Australian Ewan wins 5th Vuelta stage, Dumoulin gains lead
ALCALA DE GUADAIRA, Spain (AP) Caleb Ewan of Australia charged to the front in the final hundred meters (yards) to win the fifth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday, while Tom Dumoulin did enough to pass Colombian Esteban Chaves for the overall lead.
Dumoulin gained the leader's red jersey by finishing just five spots ahead of Chaves as the peloton crossed the line, enough for a one-second lead heading into Thursday's stage at the three-week Vuelta.
The 21-year-old Ewan got past favorite John Degenkolb of Germany in the closing stages of the mostly flat 167.3-kilometer (103.9-mile) leg from Rota to Alcala de Guadaira to secure his first major victory in 3 hours, 57 minutes and 28 seconds.
Peter Sagan of Slovakia, another pre-race favorite, tried to make a move as the leaders approached the finish but it was only good for third.
''This is by far the happiest day of my career,'' Ewan said. ''To beat some of the best sprinters in the world, especially guys like Sagan and Degenkolb, it really means a lot to me.''
Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Britain gained some ground on the leaders but was 35 seconds back. Nairo Quintana of Colombia was 39 second behind.
Nicolas Roche of Ireland remained third in the overall standings, 16 seconds back, with countryman Daniel Martin fourth, 27 seconds behind Dumoulin.
Dumoulin managed to finish in a pack in front of Chaves, gaining the six seconds he needed to move into the overall lead.
Chaves had taken the red jersey on Sunday's second stage, the first that counted toward individual times.
Thursday's sixth stage should prove more difficult to the riders. It takes them from Cordoba to Sierra de Cazorla in a 200.3-kilometer (124.4-mile) leg which has no significant climbs but also no flat sections. There will be a steady rise in the final 3 kilometers, which should give climbers an edge.