos, at same time
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 13s
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren, at 23s
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren, at 25s
7. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana Pro Team, at 32s
8. Ruben Fernandez (Esp) Fundacion-Orbea, at 49s
9. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Esp) Astana Pro Team, at 1-11
10. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 1-14