- Jonas Vingegaard is to continue to wear the yellow jersey for one more day
- Sergio Higuita fastest in the sprint to the finish line in Amorebieta-Etxano.
The fifth stage of the Itzulia started at the Ekin facilities and finished in Amorebieta-Etxano. A glorious day and a stage that could prove to be very significant for the overall classification.
The day began with a tranquil peloton and several breakaway attempts. The Montecalvo pass, less than 10 kilometres from the start, proved crucial to forming a breakaway. Soudal-Quickstep duo Remi Cavagna (SOQ, 131) and Mattia Cattaneo (SOQ, 137) formed the breakaway of the day. The last time that the two teammates formed a breakaway in the Itzulia, reaching the finish line hand in hand, was in 2021 at the Ondarroa finish line.
The escapees achieved a margin of 4 and a half minutes in front of the peloton. Bahrain Victorious, Jumbo-Visma and Jayco Alula led the way to close the gap. The peloton was very fast.
With 50 kilometres to go, Ineos Grenadier took the lead of the peloton and reduced the gap. In the lead, Mattia Cattaneo (SOQ, 137) was alone in front of the danger. Daniel Felipe Martínez’s team (IGD, 1) neutralised the breakaway with 17 kilometres to go.
The race was on fire, the final section and the climbs could prove decisive for the stage. All of the riders sought leading positions on the narrow roads with their ups and downs. The peloton had stretched due to the speed injected by Ineos Grenadiers.
With 9 kilometres to go on one of a series of tough climbs Enric Mas launched an attack that was followed by the race favourites. The group was down to about 10 riders and the yellow jersey had to assert his authority. The pace dropped giving time for other riders to catch up with the group. Everyone against Vingegaard, that’s what the final kilometres were like. Jonas Vingegaard’s teammate Attila Valter (TJV, 167) joined the group and was able to control the pace and support his leader.
In the end, Sergio Higuita took the stage in a heart-stopping sprint in which the Colombian Bora-Hansgrohe rider proved to be the fastest. The overall classification remained unchanged, with everything to be decided in the final stage in Eibar.
Standings after Stage 5
Stage winner: Sergio Higuita (BOH, 53)
Overall individual ranking: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Mountain classification: Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194)
Overall points classification: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Overall ranking best young rider: Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (TFS, 154)
Overall team classification: SOUDAL QUICK-STEP
Overall ranking best Basque rider: Mikel Landa (TBV, 141)
Most combative: Mattia Cattaneo (SOQ, 137)