Yesterday, Venezuelan rider Noel Vasquez (Gobernación del Zulia), took
the fifth stage of the Vuelta Al tachira. The first serious mountain stage started at Merida and finshed in Bailadores after
95 kilometers, Vasquez teammate Manuel Medina became the new overall leader.
The stage was short but very demanding with over 40 kilometres of climbing, from the first few metresthe Kino Tachira
Banfoandes team controlled the race to avoid attacks.
the beginning of the San Felipeclimb several riders attacked but no-one really got away. A group of no more than 30 riders
were at the front at the first category climb Tovar buscaba, Noel Vasquez was the first rider who reached the top.
But it was at
the final climb to Balidores where the decisive attacks took place. Race leader Arthur Garcia of Kino Tachira sought
his chance, but the final attack was made by riders of Gobernación del Zulia. 2006 overall winner Manual 'El Gato' Medina
and Noel Vasquez broke the front group. Only Juan Murillo was able to keep up.
Murillo was dropped
by Vasquez and Medina after both riders stepped up the pace. A chasing group with Yeison Delgado, Jose Contreras, Carlos Ochoa, Oscar
Luna and Colombian rider Rolando Trujillo reached Murillo and dropped the unlucky rider.
Noel Vasquez crossed the line first, hand in hand with Manuel Medina, who took over the overall lead.
Teammate Yesion Delgado came in third and made the dominance of the Gobernación del Zulia perfect.
It was 4 years
ago since Noel Vasquez won his last stage at the Vuelta Al Tachira. Vasquez is a two time overall winner of the race (2000
Today the riders
will race 122 kilometres from Bailadores to el Vigía - La Azulita. The sixth stage contains three intermediate sprints and
two climbs, one of the third and one of the first category.
Malaya van Ruitenbeek came in 30th today, 5' 02" after stage
winner Vasquez. Van Ruitenbeek is 64th in the general classification, 20' 16" behind race leader Manuel Medina. The Dutch
rider reports with a regular riders diary from Venezuela. Yesterday: Diary Malaya van Ruitenbeek Vuelta Al Tachira 2008 Day 3, 4 & 5 : "happy with my 7th place"