Stage 5 report – Vuelta tipping competition presented by CyclingExpress.com

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Stage five of the Vuelta a España has been run and won and the results are now in for our Vuelta tipping competition. Tim Calkins from Velotipper.com gives us the latest.

Stage five finally delivered a traditional bunch kick, and it was Michael Matthews who took the biggest win of his career from Richeze, Meersman, Arndt and Farrar. Higgs, Roux, Hendo, Ratto, and Grega Bole rounded out the top 10.

Who tipped whom?

The tipping peloton was right at the pointy end, with nearly 40% of tippers backing someone in the top 10.

“Higgs” Boasson-Hagen was the weapon of choice for the masses. Many people went for Matthews and were well rewarded for their selection.

Rider | Number of tips

Edvald Boasson Hagen| 46
Michael Matthews | 33
Gianni Meersman | 16
Bauke Mollema | 12
Luis-Leon Sanchez | 11
Fabian Cancellara | 10
Philippe Gilbert | 10
Tyler Farrar | 10
Alejandro Valverde | 8
Leigh Howard 7

The experts

The professionals tipped well on this occasion, with Wade Wallace (CyclingTips) backing Bling for the win.

Rupert Guinness took Tyler Farrar who has a good history in the Vuelta, and is surrounded by a strong team. Ben Dunn (CyclingTips web developer) also backed the American.

InnerRing opted to stick with Omega Pharma-QuickStep and took Meersman.

Yesterday’s leaders almost all backed Matthews, though there was a smattering of Capecchi and Cancellara in the mix.

Stage winners

Given that a full 33 people managed to tip Matthews, it’s hardly worth mentioning. Nobody managed to pick second place however.

At the other end, two people backed Barry Markus and one backed Michel Kreder. Pity Tom Grange (Kreder) and Jim Humphrys and Gregor Vrankar (both Markus). On a flat stage they all managed to drop an astonishing 15 minutes!

The coveted Egg of the Day goes to Fabian Cancellara! Ten people picked the Swiss Engine and he managed to drop 4:45 for a total figure of about 47 minutes. Simon Clarke was the runner up with 38 minutes of damage. Neither is a threat to the Spanish Omelet (last placed ride).

Overall leaders

And the Red Jersey has changed hands again! Welcome to the top, Heath Wade! Heath moves up from third over Gabriel Herry and Adam Millar who have dropped out of the top 10.

The top 10 is as follows:

  1. Heath Wade
  2. Darren Cathie
  3. Ter Culloty
  4. Jackson Ankers
  5. Brad Stephens
  6. James Fox
  7. Michael Miller
  8. Matt McLoone
  9. Trevor Wilson
  10. Olly Harrixs

There are 44 people within a minute of the lead, so it’s still tight. CyclingTips web developer Ben Dunn continues to lead the pack of expert tippers, rising to an impressive 30th. Nearly 45 minutes separates the top and bottom tippers.

Looking forward

Stage 6 is another flat affair with no categorised climbs. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a break succeed, but stranger things have happened. Will Matthews repeat? He looked very comfortable taking a win with no teammates around him. If OGE take him all the way to the line, he’ll be tough to beat. It’s a slight uphill drag to the line — more a false-flat than anything else.

Gilbert was somewhat antsy at the end of stage 5; will he make a bid for stage 6? What about Higgs? Argos-Shimano had the best looking lead-out — will it be Arndt or the longest name in the peloton, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg?

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