Carlos Rodríguez reigns in Mallabia and Remco Evenepoel is the new race leader

Carlos Rodríguez wins the 5th stage of the Itzulia between Zamudio and Mallabia, his first victory in a World Tour event. Despite the changes in the general classification, the gap remains minimal, and the favourites will decide the race in the last stage.

The penultimate stage of the Itzulia 2022 got off to a very fast start, making it difficult for the day’s breakaway. After numerous attempts, a breakaway finally emerged 62.5 kilometres into the stage by a group comprising Sepp Kuss (4, TJV), Marc Soler (27, UAD), Sergio Samitier (57, MOV), Carlos Rodriguez (64, IGD), Lucas Hamilton (91, BEX), and Kenny Elissonde (184, TFS). The Bedarona pass left the breakaway with just four riders. Sergio Samitier and Sepp Kuss conceded a few seconds.

The descent included one of the most worrying moments of the day when Lucas Hamilton crashed down the mountainside. The cyclist fell into some bushes and his bike a few metres further down the road. The Australian rider with Team BikeExchange withdrew from the race.

Trabakua ended up defining the strongest of the breakaway, with only Carlos Rodriguez (64, IGD) and Marc Soler (27, UAD) remaining. The Spanish duo achieved a margin of 4 minutes, although only Marc Soler drove the breakaway.

Behind, Quick-Step Vinyl Alpha, Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe and Barhain Victorious propelled the peloton leaving the escapees with little room. With 35km to go, Kenny Elissonde and Sergio Samitier were neutralised. Remco Evenepoel once again put on a show with his attack 14 km from the finish, before the start of the Karabieta ascent. He was accompanied by Vlasov, Daniel Felipe Martinez, Ion Izagirre, Peio Bilbao, Vingegaard and Enric Mas. Just at that moment, Carlos Rodríguez changed the pace of the breakaway and easily left Marc Soler behind. The gap between each group was around 38 seconds. In the peloton, Roglic didn’t try to close the gap and let the other favourites do the work.

The general classification is up in smoke, with Remco Evenepoel the new leader of the Itzulia. The gap between the favourites remains at around 30″ and Roglic is 8th to 1’05″ behind the leader. The leaders of the different classifications are as follows:

  • Individual: Remco Evenepoel (44, QST)
  • Mountain: Cristian Rodríguez (106, TEN)
  • Points: Julian Alaphilippe (41, QST)
  • Youth: Remco Evenepoel (44, QST)
  • Teams: Ineos-Grenadiers
  • Best Euskaldun: Ion Izagirre (71, COF)
  • Combativity (5th stage): Marc Soler (27, UAD)
The edition of 2023 in numbers
Jonas Vingegaard takes his first txapela and wins the final stage of the Itzulia 2023
Sergio Higuita wins in a sprint to the line in Amorebieta-Etxano and Jonas Vingegaard gets to defend the yellow jersey in the final stage of the Itzulia