Simon Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac) was first across the line on stage 5 of La Vuelta a Espana, in a day that saw the break go all the way, again. His breakaway compatriots, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team) placed second and third respectively.
Stage 5 of La Vuelta was another warm day in the south of Spain as the 188.7km stage stretched from Granada to Roquetas de Mar. With the stage containing a category 3 and 2 climb, it looked like a stage where the break could survive. With this general consensus, every team wanted to be in the break resulting in a big fight from the peloton for the first hour of the stage. Eventually 25 riders made the cut and representing Team Dimension Data was our Eritrean National Champion, Merhawi Kudus.
Once the break was established, the attacks soon started again from the front group with the stage win up for grabs. With 50km to go, Clarke, Mollema and De Marchi went clear of their breakaway compatriots and would prove to be the winning move of the day.
While there were attempts to bridge across to them by a chasing group of three riders, their efforts were unsuccessful. Kudus was in the third group of chasers, and sprinted his way to 10th place on the stage, our 3rd consecutive top-10 stage result at La Vuelta for our African Team.
Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) who finished in the first chase group today will start stage six in the leaders red jersey, with a one minute advantage over Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).
Merhawi Kudus – Rider
It was another top 10 result today for us so I think the team is going really well at the moment. We have a good atmosphere in this group. Today was a super hard stage, everyone wanted to be in the breakaway but we expected that. Fortunately I was the one representing in the 25-rider breakaway, but the course did not suit me by constantly undulating with a headwind. The climb was also mid stage so I just tried to fight for position and it ended up being a good day, but I am looking for another opportunity to get a result.