Samuel Sánchez added further proof of his burgeoning form by placing fourth on today's stage in the Volta a Catalunya and rising to the same place on GC.
The Euskaltel captain even came close to a spectacular solo win as he tried his luck some 12 kilometres out - only to be reeled in five clicks later. In the 26-rider sprint for the win, Julien Simon of Saur-Sojasun took a somewhat surprising victory ahead of Urán, Szmyd and Sánchez. Samu didn't have much help in the finale though, as no other Euskaltel rider made the front group. The closest was Miguel Mínguez five minutes down in 34th place.
On a bad note, Mikel Nieve opted to abandon. The climber, who'll make a tilt at the overall in the Giro come May, crashed on day two and had to give in to the pain in his right leg.
Stage 5 results:
- (1, Julien Simon, Saur-Sojasun)
- 4, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
- 34, Miguel Mínguez, 4:59
- 69, Iván Velasco, 8:28
- 95, Jorge Azanza, 12:46
- 123, Victor Cabedo, 21:04