German takes over points jersey but no change in GC with Joaquin Rodriguez still leading Chris Froome by 1 second

John Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano clinched his second stage victory of the 2012 Vuelta in Logroño this afternoon, powering past RadioShack-Nissan’s Daniele Bennati in the closing metres with Lotto-Belisol’s Gianni Meersman third. Katusha’s Jouaquin Rodriguez retains the overall lead, one second ahead of Team Sky’s Chris Froome.

Today’s 168-kilometre stage took in eight laps of a 21-kilometre circuit starting and finishing in Logroño, host of a Vuelta stage finish on a number of previous occasions, most recently in 2007 when Oscar Freire won there.

Andalucia rider Javier Chacon attacked inside the first kilometre and on another hot day in northern Spain, the 27-year-old spent around 130 kilometres on his own at the head of the race, at one point having a lead of nearly 12 minutes, before he was reeled in with a little under 30 kilometres left to ride.

The peloton remained together as it headed into the closing kilometres with RadioShack-Nissan, Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano, looking to set up their respective sprinters, prominent at the head of the race as it snaked under the flamme rouge.

With 500 metres to go, Bennati, who was being tracked by Team Sky’s Ben Swift, launched his bid for the stage win, hitting the front alongside the barriers to his right.

Bennati’s move put Swift out of contention but Degenkolb, who had been in the centre of the road, countered the threat by moving to his own right and briefly into the RadioShack-Nissan rider’s slipstream before passing and beating him, the 23-year-old German timing his move to perfection.

The Italian tried to respond but was already at his limit, and banged his handlebars in frustration after crossing the line behind the Argos-Shimano rider. 

Today’s win sees Degenkolb take over the lead in the points classification from yesterday's stage winner, Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge.

“It was unbelievable, it was so fast,” he said afterwards. “My team put me in such a good position, I just needed to sprint the last 200 metres, but it was crazy. I’m speechless, it’s unbelievable. I cannot describe it.”

Vuelta Stage 5 Result  

1  DEGENKOLB, John        ARG    4h 10' 37''
2  BENNATI, Daniele       RNT All at same time
3  MEERSMAN, Gianni       LTB
4  BOUHANNI, Nacer        FDJ
5  VIVIANI, Elia          LIQ
6  KREDER, Raymond        GRS
7  DAVIS, Allan           OGE
8  MONDORY, Lloyd         ALM
9  DUQUE, Leonardo        COF
10 LIGTHART, Pim          VCD
11 CARDOSO, Manuel        CJR
12 VAN WINDEN, Dennis     RAB
13 FERNÁNDEZ, Koldo       GRS
14 VIGANO, Davide         LAM
15 LODEWYCK, Klaas        BMC
16 ROJAS, José Joaquin    MOV
17 STYBAR, Zdenek         OPQ
18 CIMOLAI, Davide        LAM
19 BAKELANTS, Jan         RNT
20 PÉREZ, Rubén           EUS

Last man home on Stage 5  

196 GALDOS, Aitor         CJR       + 4' 43''

General Classification after Stage 5  

1  RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin     KAT    17h 29' 22''
2  FROOME, Christopher    SKY           + 1''
3  CONTADOR, Alberto      STB           + 5''
4  MOLLEMA, Bauke         RAB           + 9''
5  GESINK, Robert         RAB           + 9''
6  URAN, Rigoberto        SKY           + 11''
7  MORENO, Daniel         KAT           + 14''
8  ROCHE, Nicolas         ALM           + 24''
9  VALVERDE, Alejandro    MOV           + 36''
10 TEN DAM, Laurens       RAB           + 46''

Points Classification after Stage 5  

1  DEGENKOLB, John        ARG             50
2  DAVIS, Allan           OGE             29
3  CLARKE, Simon          OGE             27
4  VIVIANI, Elia          LIQ             27
5  BENNATI, Daniele       RNT             26

Mountains Classification after Stage 5  

1  CLARKE, Simon          OGE             16
2  LIGTHART, Pim          VCD             11
3  VALVERDE, Alejandro    MOV             10
4  MATE, Luis Angel       COF             10
5  MARTIN, Tony           OPQ              8


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.