The early break was the ever threatening Tony Martin along with Lotto's Pim Ligthart but after Martin didn't feel the breakaway was given enough of a gap he abandoned what he felt was a hopeless effort and Ligthart was left alone in front. With a gap of about 1,5-2 minutes his day was soon to be over even sooner than expected too because behind trouble was brewing.
With the race in classic exposed Spanish countryside and the winds fairly strong the conditions were right for everyones favorite event: echelons. Bjarne Riis's Tinkoff boys did what they are famous for at about 40 km from the finish, hitting the front with all their riders and pushing the pace wildly in the crosswind. They got the field stretched out in single file and soon it also cracked off in three pieces as riders behind dropped off. Most of the big names were still in the front group but Garmin and their leaders missed out as did a few of the sprinters. At 30 km to go the front hit the Cat 3 climb of the day and while Tinkoff and Movistar kept the pressure up riders were able to use the respite from the wind and the uphill to rejoin the front group and a truce was called. Left behind was the third and last group where riders couldn't or wouldn't work to reach the front. In the end it was an attempt that didn't give Tinkoff any real gains but they did put their opponents on notice. Relax for a second in this race and you could be sent out the back when you least expect it.
The final sprint followed the predicted script pretty much. BMC made a spirited attempt to launch Philippe Gilbert off the front but John Degenkolb was placed well enough to come around and sprint for the win. Behind him Nacer Bouhanni came from a slightly poor position and ended up electing to go on Degenkolb's right but discovering right away that there was no room to go past between the Giant rider and the barriers. He protested that Degenkolb closed the door on him but from overhead images it was clear that the German pretty much held his line and there was just not enough room to begin with.
Michael Matthews held on to his leaders jersey and Degenkolb and Lluis Mas Bonet stay on top in the Points and Mountains competition.
TOP 10 Stage 5
|1.||GERDEGENKOLB, John||115||Team Giant - Shimano||4h 41' 47''|
|2.||FRABOUHANNI, Nacer||91||FDJ.fr||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|3.||NEDHOFLAND, Moreno||35||Belkin Pro Cycling Team||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|4.||BELSTUYVEN, Jasper||217||Trek Factory Racing||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|5.||GERMARTENS, Paul||36||Belkin Pro Cycling Team||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|6.||FRAMONDORY, Lloyd||17||AG2R La Mondiale||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|7.||BELGILBERT, Philippe||44||BMC Racing Team||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|8.||ESPREYNES, Vicente||127||IAM Cycling||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|9.||ITASBARAGLI, Kristian||165||MTN - Qhubeka||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
|10.||ITAFERRARI, Roberto||5||Lampre Merida||4h 41' 47''||+ 0''|
TOP 10 GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
|1.||AUSMATTHEWS, Michael||186||Orica GreenEdge||18h 12' 31''|
|2.||COLQUINTANA, Nairo Alexander||159||Movistar Team||18h 12' 44''||+ 13''|
|3.||ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro||151||Movistar Team||18h 12' 51''||+ 20''|
|4.||COLURAN, Rigoberto||177||Omega Pharma - Quick-Step||18h 12' 55''||+ 24''|
|5.||ITACARUSO, Damiano||65||Cannondale Pro Cycling||18h 12' 57''||+ 26''|
|6.||COLCHAVES RUBIO, Esteban||182||Orica GreenEdge||18h 12' 57''||+ 26''|
|7.||ESPZUBELDIA, Haimar||219||Trek Factory Racing||18h 13' 00''||+ 29''|
|8.||NEDKELDERMAN, Wilco||31||Belkin Pro Cycling Team||18h 13' 03''||+ 32''|
|9.||ESPCONTADOR, Alberto||201||Tinkoff - Saxo||18h 13' 03''||+ 32''|
|10.||NEDGESINK, Robert||34||Belkin Pro Cycling Team||18h 13' 03''||+ 32''|