(Reuters) – Belgian Tim Wellens beat Guillaume Martin in a sprint finish to win a hilly stage five of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday, as Primoz Roglic stayed out of trouble to keep the overall lead.
Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Martin (Cofidis) and Thymen Arensman (Sunweb) attacked from a breakaway group with around 75km left of the 184km stage to Sabinanigo and managed to stay clear.
Wellens then powered away on the steep uphill finish to take his first victory of the season.
“It feels super good,” he said. “I had a difficult period and I was a bit scared coming to the Vuelta, but I’m super happy with this victory. It’s nice it came so early and now the next two weeks are without stress.”
Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won the bunch sprint in the main group, two minutes 13 seconds back.
Dan Martin, second overall, was involved in a crash near the finish but because it was inside the final 3km it did not result in him losing time on Roglic.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)