Team Sunweb’s Jai Hindley spent the day in the breakaway at the Vuelta’s fifth stage today, finishing in 18th place as three riders edged clear of the group to take the stage honours. Wilco Kelderman finished safe in the main peloton, now at 6th overall.
The opening 50 kilometres of the stage were raced at huge speed with the fight for the breakaway so furious that just 70 riders remained in the first peloton. Various groups tried their luck on the attack, but it was eventually a large group of 25 riders that went clear for the day. Team Sunweb had Jai Hindley in the move, riding in his first breakaway of a grand tour. Not content with the sizing of the group, riders attacked and it was three riders that continued to build a sizeable advantage over the peloton.
As the finish line edged closer it became evident that the trio would contest the stage honours, with Jai in a group in between the breakaway and the peloton. He finished the day in 18th place with Wilco rolling across the line tucked in the main field.
Jai said: “It was a big group that went clear but there wasn’t a stable tempo which was far from ideal. With the category two climb at the end it was good to have a guy in the break in case Wilco became isolated, but there was no stress in the chase behind. When we realised the result that we wanted wasn’t within reach we decided to save our legs in the final.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “It was a nervous beginning with lots of attacks and bigger groups up the road with a lot of strong teams represented. Our goal was again to bring Wilco safe to the finish and with the category two climb at the end we wanted to have a guy in the break if the other GC teams also had riders in the break. After a lot of attacking Jai made a smart jump to a big break were there were a lot of teams. In the end Wilco was well protected, so Jai did not have to drop back. This was a good ride from him and we are happy things stayed under control.”