WorldTour teams left toiling as local rider wins by nearly two minutes on Vuelta a San Juan summit finish

Gonzalo Najar moves into race lead with spectacular stage win

Gonzalo Najar wins stage five of the Vuelta a San Juan
(Image credit: Vuelta a San Juan)

The Vuelta a San Juan looks set to have a home victor after local rider Gonzalo Najar (S.E.P. de San Juan) upset the bigger-name teams and riders to win by nearly two minutes on the race's queen stage.

Najar, who was in 14th place and more than a minute back from race leader Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates) at the start of the day, was one of three S.E.P. de San Juan riders to attack at the base of the final climb of the Alto Colorado.

Juan Paolo Dotti was the first to attack but was pulled back before Najar went off the front with team-mate Jose Rodriguez, who put in a huge turn before Najar took over the move.

>>> Quick-Step riders left injured after collision with truck during South African training camp

Behind the chase was led by Medellin-Inter, working for veteran leader Oscar Sevilla, with Ganna left isolated and fighting to hold the wheels.

Ganna was able to limit his losses even as Sevilla pushed hard to chase down the stage leader, but there was no catch Najar who crossed the line nearly two minutes ahead of his Spanish rival to take a popular home stage win and move into the overall lead.

With two stages remaining, both of which are flat, Najar now holds the race lead by 1-02 over Sevilla, with Ganna 10 seconds further back in third.

Results

Vuelta a San Juan 2018, stage five: San Martín to Alto de Colorado (169.5km)

1. Gonzalo Najar (Arg) S.E.P. de San Juan, in 4-16-26 4

2. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin, at 1-58

3. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, at 2-05

4. Ignacio de Jesus Prado (Mex) Canel’s-Specialized, at 2-15

5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 2-23

6. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team, at same time

7. Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at same time

8. Cristian Camilo Muñoz Lancheros (Col) Coldeportes Zenu Sello Rojo, at 2-52

9. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team, at 2-57

10. Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates, at same time

General classification after stage five

1. Gonzalo Najar (Arg) S.E.P. de San Juan, in 15-47-52

2. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin, at 1-02

3. Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-22

4. Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, at 1-52

5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-11

6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 2-12

7. Omar Mendoza (Col) Medellin, at 2-22

8. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team, at 3-09

9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain-Merida, at 3-30

10. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, at 3-31

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.