Arkaitz Durán grabbed consecutive stage-wins in the Vuelta a Navarra by taking out today's concluding stage, while Belgian Steve Bekaert (pictured above) easily hung onto his overall lead to claim a win that will do his chances of turning professional next year no harm.
The final stage from Javier to the regional capital of Pamplona was a relatively uncomplicated one for the young Belgian. Durán, who was no threat on GC, escaped to take the stage, his eighth victory of the year, solo by 24 seconds, while Bekaert stayed with the first chasing group to finish 28 seconds down and thus defended his overall lead from team-mate Wellens (who'll turn pro with the senior squad on the 1st of July) and Bidelan's Joseba del Barrio in third.
Mikel Iturria gave Naturgas some presence by being a part of that group en route to a 24th place on the stage, but otherwise it was slim pickings for the Fundación Euskadi outfit. Larrinaga ended up as best placed on GC in 25th.
Former Orbea rider Noel Martín completed his excellent performance in the race by taking fourth on the final stage and thus securing the same placing overall. Chapeau!
Stage five results:
- 1, Arkaitz Durán (Azysa), 3:13:51
- 2, Vicente García (Gsport - Valencia Terra i Mar), 0:24
- 3, Thomas Sprengers (Lotto-Belisol-Davo), s.t.
- 4, Noel Martín (Supermercados Froiz), s.t.
- 5, Ibai Salas (Caja Rural), s.t.
- 24, Mikel Iturria (Naturgas Energía), 0:28
- 39, Jon Larrinaga (Naturgas Energía), 1:07
- 60, Víctor Etxeberria (Naturgas Energía), 5:14
- 77, Alain González (Naturgas Energía), 11:50
- 81, Francisco Javier Martín (Naturgas Energía), 14:49
Final general classification:
- 1, Steve Bekaert (Lotto-Belisol-Davo), 17:32:03
- 2, Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol-Davo), 0:22
- 3, Joseba del Barrio (Bidelan-Kirolgi), 0:56
- 4, Noel Martín (Supermercados Froiz), 1:00
- 5, Ariel Sivori (Azysa), 1:02
- 25, Jon Larrinaga (Naturgas Energía), 5:16
- 40, Mikel Iturria (Naturgas Energía), 17:34
- 43, Víctor Etxeberria (Naturgas Energía), 19:51
- 76, Alain González (Naturgas Energía), 54:56
- 95, Francisco Javier Martín (Naturgas Energía), 1:22:58
Víctor Etxeberria ended up as the second best from the region (behind Lizarte's Martin Iraizoz), while the team ended up 12th in the teams' classification.