Vuelta a Espana – Stage five: L’Eliana – Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre, 170.7km
The Dutchman suffered on the race’s first climbing stage on Sunday, but admitted he felt better on the steep Alto de Javalambre summit finish.
Coming home 26th after a breakaway stayed clear to contest the win, Poels is hoping that he can continue to progress and target a stage victory later in the race.
I felt way better than on Sunday so I was happy with that and to get a good feeling. Hopefully we can pick a good day now to get into the breakaway and try to go for the stage win.
Behind the battle for the GC stepped up a notch, with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) pushing clear to strike an early blow and move back into the red jersey.
Team INEOS had helped drive the pace into the final climb, with Ian Stannard, Owain Doull and Vasil Kiryienka ensuring that Poels and David de la Cruz were well placed once the effort started. Both riders became distanced once the major accelerations began, with De La Cruz still the best placed rider overall in 23rd.
1. Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) 4:58:31
2. Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) +10"
3. Jose Herrada (Cofidis) +22"
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +47"
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +59"
26. Wout Poels (Team INEOS) +3:03"
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) 18:55:21
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +14"
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +23"
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +28"
5. Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) +57"
23. David de la Cruz (Team INEOS) +4:35"