Ireland’s Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) extended his overall lead on the fifth stage of the 2013 Volta a Catalunya.
The Birmingham-born rider, nephew of Triple Crown winner, Stephen Roche, finished third in the final intermediate sprint to collect a one-second bonus and move 14 seconds clear of world number one, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
The 156.5km stage from Rialp to Lleid was won by the sprinter, François Parisien (Argos-Shimano), who held off Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2R-La Mondiale) for the win.
Parisien said: “I still can’t believe that I won today. This is the biggest win of my career. But what made it even better was the amazing teamwork. Today we executed our plan perfectly.”
The stage provided some respite for the men contending for overall victory after two grueling days in the high mountains.
An early break after just 50km saw Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol) and Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) go up the road and establish a lead of four minutes.
Their efforts were curtailed by the determination of Omega Pharma-QuickStep who rode hard all day for team leader, Gianni Meersman, winner of the opening two stages, and who finished in seventh place today.
Two riders briefly escaped a peloton driven by OPQS, Argos-Shimano, and Cannondale.
Andrey Kashechkin (Astana) went clear with just over five kilometres remaining but was soon hauled back. BMC Racing’s Margus Burghardt was the next to try his luck. launching from the front just two from home, but his lead was soon extinguished.
Argos-Shimano and Cannondale went wheel-to-wheel in the closing kilometre and kept the pace sufficiently high to prevent Stéphane Poulhies (Cofidis), the first man through the final bend, from ruining their day. Parisien showed the greatest turn of speed in the final 200 metres, swooping past Poulhies and holding off Dumoulin.
Volta a Catalunya 2013 – stage five – report
1) Francois Parisien (CAN) – Argos-Shimano – 3.32.02
2) Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) – Ag2R-La Mondiale
3) Stéphane Poulhies (FRA) – Cofidis
4) Daniele Ratto (ITA) – Cannondale Pro Cycling
5) Danilo Wyss (SWI) – BMC Racing
6) Andrew Fenn (GBR) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep
7) Gianni Meersman (BEL) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep
8) Maurits Lammertink (NED) – Vacansoleil-DCM
9) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Garmin-Sharp
10) Thomas Damuseau (FRA) – Argos-Shimano
1) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Garmin-Sharp – 22.20.39
2) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha +14”
3) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +42”
4) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +46”
5) Michele Scarponi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +47”
6) Robert Gesink (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling +59”
7) Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL) – Lampre-Merida +1.10
8) Peter Stetina (USA) – Garmin-Sharp +1.17
9) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +1.23
10) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) – Lotto-Belisol +1.25