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.
- Rein Taaramae gave up the lead after finishing two minutes back as a result of a crash
- Kenny Elissonde says it is “not the way” he would have liked to take over as the red jersey holder
- Riders will next face a mountainous sixth stage of 158 kilometres
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.
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.