Preview: What you need to know about stage 5 of the Vuelta a España

It should be one for the sprinters, if the wind doesn't play a role.

by Matt de Neef


Date: Wednesday August 18
Start: Tarancón
Finish: Albacete
Distance: 184.4 km

A very flat day’s racing with an equally flat finish. This should be another bunch sprint but the race’s technical director, Fernando Escartín, suggests this stage won’t be as simple as the profile might suggest. “The main danger may be the wind,” he said. “The area where the stage takes place is very open and strong gusts of wind may complicate the day’s racing.”

There is some wind in the forecast, but we’ll have to see if it’s enough to actually impact the race. Otherwise, it should be a day for the pure sprinters.

Who’s it for: Sprinters

Dane Cash’s picks: Fabio Jakobsen has finished second and first on the two sprint stages so far in this race, and stage 5 should suit him as well as any bunch kick. With that momentum, he is a prohibitive favorite, although Jasper Philipsen looked great on stage 2 before finding himself a little ways back in the finale of stage 4, where Alpecin-Fenix went with the odd tactic of launching Sacha Modolo from relatively far out. Arnaud Démare, meanwhile, looked good on stage 4 right up until the last few meters of the day, and he’ll be hoping for a chance at redemption on stage 5. Michael Matthews and Juan Sebastian Molano are also worth watching.

Editors' Picks