Rainy, Difficult Stage Batters Vais Pasco Peloton
Three riders battled it out for the race victory at Stage 5 of Vuelta al Pais Vasco on Friday, and the peloton finished in splinters after rain, constant attacks, and a difficult course took its toll.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin, however, managed to finish in a select group that finished within 23 seconds of winner Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha Team), 2nd place finisher Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and third place finisher Robert Kiserlovski (Astana Pro Team). Martin was 22nd on the stage, finishing 23" back. Martin helped lead a group of no more than 25 riders on a chase to catch Kiserlovski after he went solo with slightly less than 30km to go.
Sanchez and Rodriguez caught Kiserlovski in the final 2km, while Tony battled amongst the other riders who had split up in the final kilometers. Twenty six riders finished at 5", 7", 10", 12" and 23" back from Rodriguez, Sanchez and Kiserlovski.
Martin is now 17th in the general classification rankings, 56" back from current leader Rodriguez.