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Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a España: What the stars said after Jasper Philipsen won stage 5

Here's what Kenny Elissonde, Jasper Philipsen, and others said after the chaotic final kilometers of stage 5.

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Wednesday’s stage 5 of the Vuelta a España was not without its drama.

A terrifying crash split the peloton with 11 kilometers remaining of 184.4km stage, and the pileup derailed overnight leader Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux).

Taaramäe was caught in the pileup and ceded his overall lead, finishing 2:21 behind stage-winner Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix).

Ahead of the race-leader’s red jersey, Philipsen navigated a chaotic final 400m to earn his second stage win in this edition of the Vuelta. In doing so, he reclaimed the green jersey — with a one-point margin ahead of Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) — as the leader of the points competition.

Kenny Ellissonde (Trek-Segafredo) took over as race leader as the next best-placed rider after Taaramäe on the GC.

Here’s what the stars said after stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España:

Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo): 23rd, at :00

Kenny Elissonde took over the race lead after five stages.
Kenny Elissonde took over the race lead after five stages. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

A diminutive and capable climber, Kenny Elissonde took over the responsibility of race leader after stage 5.

Going directly from the Tour de France to the Olympics, Elissonde then jetted to Spain for the Vuelta where he was to look after teammate Giulio Ciccone, and also hunt for mountain stage wins. The Frenchman now leads the Spanish grand tour.

“It’s still incredible to wear the jersey. After the Tour de France and Olympics I took it easy. My team said ‘Kenny, go to the Vuelta and see day by day,’ and look. It’s incredible. It’s super cool,” Elissonde said.

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): stage-winner

Jasper Philipson won stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España.
Jasper Philipson won stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Stage 2 winner Jasper Philipsen added another grand tour stage win to his palmares when he sprinted to the stage 5 victory, denying Jabio Jakobsen the win, and the green jersey.

Philipsen, who’s previously won Vuelta and Tour de France stages, is becoming accustomed to the added attention a classification leader receives.

“It’s not particularly that I’m already thinking about the end of the Vuelta and the green jersey, but it’s nice to wear it day by day and then we’ll just see how far we can get,” said Philipsen. “It makes it even more beautiful if you see the final five kilometers, and how we were there together all with the team. I cannot describe that.”

Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): 125th, at 2:21

Rein Taaramäe ceded 2:21 and plummeted to 27th place after being caught in a crash on stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España.
Rein Taaramäe ceded 2:21 and plummeted to 27th place after being caught in a crash on stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España.

Rein Taaramäe became the unexpected race leader of the Vuelta a Esapña after two-time defending champion Primoz Roglic let the leader’s jersey slip off of his shoulder after three stages.

Taaramäe won stage 3 — after a ten-year gap between Vuelta stage wins — and assumed the role of race leader. But on the following day, he took a tumble two kilometers from the finish — just 1km inside of the “safety zone” which awarded him the same time as the stage-winner — and retained the jersey for another day.

On stage 5, Taaramäe crashed again, but he was 11km from the finish line, and well outside of the “safety zone.” The resulting 2:21 delay was more than enough for him to lose the overall race lead, and plummet into 27th position overall.

“Riders behind ran into me. I changed bikes and started to chase the peloton. It was impossible to close the one-minute gap. It is a pity to lose the jersey in this way,” said the Estonian.

Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates): fourth, at :00

UAE Team Emirates sprinter Sebastián Molano narrowly missed the podium on stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España.
UAE Team Emirates sprinter Sebastián Molano narrowly missed the podium on stage 5 of the 2021 Vuelta a España. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Sebastián Molano was just off of the podium after a chaotic final few hundred meters of sprinters and their teams jostling for the opportunity to launch a clear dash to the line.

Teammates Rui Oliveira and Ryan Gibbons took powerful pulls to deliver Molano into position to sprint to a stage win, but the Colombian could not convert the leadout to a top-3.

“Things started off relaxed but the final part of the stage was really hectic. Thankfully none of our guys came down in the crash but unfortunately, Trentin was held up so we lost a guy from our lead-out train,” said Molano. “I nearly crashed a few times in the final, it was a really nervous sprint and in the end, I did the best I could. I’ll have more opportunities in the next days, and I’m confident we can take a big result.”