The Vuelta a Extremadura closed with a frenetic fifth stage in which the orography of the Sierra Suroeste de Badajoz region ended up revolutionising the final general classification, which went to the Frenchman Adrien Maire (Aix-en-Provence), winner in a finish in Jerez de los Caballeros where the Catalan Arnau Gilabert, ninth, was the best classified of the U23 structure of the Contador Foundation. In the final overall, with Maire in yellow, Ander Ganzábal second and Pablo Carrascosa third, this condition fell to Andrea Montoli (24th).
After a day of many movements, attacks, counterattacks and regroupings in which the two passes through the village of Feria provided a lot of spice, with illustrious riders involved and Fran Muñoz in the fight, Maire, Tomás Miralles (Essax) and Ander Ganzábal (Laboral Kutxa) were already in the last 25 kilometres of the race with their offensive.
The breakaway took an advantage of over a minute with respect to a group that included the leader Pablo Carrascosa (Finisher), most of the aspirants to the general classification and, on the blue side, both Arnau Gilabert and Andrea Montoli.
Arnau Gilabert, ninth at the finish line in Jerez de los Caballeros: “I didn’t know what result I had achieved, to be honest, but I finished the day with the feeling that I am finally starting to become the cyclist I am. The second stage, the pass through La Desesperá, was a reality check, that was the situation, but I knew I wasn’t in my place. In the end I made my debut this season in Extremadura after a very difficult winter, with a broken collarbone at the beginning of the year, and I feel that finally I have gone from less to more. Today I’ve seen myself there, I’m starting to be me and this gives me a lot of motivation to keep going”.