Madrazo and Lopez fly to Javalambre
August 28 th 2019 - 18:13
Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) claimed a spectacular stage win at the Javalambre Astrophysical Observatory after his third long-range attack already in La Vuelta 19. His breakaway companions dropped him three times in the gruelling final climb but the Spaniard came back inside the last kilometre to claim his biggest career win. The overall contenders also lit some fireworks with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) dropping everyone to get back the leader’s red jersey he already wore after stage 1.
The 174 riders who finished stage 4 also start stage 5 from L’Eliana. The climbing challenges of the day get riders excited and it takes 11km of battle for two riders from Burgos-BH to get away: Angel Madrazo, featuring in a third breakaway at La Vuelta 19 to defend his polka-dot jersey, and the Dutchman Jetse Bol. José Herrada (Cofidis) joins them at km 16 and the peloton trails by 2 minutes.
The peloton lets go
Angel Madrazo summits the first climb of the day, the Puerto de Alcublas (km 31.7), to take 5 KOM points and make sure he’ll keep the polka dots if he makes it safely to the finish. Nicolas Roche’s Team Sunweb drive the bunch at an easy pace and the gap hits 10’25” after 70km.
Madrazo takes 3 more KOM points atop the Alto Fuente de Rubielos (km 98.6) and the gap increases again: up to 11’ when UAE Team Emirates start pulling, with 65km to go. They don’t fully commit to the chase and the gap is still up to 10’20” with 25km to go.
Valverde opens the race
Team Ineos accelerate in the last 20km to bring the attackers’ lead down to 6’58” at the bottom of the final climb, with 11.1km to go (average gradient: 7.8%). José Herada (Cofidis) sets the pace and Angel Madrazo struggles to keep up. He appears to be definitely dropped with 4.8km to go… but he gets back to his companions inside the last kilometre and produces a phenomenal effort to drop them and take the win!
In a reduced bunch, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) goes on the move with 4km to go and Nicolas Roche can’t follow. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) is still chasing when Miguel Angel Lopez counter-attacks. The Colombian finishes 47” behind Madrazo and 12” ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). Lopez recovers La Roja as Roche drops 2’17” on the line.