Sprint at last! Sprint at last! Thank God almighty, a sprint at last

Former U23 World Champion, Michael Matthews won his first Vuelta stage when the race finally came down to a somewhat normal sprint on stage 5.

The Orica-Greenedge sprinter finished off the hard work of his team to bring back the day's five man breakaway with a convincing win. What looked like a fairly strong time advantage at 30 kms plunged down as Orica, Omega Pharma and Garmin collaborated to bring the break back in the difficult terrain that favored the attackers.

A last ditch attempt by FDJ's Arnaud Courteille was nullified as OPQS sent Tony Martin to the front to crush the hopes and dreams of the young frenchman. When Martin was done, World champ Phillippe Gilbert also made an attempt to peel off the front in a desperate chase to end his winless streak but it was not to be as Argos-Shimano led the peloton into the sprint. The course was never easy for the sprint setup but Orica managed to bring Matthews to the front just in the right time to dominate the final few hundred meters and win unthreatened. Behind him, Lampre's Richeze and Gianni Meersman grabbed second and third. There were no changes to the GC or the leaders jerseys so Vincenzo Nibali stays in the red jersey as race leader.

Top 10 Stage 5

1. AUSMATTHEWS, Michael 178 ORICA GREENEDGE 4h 28' 22''
2. ARGRICHEZE, Maximiliano Ariel 137 LAMPRE-MERIDA 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
3. BELMEERSMAN, Gianni 164 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
4. GERARNDT, Nikias 21 TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
5. USAFARRAR, Tyler 113 GARMIN SHARP 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
6. NORBOASSON HAGEN, Edvald 192 SKY PROCYCLING 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
7. FRAROUX, Anthony 107 FDJ.FR 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
8. NZLHENDERSON, Gregory 144 LOTTO BELISOL 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
9. ITARATTO, Daniele 77 CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING 4h 28' 22'' + 0''
10. SLOBOLE, Grega 212 VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM 4h 28' 22'' + 0''

General Classification

1. ITANIBALI, Vincenzo 31 ASTANA PRO TEAM 18h 43' 52''
2. USAHORNER, Christopher 184 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 18h 43' 55'' + 3''
3. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 18h 44' 00'' + 8''
4. ESPZUBELDIA, Haimar 189 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 18h 44' 08'' + 16''
5. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 18h 44' 13'' + 21''
6. CROKISERLOVSKI, Robert 186 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 18h 44' 18'' + 26''
7. COLURAN, Rigoberto 198 SKY PROCYCLING 18h 44' 20'' + 28''
8. ESPMORENO, Daniel 127 KATUSHA TEAM 18h 44' 23'' + 31''
9. POLMAJKA, Rafal 202 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 18h 44' 30'' + 38''
10. CZEKREUZIGER, Roman 201 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 18h 44' 34'' + 42''
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