The 5th stage of the Vuelta a Espana proved to be the best yet for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung as Kristian Sbaragli sprinted his way into 9th position on the stage while Sergio Pardilla attacked on the final cat 3 climb, to gain the points needed to take the lead in the combination classification.
The combination classification takes into account a riders position in the GC, Points and KOM competitions and then awards the rider who is best placed with the white jersey.
This is yet again a historical moment for our African team. To take any of the leaders jersey’s at the Vuelta would have been a dream come true in our first ever grand tour and now with Pardilla, that dream has been realised. While John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) repeated his victory from yesterday, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) took 2nd and Moreno Hofland (Belkin) claimed third place to conclude the stage.
The rest of the stage was rather uneventful until just before the final climb which peaked with 15km to go. Tinkoff-Saxo split the race in the gutter just before the climb but both Sbaragli and Pardilla were able to make the front split of riders that contested the finale. Pardilla attacked just before the KOM to claim his points. Sbaragli waited for the sprint where the Italian was happy to finish in the top 10 but disappointed at the same time as he got boxed in slightly and really felt that a top 5 position was on the cards.
Nevertheless it was a great day for Team MTN-Qhubeka as we now start tomorrows stage 6 with the white jersey on the shoulders of our team leader.
Rider – Sergio Pardilla
I am really happy to take this jersey. We knew it was a slight possibility that i could take the jersey if i got some KOM points on the last climb today. So i went for it but i we weren’t quite sure. We only got the news when we were heading to hotel already but i am so happy for this result.
Manel Lacambra interview was done before news of combination classification was revealed
Tomorrows Stage Profile Overview