Vuelta a Espana: Gianni Meersman wins stage five as Chris Froome remains third

Chris Froome
Froome followed up his Tour de France victory by winning time trial bronze at Rio 2016

Britain's Chris Froome remains third in the Vuelta a Espana after a late crash caused chaos on Wednesday's stage five.

Belgium's Gianni Meersman sprinted to victory, while Darwin Atapuma retained his overall lead despite being one of the riders caught behind the collision.

Colombian Atapuma lost more than a minute, but organisers applied the 3km rule to determine finishing times.

Froome and second-placed Alejandro Valverde were part of the bunch sprint having been ahead of the crash.

The accident split the pack in the closing stages and ended the race of Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, who sustained a suspected broken collarbone.

It was a second win in this year's Vuelta for Meersman, who held off the challenge of Italy's Fabio Felline and Kevin Reza of France.

Team Sky's Froome is aiming to become the first man in 38 years to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same season.

Stage five result:

1. Gianni Meersman (Bel/Etixx-Quick-Step) 4hrs 16mins 41secs

2. Laurent Didier (Lux/Trek) same time

3. Kevin Reza (Fra/FDJ)

4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana)

5. Zico Waeytens (Bel/Giant)

6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar)

7. Romain Hardy (Fra/Cofidis)

8. Jempy Druecker (Lux/BMC Racing)

9. Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel/Cofidis)

10. Jose Goncalves (Por/Caja Rural)

General classification after stage five:

1. Darwin Atapuma (Col/BMC) 17hrs 39mins 52secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +28secs

3 Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +32secs

4. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +38secs

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) same time

6. Gonzalez Sanchez (Spa/BMC) +1min 7secs

7. Andujar Fernandez (Spa/Movistar) +1min 10secs

8. Leopold Konig (Cze/Team Sky) +1min 12secs

9. Peter Kennaugh (GB/Team Sky) +1min 14secs

10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx-Quick-Step) 1min 22secs

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