Quick-Step Floors' Enric Mas remains the best young rider of the race.
The stunning Alhambra – one of the world's most beautiful and iconic structures – towered over the peloton as they rolled out from Granada for stage 5 of La Vuelta, which put on the table an appealing parcours for a breakaway, with two classified climbs and plenty of rolling terrain before a long descent to Roquetas de Mar, a small town in the province of Almeria, which on Wednesday got to host a stage finish for just the second time in history, after the one in 2002.
Despite a flurry of attacks, a large group went clear only after one hour and a half, and when this happened, 25 riders found themselves at the front with a two-minute buffer over the peloton, which they extended to six full minute at the bottom of the day's final difficulty, Alto El Marchal. There, three fugitives grafted away and succeeded in holding off the chase, before Simon Clarke (EF Education First) outsprinted his opponents in the final 100 meters to claim the victory.
The peloton rolled over the line five minutes later, not concerned about the gap or the fact the leader's jersey changed hands, from Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) to Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ). Enric Mas, who was part of the sizeable group, went straight to the podium to collect his prize for the best young rider of the Vuelta a España, which will see the 23-year-old sport the red bibs again, on Thursday afternoon.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images