Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) won stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana from an eventual 3-man breakaway.
Stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana had a breakaway win written all over it, the only problem was that every team knew this. The fight for the early break of today’s 184km stage was incredible, relentless in fact.
NTT Pro Cycling had pretty much given the green light to everyone in the team, bar Gino Mader, to infiltrate the move but for over 100km nothing would stick.
Eventually 12 riders managed to get a gap, but with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) part of the selection, the pace did not slow in the peloton as Team Ineos wanted to bring back the GC contender.
From that front group, 3 riders would then go clear as the peloton brought back the remnants of the dangerous escape group. With just about every team having burned most of their matches in the fight for the break, the 3 riders got the gap needed to decide the stage.
Despite the team’s best efforts and for no lack of trying, NTT Pro Cycling was not one of the 3 lucky riders to make that final move. In the end, it was Gino Mader who brought our colours home first, in 21st position on the stage and once again kept 18th place on the overall GC.