March 25, 2016

VALLS, Spain (AP) Dutch rider Wouter Poels broke away to win the Tour of Catalonia fifth stage while Nairo Quintana defended his overall lead on Friday.

Poels of Sky escaped from a small group of front-runners on a mild ascent near the end and finished the mostly downhill 187-kilometer (116-mile) stage from Rialp to Valls in just under four hours.

''I was actually really tired at the start, but in the break I was feeling good,'' Woels said. ''I attacked on the last climb to see what would happen.''

It was Poels' third stage win of the season.

Dario Cataldo crossed along with the rest of the chasers more than 10 seconds later.

Quintana and his nearest title rivals Alberto Contador and Richie Porte finished in a group around half a minute off Poel's pace.

Contador shaved one second off Quintana's lead by winning an intermediate sprint. The Colombian is now seven seconds ahead of Contador with two stages to go.

''I expected Contador to try and get back more time,'' Quintana said. ''With him you always have to be attentive, as we saw today in the intermediate sprint. He won't make it easy for us to win this Tour.''

Porte, the defending champion, remained third at 17 seconds back.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome stayed in eighth and is 46 seconds behind Quintana, who took over the lead in the Pyrenees on Thursday.

Saturday's sixth stage is the longest of the race, a mainly flat 197.2-kilometer (122.5-mile) ride from Sant Joan Despi to Vilanova i la Gertu on the Mediterranean coast.

The weeklong race through northeastern Spain ends in Barcelona on Sunday.

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