Albacete, Aug 18 (PTI): Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen won stage five of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday, edging a mass dash for the line after a flat 184.4km run from Tarancon to Albacete.
Frenchman Kenny Elissonde is the new overall leader after red jersey wearer Rein Taaramae was caught in a mass fall, with race favourite Primoz Roglic in second place just five seconds adrift.
Expected cross-winds never emerged and instead the stage was once more contested in baking heat.
It was a second stage win on this Vuelta for Philipsen of Alpecin-Fenix, who also snatched back the sprint points green jersey from Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Fabio Jakobsen, who won Tuesday’ stage and has also twice been a close second.
Unlike Jakobsen, Philipsen contested the intermediate sprint garnering a crucial 13pts.
Philipsen was unlucky at the Tour de France in July finishing on the podium six times without bagging a win.
In Spain, he leads Jakobsen by a single point on 131pts in a rivalry that looks set to go some distance.
Philipsen was again swift to credit his team after they regrouped after a late crash to lead him to the line.
“It makes it even more beautiful if you see the final five kilometres and how we were there together all with the team. I cannot describe that,” said the 26-year-old.