Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome extends lead as Alexey Lutsenko wins

Alexey Lutsenko
Alexey Lutsenko's victory was his first Grand Tour stage success

Britain's Chris Froome extended his Vuelta a Espana lead behind Alexey Lutsenko's breakaway stage-five win.

Froome, aiming to become the third man to win a Vuelta crown in the same year as Tour de France success, attacked on the final climb and now has a 10-second advantage over his nearest rival.

Froome was set up by Team Sky's Gianni Moscon, with Alberto Contador one of the few rivals to match his pace.

The race finishes in Madrid on 10 September after another 16 stages.

Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet both lost time to favourite Froome with Spain's David de la Cruz, who had been two seconds behind before the stage start, slipping 23 seconds adrift.

Team Sky
Team Sky delivered another commanding performance, pressing the pace at the finish to draw the sting out of their rivals' lead riders

Froome, who finished in a group that also included Cannondale's Michael Woods and Orica's Esteban Chaves, said it was a day to reveal the general classification contenders.

"I learned a lot about my rivals," he said.

"Chaves seems to be one of the strongest climbers. Obviously Contador did a good ride today. Tejay van Garderen is still in the mix. Nicolas Roche is also up there.

"I was surprised to see Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru lose a bit of time, and Romain Bardet. But it's a long race and I imagine it will be a different race once we get in the high mountains."

Lutsenko's biggest victory of his career came as he followed Katusha's Marco Haller off the front of a breakaway group and then powered clear of the Austrian and kept the chasing Merhawi Kudus at bay.

British brothers Adam and Simon Yates both conceded ground to Froome, but Simon moved up a place to ninth in the overall standings.

Tomorrow's stage covers 204.4km (127 miles) from Vila-real to Sagunt.

Stage 6 map

Stage five result

1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana)

2. Merhawi Kudus (Eri/Dimension Data) +42secs

3. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +56sec

4. Matej Mohoric (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 11secs

5. Alexis Gougeard (Fra/AG2R-La Mondiale) +1min 24secs

6. Marco Haller (Aus/Katusha-Alpecin) +1min 37secs

7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) +1min 40secs

8. Jetse Bol (Ned/Manzana Postobon Team) +2mins 4secs

9. Matvey Mamykin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +2mins 18secs

10. Jeremy Maison (Fra/FDJ) +2mins 31secs

General standings after stage five:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

2. Tejay Van Garderen (US/BMC)+10secs

3. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica-Scott) +11secs

4. Nicolas Roche (Ire/BMC) +13secs

5. David De La Cruz (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) +23secs

6. Antonio Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +36secs

7. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +49secs

8. Adam Yates (GB/Orica-Scott) +50secs

9. Simon Yates (GB/Orica-Scott) +1mins 09secs

10. Michael Woods (Can/Cannondale) +1mins 13secs


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