Chris Froome extends his lead in Vuelta a Espana

Nicolas Roche drops one spot but still only 13 seconds down on red jersey

The peloton winds its way uphill on the fifth stage of Vuelta a Espana between Benicassim and Alcossebre. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Astana rider Alexey Lutsenko broke clear on the uphill finish at Alcossebre to claim victory on stage five of the Vuelta a Espana, with Britain’s Chris Froome extending his overall lead for Team Sky.

Kazakhstani Lutsenko fended off Dimension Data’s Merhawi Kudus to move ahead on the assault up Ermita Santa Lucia to cross the line some 42 seconds clear.

Spaniard Marc Soler took third for Movistar, 56 seconds behind Lutsenko.

Froome, who is aiming to become just the third man to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same year, was more than four minutes down on the leaders, but extended his slim advantage in the general classification standings.


Nicolas Roche came home in 19th place on the stage and although he slipped one place to fourth, but the BMC rider is still just 13 seconds off the red jersey of the race leader.

A breakaway group of 16 riders pushed the pace over the 175.7km stage from Benicassim, with Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) joining Lutsenko in a late surge on the descent of the Alto de la Serratella, but the Austrian could not last the distance during the closing 45km.

Frome’s overall lead now stands at 10 seconds from American Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) and 11 seconds ahead of Esteban Chaves, the Colombian Orica-Scott rider.

Thursday’s sixth stage will run over 204.4km from Villarreal to Sagunto and include a second category climb on Puerto del Garbi.