Japser Philipsen sprinted to his second stage win so far this Vuelta on Wednesday’s stage 5, while the red jersey also changed hands on the day as overnight leader Rein Taaramäe was caught up in a late crash.
A touch of wheels caused a big pileup with some 12 km to go in the 184.4 km stage from Tarancón to Albacete. Taaramäe and Romain Bardet (DSM) were among those going down, with Bardet suffering several scrapes and bruises. A large collection of those caught up in the crash was able to rejoin the front group, but Taaramäe was a little further back and unable to catch on, while Bardet rode the last several kilometers in a small group several minutes behind the pack.
Alpecin-Fenix led the pack into the finale for Philipsen, with the final lead-out rider peeling off with around 200 meters to go. Philipsen quickly powered to a substantial lead in the sprint with Alberto Dainese (DSM) on his wheel. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was able to pull past Dainese but no one could catch Philipsen, who held on to take his second win so far this race, and the third Vuelta stage win of his career.
Jakobsen settled for second with Dainese taking third.
Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), who started the day in second on the GC standings, finished safely in the peloton and took over the red jersey as Taaramäe finished over two minutes down.
La Vuelta ciclista a España (2.UWT) Tarancón → Albacete