Germany's John Degenkolb won the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain on Wednesday while Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez held on to the overall leader's red jersey for the second straight day. Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano, who also won the second stage, finished the 168-kilometer (104-mile) ride that began and ended in the northern city of Logrono just ahead of Italy's Daniele Bennati.
Bennati of Radioshack-Nissan launched a sprint in the final minutes and managed to open up a significant gap but in the final seconds Degenkolb picked up speed and inched ahead of the Italian at the finish line. "It was unbelievable it was so fast. My team delivered me perfectly and I just did the sprint in the final 200 meters," Degenkolb said of the final kilometer of the race. Rodriguez finished safely in the peloton to hold on to his overall race lead as well as his one-second advantage over Chris Froome of Team Sky.
Thursday's stage will take the riders from Tarazona to Jaca, a distance of 175.4 kilometers that includes two virtually back-to-back third category climbs. The 21-stage race finishes on September 9 in Madrid. The Vuelta is one of cycling's three 'major tours' along with the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.
1. John Degenkolb (GER/ARG) 4h10min 37sec
2. Daniele Bennati (ITA/RSH) at 0:00.
3. Gianni Meersman (BEL/LTB) 0:00.
4. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 0:00.
5. Elia Viviani (ITA/LIQ) 0:00.
6. Raymond Kreder (NED/GRM) 0:00.
7. Allan Davis (AUS/GEC) 0:00.
8. Lloyd Mondory (FRA/ALM) 0:00.
9. Fabio-Leonardo Duque (COL/COF) 0:00.
10. Pim Ligthart (NED/VAC) 0:00.
11. Manuel Cardoso (POR/CJR) 0:00.
12. Dennis van Winden (NED/RAB) 0:00.
13. Koldo Fernandez (ESP/GRM) 0:00.
14. Davide Vigano (ITA/LAM) 0:00.
15. Klaas Lodewyck (BEL/BMC) 0:00.
16. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 0:00.
17. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) 0:00.
18. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) 0:00.
19. Jan Bakelants (BEL/RSH) 0:00.
20. Ruben Perez Moreno (ESP/EUS) 0:00.
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 17h29min 22sec
2. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) at 0:01.
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 0:05.
4. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 0:09.
5. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 0:09.
6. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 0:11.
7. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 0:14.
8. Nicolas Roche (EIR/ALM) 0:24.
9. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:36.
10. Laurens ten Dam (NED/RAB) 0:46.
11. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (ESP/MOV) 0:47.
12. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 0:52.
13. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 0:53.
14. Winner Anacona (COL/LAM) 0:53.
15. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/VAC) 0:55.
16. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 0:57.
17. Daniel Navarro (ESP/SAX) 0:57.
18. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/AST) 1:17.
19. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 1:26.
20. Bart De Clercq (BEL/LTB) 1:33.