Australia

Jasper Philipsen wins crash-marred Vuelta stage, Kenny Elissonde takes overall lead

Jasper Philipsen secured his second stage win at this year’s Spanish Vuelta, with Rein Taaramae losing the leader’s red jersey to Kenny Elissonde after crashing for the second straight day.

Philipsen prevailed at the final sprint of the fifth stage, a 184-kilometre journey to Albacete in south-eastern Spain.

Philipsen, a Belgian rider with team Alpecin-Fenix, also won the second stage of the three-week Grand Tour.

Fabio Jakobsen, who won the fourth stage in what was his biggest victory since a horrific crash at the Tour of Poland a year ago, finished second.

Taaramae finished more than two minutes back after getting caught in a crash in the peloton with about eight kilometres to go. He also fell during the fourth stage but recovered to stay in front. 

“Again, it was a lucky crash, I’m almost OK,” he said.

Rein Taaramae (centre) ended up finishing 125th in stage five.(

Getty: Stuart Franklin

)

Elissonde, a French rider with team Trek-Segafredo, was able to avoid the crash and opened a five-second gap to two-time defending champion Primoz Roglic in the overall standings.

“I was in the top 10 positions when the crash happened so I did not see any of it,” Elissonde said.

“You can lose everything in the echelons so you have to be vigilant. I don’t like the way it happened. It was not a pleasure. But at the end of the day there was nothing else I could do.”

The best placed Australian in stage 5 was Robert Stannard, finishing 14th.

Tonight’s mountainous sixth stage will see the riders cover 158km to finish near the Cullera Castle.


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