John Degenkolb wins a lackluster stage 5 at the 2012 Vuelta a España

A solo break by Javier Chacon enlivens an otherwise tedious stage

LOGROÑO, Spain (VN) — John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) won a lackluster fifth stage of the 2012 Vuelta a España on Wednesday.

The 168km race, run over a 21km circuit in the city of Logroño, was enlivened only by a long solo break by Javier Chacon (Andalucia), who built a lead of nearly 12 minutes at one point before being retrieved 30km from the finish.

The bunch finally came to life in the final lap and Argos-Shimano delivered Degenkolb to the victory in the final 200 meters. Daniele Bennati (RadioShack) took second with Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) third.

“It was unbelievable it was so fast. My team delivered me perfectly and I just did the sprint in the final 200 meters,” said Degenkolb.

There were no changes on the overall. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) retains the red leader’s jersey by one second over Chris Froome (Sky) with Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) third at five seconds.

Thursday’s stage 6 will cover 175.4km from Tarazona to Jaca, with two third-category climbs that come virtually back to back.

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from the 2012 Vuelta a España.