Thursday 03 September 2009 at 23h09

In my article about the riders who participate in the Tour of Spain and their numbers I said that Columbia HTC without Mark Cavendish would probably not be able to get the 6 stage wins the team got in the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France.
I also said that the team could however count on another sprint professional with the German rider André Greipel. Today this rider proved that his team took the right decision by selecting him for the Vuelta since he won his second stage in this year's Vuelta today and also took the golden leader's jersey!

The first stage win for André Greipel in this Tour of Spain was not really the result of a massive sprint but the German rider showed today that in the case of a massive sprint he can also win stages just like his team mate Mark Cavendish.

HTC - Un Hero est né - Mark CavendishMark Cavendish who, during the Tour de France did a great pleasure to the new sponsor of his team, the mobile phone manufacturer HTC by making a phone with his right hand and pointing to the logo of this new sponsor with his left hand. A sign which was highly appreciated by this sponsor who used a photo of it in its advertising campaign for the HTC Hero phone which was released just after the Tour de France. The title under the advertisement was "Un Hero est né" (a Hero is born).


A resume of the 5th stage of the Vuelta a España 2009

Today was the first day the Vuelta a España 2009 really honoured its name with the first stage ... in Spain!

After the start in The Netherlands, the flash visit of Germany and the finish in Belgium the riders took the plane to spend the first rest day close to the start of this first stage in Spain, in Tarragona.
The 174 kilometer long stage took the riders to the city of Vinarós on the east coast of Spain. On the route the riders discovered the first two real mountains, the Alto de Fatxas (510 m) in the second category and the Alto de Benifallet in the third category (360 m).
At 6 kilometers from the finish they passed the Ermita de la Misericordia church on a hill next to the road.

After Charles Wegelius (Silence-Lotto) who abandoned the race in the 4th stage, Christopher Horner (Astana) and Robert Kiserlovski (Fuji-Servetto) didn't start this morning. They were victims of the huge crash in the last kilometers of the 4th stage.

Immediately in the first kilometer Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Contentpolis-Ampo), who already won a stage close to where they were today during the Tour of Catalonia, attacked and a few kilometers further he got company of Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), José Antonio Lopez Gil (Andalucia Cajasur), Julien El Farès (Cofidis), Matheus Pronk (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) and Serafin Martinez (Xacobeo Galicia). Those six riders managed to create a gap of up to 5'47" after 26 kilometers.

Aitor Hernandez arrived first on the top of the Alto de Fatxas before Serafin Martinez and Julian Sanchez Pimienta while the first sprint in Benifallet was won by José Antonio Lopez Gil in front of the same two riders.

At the second intermediate sprint the leading group still has a 1'30" gap on the peloton and Serafin Martinez crosses the line first there, before Julien El Farès and José Antonio Lopez Gil. The last one tries to attack twice to continue alone but is taken back in both cases. André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) wins the 5th stage of the Vuelta 2009Just before the leading group was taken back Matheus Pronk tries to do the same but just like the 5 other riders he's finally taken back by the peloton at 18 kilometers from the finish.

In the climb of the Alto de la Ermita, David de la Fuente Rasilla (Fuji-Servetto) attacks first, but Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) easily gets back on him and continues alone. After having taken 22 seconds on the peloton, the solo adventure finally last for 9 kilometers only for this Belgian rider.

The whole peloton is thus complete again and the riders prepare for a mass sprint. At that time, the peloton is lead by Columbia-HTC followed by Liquigas. Finally the sprint was a battle between André Greipel (Columbia-HTC), Tom Boonen (QuickStep) and Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) after Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) arriving at the head of the race too early. The sprint was easily won by the German rider. When he crossed the finish line he put his hands up pointing out two fingers with his right hand ...

The images of the finish of the fifth stage of the Tour of Spain 2009 (video)


The rankings

General classification - André Greipel takes over the first place
André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) takes the leader's jersey of the Vuelta 2009Thanks to the bonus seconds the winner of today's stage also takes the first place in the general classification and thus the golden leader's jersey.

1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 19h40m23s
2/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - +0'06"
3/ Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) - 0'09"
4/ Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) - 0'17"
5/ Bert Grabsch (Columbia-HTC) - 0'20"
6/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) - 0'21"
7/ Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) - 0'26"
8/ David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) - 0'27"
9/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - 0'27"
10/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 0'27"

André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) keeps the green jersey of the ranking by points in the Vuelta 2009Ranking by points
André Greipel was already wearing the green jersey during this stage and with his stage win today he takes some additional points and thus secures his first place in the ranking by points.

1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 78
2/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - 58
3/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) - 47
4/ Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto) - 33
5/ Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 33

Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel Euskadi) takes the jersey of best climber in the Vuelta 2009Best climber
By arriving first on the top of the Alto de Fatxas, Aitor Hernandez takes the first place in the classification of best climber and thus takes over the red jersey of the Dutch rider Lars Boom.

1/ Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 10
2/ Lars Boom (Rabobank) - 9
3/ Serafín Martinez Acevedo (Xacobeo Galicia) - 7
4/ Javier Ramirez Abeja (Andalucia Cajasur) - 5
5/ Julián Sanchez Pimienta (Contentpolis-Ampo ) - 5

> The full route of the Vuelta a España 2009

> The list of participating riders in the Tour of Spain 2009

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Cycling general (except Tour de France) | Vuelta a España | Vuelta a España 2009


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