Sergio Higuita sprinted away from a small elite group in the closing straight to cruise to victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Friday.
Jonas Vingegaard finished safely tucked in the leading group of 20 to retain the overall lead. His closest pursuers Mikel Landa finished in the group but lost a second on an intermediate sprint.
Higuita said he had targeted the stage.
“Positioning was important,” he said. “I knew I had to go early because it was a very fast finish and if you wait too long it is difficult to get back. So I went from long and I had enough strength to stay ahead.”
Andrea Bagioli, who had been trying to guide teammate Mauro Schmid to the line, gave chase and finished second.
“The last metres were a bit chaotic,” said the Italian. “Higuita anticipated us.”
Mattias Skjelmose was third and climbed to third overall. He is 32 seconds behind his compatriot Vingegaard but only eight seconds ahead of the 11th place rider.
“It was a very tricky day, a very warm day,” said Vingegaard. “It was a big fight to bring the breakaway back.”
🔴 Os dejamos con el resumen de la quinta etapa de la #Itzulia2023 💪
— Itzulia Basque Country (@ehitzulia) April 7, 2023