• Esteban Chaves setting tempo on the final climb of Stage 5. (Getty)Source: Getty
Mitchelton-Scott's Esteban Chaves moved into the top 10 on the Vuelta a España general classification after limiting his losses on the final climb to the Astrophysics Observatory at Javalambre.
By
Cycling Central

29 Aug 2019 - 9:25 AM 

Chaves could not follow an attack initiated by UCI Road World Champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the final three kilometres so he resorted to riding tempo along with a group which included Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

He finished one minute and 46 seconds behind Stage 5 winner Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) to finish 10th and move up six places and seventh on GC after the 170.7km stage from L’Eliana.

Chaves lost 59 seconds to overall leader Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) on the stage and is now one minute and 17 seconds behind his Colombian compatriot.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Quintana, Valverde Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) and Uran are all around a minute ahead of Chaves who remains a chance for a second career Vuelta podium place.

“It was a good result for me," Chaves said. “Like the second stage, I couldn’t find the change of rhythm yet, but it reminds me of 2016 when we finished in Lagos de Covadonga where it happened the same.

“Normally later in the race, I will improve but we are calm, there’s a long way to go. I think they are spending a lot of bullets early in the race, and hopefully, that will be an advantage for us in the third week.”

Chaves and the rest of the general classification contenders are likely to take a break on Stage 6 which is a rolling mid-mountain 199km between Mora de Rubielos and tAres del Maestrat rising to an altitude of 1,195 metres above sea level.