It was a day for the breakaway as Bahrain-Victorious were trying to secure the GC win for Wout Poels in the last stage of Vuelta a Andalucia, hoping for an easy day. German Lennard Kämna launched an attack on the last climb and no one from the breakaway could follow him. Meanwhile, Wout Poels secured the yellow jersey, winning overall in Andalucia.
Many riders wanted to be in a breakaway today as it was a perfect chance to get a stage win with Bahrain’s lack of desire to pace. In the middle of the stage, the original breakaway was caught after Caruso paced too hard on the climbs. With 50 km to go an 18-man group went clear with Alessandro Covi, Simon Clarke, Emanuel Buchmann and other riders that yesterday lost hopes in GC by losing 7 minutes to the leaders.
On the final climb, Chiclana de Segura, there were multiple attack by riders in the breakaway. Bora-Hansgrohe in the group had two good climbers – Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna. With 3.4 km to go Kämna attacked. Before his attempt, Buchmann was setting a pace in the group to make the race harder. Kämna was so strong that no one could bridge to him, just like when he gapped Carapaz in the Tour de France 2020. He switched on to time-trial mode and soloed to an impressive victory. Behind him, Italians Lorenzo Fortunato and Alessandro were trying to catch him, they even worked together.
Kämna was too strong (perhaps because he can do 8000 watts), taking his fourth professional win. The first three victories were in World-Tour races. In 2021 Kämna won Volta a Catalunya stage 1, but after that he raced only Volta ao Algarve in May and took a break to recover from health problems. In 2020 he won stages in Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de France, showing great potential. It looks like in 2022 he is back in his best form as one of the best hilly breakaway riders in the world.
Meanwhile, in the peloton Bahrain-Victorious was controlling the situation until the last climb. Miguel Angel Lopez was the biggest threat to Wout Poels in GC, and Harold Tejada from Astana started pace to make the race harder. Later, Lopez launched an attack, but it was cut short as the TV director chose to show the situation in the breakaway. Lopez was caught.
After that, young INEOS climber Carlos Rodriguez tried to attack, but he was closed by Cristian Rodriguez, who was trying to defend his 3rd place in GC. Bahrain-Victorious did not need to do anything. The last attack in the group was from Simon Yates, who finished first from the GC leaders. Surprisingly, Lopez’s climbing legs were not good on stage 5 and he even lost time to Wout Poels, who looked strong today and won his 2nd GC of his career at age 34. In the off-season he did not have a contract for a long time and he extended with Bahrain-Victorious for a year.
Cristian Rodriguez finished 2nd in GC as he took three seconds from Lopez, who at least saved a place on the podium. Another great performance by 21-year-old Carlos Rodriguez. He finished 4th. The strongest climber, Simon Yates was only 5th as the course did not suit with no big mountains close to the finish.