GERMANY’S John Degenkolb won his second successive stage of the Vuelta a Espana after a chaotic uphill finish in Ronda.
Degenkolb edged out Nacer Bouhanni – to the Frenchman’s disgust – who claimed he was blocked off on his approach to the finish.
With less than 200 metres remaining, stage two winner Bouhanni attempted to go up the inside but found himself boxed in between the Giant-Shimano rider and the fan-lined barriers.
The Frenchman threw his arms up in anger, complaining that Degenkolb had diverted from his line. Bouhanni appealed to the race jury at the finish, but to no avail and Degenkolb was declared the winner.
The Netherlands’ Moreno Hofland came in just behind to make up the top three.
Spanish duo Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador were in a group alongside Nairo Quintana and Briton Chris Froome, five seconds back from the leaders.
Overall leader Michael Matthews failed to feature in the sprint but extended his lead over second place Nairo Quintana to 13 seconds.
Valverde is currently in third place overall and remains in contention for the red jersey.
Thursday’s stage six covers 167 kilometres from Benalmadena to Cumbres Verdes.
Stage five results:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger/Giant) 4:04:21″
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/FDG.fr) ST
3. Moreno Hofland (NL/Belkin)
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel/Trek)
5. Paul Martens (Ger/Belkin)
6. Lloyd Mondory (Fra/AG2R)
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/BMC)
8. Vicente Reynes (Spa/IAM)
9. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita/Team MTN)
10. Roberto Ferrari (Ita/Lampre)
Overall classifications after stage five:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 17:35:05″
2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +13″
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +20″
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) +24″
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +26″
6. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) ST
7. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa/Trek) +29″
8. Wilco Kelderman (NL/Belkin) +32″
9. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) ST
10. Robert Gesink (NL/Belkin) ST