Sky’s Wouter Poels won Friday’s low mountains fifth stage of the Tour of Catalonia while Nairo Quintana retained the overall lead after the 187km run to Valls.
Colombian Quintana took the overall lead ahead of Alberto Contador and Richie Porte on Thursday and had to survive this low mountain stage – and the final day in the hills around Barcelona – to clinch the Tour win.
Poels broke for glory on his own with around 4km to go and a pursuit team of four riders set off just a little too late as the Dutchman crossed the line 50m ahead.
Saturday’s flat 197km stage should be one for the sprinters ahead of what could prove an epic three-way struggle between Quintana, Contador and Porte.
Results and standings after stage five of the Tour of Catalonia, a 187.2km ride from Rialp to Valls on Friday:
1. Wouter Poels (NED/SKY) 3hr 59min 03sec (average: 47.0 km/h), 2. Dario Cataldo (ITA/AST) at 0:11, 3. Gaetan Bille (BEL/AJW) 0:11, 4. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR/DDT) 0:11, 5. Carlos Verona (ESP/ETI) 0:13, 6. Simon Gerrans (AUS/ORI) 0:33, 7. Alexey Tsatevich (RUS/KAT) 0:33, 8. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA/AJW) 0:33, 9. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) 0:33, 10. Ben Swift (GBR/SKY) 0:33
1. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 23hr 01min 19sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) at 0:07, 3. Richie Porte (AUS/BMC) 0:17, 4. Daniel Martin (IRL/ETI) 0:21, 5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0:27, 6. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0:32, 7. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 0:42, 8. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:46, 9. Hugh Carthy (GBR/CJR) 1:01, 10. Rigoberto Uran (COL/CAN) 1:16
– Agence France-Presse