Atapuma Secures the Red Jersey for Another Day24. August 2016, Lugo (ESP) — Road Team
Darwin Atapula has secured the leader’s red jersey for a second day at the Vuelta a España after a crash-marred sprint finish on stage 5.
Atapuma spent the day in the peloton safely tucked behind his BMC Racing Team teammates, while up the front a two-rider breakawy escaped early in the 170.3km stage.
BMC Racing Team controlled the situation, keeping the breakaway’s advantage within five minutes, and spent most of the day at the front of the bunch, with help from the sprinters’ teams in the final 50km.
The sprinters’ trains started to form as the race came back together with 13km to go, setting the stage for a fast and furious finale. Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) attacked with 3km remaining and Philippe Gilbert jumped on his wheel to establish a gap on the peloton.
The duo was reeled in and a crash in the final 2km caused splits in the bunch, leaving a small group to battle for the stage which was won by Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep).
Jempy Drucker contested the sprint and crossed the line in eighth place for his second top ten result this week. Although caught behind, none of BMC Racing Team’s riders were involved in the crash.
Quotes from the Finish Line with Darwin Atapuma:
“To wear the red jersey today was a dream come true. I’m so happy and the emotions are strong so I can’t really express how happy I am, I can only feel it. All of the support from the fans on the side of the road was incredible, especially the Colombians. Sport is really big in Colombia, especially cycling, so for all of the Colombians that live in Spain it is really specialy for them to be able to share this excitement with me.”
“The team did a great job to protect me today and keep me in red. We were lucky to have only two riders in the breakaway so that we could save energy for the following stages. I think I have a good chance of keeping the jersey tomorrow because the team is very strong and I feel good. In cycling you never know but I am confident with my form and my sensations even if it is a touch stage.”
Vuelta a España
Stage 5 Viveiro > Lugo (170.3km)
Top 3: Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep), Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), Kevin Reza (FDJ)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Jempy Drucker, 16. Samuel Sanchez, 17. Philippe Gilbert
BMC Racing Team Top 3 GC: 1. Darwin Atapuma, 6. Samuel Sanchez, 18. Ben Hermans
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.