Vuelta a España
All the Podium Cafe coverage of Spain's grand tour
21-year-old Caleb Ewan won stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana, a fantastic achievement.
Stage 4 of the Vuelta provided a long wait for an explosive finale. On the tough final uphill kilometers Movistar's Alejandro Valverde once again proved he is the master of timing his efforts and launching his sprint at the exact right moment. He takes the stage just ahead of Sagan who just could not come around the Spaniard in the final meters. Esteban Chaves remains the race leader.
After bad luck came worse luck for Movistar's big Vuelta-favorite Nairo Quintana as he crashed again and was forced to give up with a broken scapula. Astana's young Fabio Aru escaped the group of favorites in the final kilometer of the day's steep final climb to take another grand Tour stage win to add to his stage in the Giro in May.
The best GT of the year with an AMAZING startlist. Well, the proof is in the pudding and now we are 5 stages in and we can start drawing some conclusions by reading from the bottom of the list. Let's face it, some of these guys we were hoping for are ........ not in it anymore.
On an Angliru stage that delivered everything it was built up to be, Chris Horner sealed his victory in this Vuelta with a late surge after having fought off repeated attacks by Vincenzo Nibali on the steepest parts of the climb. Horner now becomes the oldest, and one of the least expected, Grand Tour winner of all time. Ahead of the two FDJ's Kenny Elissonde held on from the breakaway to grab the stagewin, proving he is one of the biggest climbing talents out there.
Vasil Kiriyenka soloed to a stage victory atop Peña Carbaga as Chris Horner once again gapped race leader Vincenzo Nibali to pull within three seconds of the overall lead with only three stages - and two mountain top finishes - remaining.