Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) took victory on the final stage of the 2019 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, making a late surge to beat Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) to the line in a close finish.
Ion Izagirre (Astana) was able to safely finish in the front group to secure the overall victory in the race seven seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
A crash in the final kilometre meant the front group was severely reduced heading towards the line, however all the big name sprinters and race leader Izagirre were able to stay unscathed towards the front.
Mitchelton-Scott were the most active coming into the final turn, with Luka Mezgec the final lead-out man left to try and deliver Trentin to a second stage win in the race.
But while the Italian initially looked strong, he was unable to stop the likes of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), as well as Kristoff and Groenewegen from getting close to him, with the Dutchman able to make a late push towards the line to claim victory by a wheel.
How it happened
A short flat stage into the city centre of Valencia would conclude the 2019 edition of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, with a short distance of just 88.5km.
With no bonus seconds available along the route, race leader Ion Izagirre would simply have to finish to seal his first stage race victory for new team Astana.
The sprinters would be almost certain to fight it out for the win in the finale of stage five, but of course a breakaway would try its luck out front.
Three riders, Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Alexey Kurbatov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Gotzon Martin Sanz (Equipo Euskadi), got away in the first 10km, but were eventually joined by a WorldTour rider in Ag2r La Mondiale’s Alexis Gougeard.
They could only establish a maximum advantage of 2-20 however, and the peloton were easily able to start bringing that down as the city centre circuits approached.
The breakaway hit the first of four city centre circuits with 30km to go with just 37 seconds in hand, and the leading riders’ chances increasingly looked doomed.
The leaders admirably held out until 13km to go, but were absorbed by the peloton which was then ramping up to full speed ahead of a sprint finish.
No-one could stop an immediate reaction from Ag2r however, with Julien Duvel hitting out to try solo. But his efforts were short lived, as he was reeled in by Jumbo-Visma who were looking to bring Dylan Groenewegen to the line victorious.
The final few kilometres were chaotic as teams tussled for position, but despite a crash in the closing kilometre, the key sprinters were able to make it safely through along with leader Izagirre to compete for the win, which was ultimately taken by Groenewegen.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2019, stage five: Paterna to Valencia (88.5km)
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 1-50-17
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
6. Michele Gazzoli (Ita) Kometa Cycling Team
7. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
10. Giovanni Lovardi (Ita) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè, all same time
Final overall classification
1. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana, in 16-08-44
2. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 7 secs
3. Pello Bilbao (Esp), Astana, at same time
4. Dan Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates, at 16 secs
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida, at 18 secs
6. Jesús Herrada (Esp) Cofidis, at 29 secs
7. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 33 secs
8. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 34 secs
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, at 46 secs
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 48 secs