REINOSA, Spain -- Oscar Freire of Spain won the mountainous
fifth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday while Vladimir
Efimkin of Russia kept the overall lead.
Freire, who rides for Rabobank, completed the 98-mile leg in 4
hours, 7 minutes, 51 seconds.
"I felt good so I asked the team to work hard for me," Freire
said. "They did it and I got away well."
Efimkin of Team CSC holds a 66-second lead over Russia's Denis
Menchov of Rabobank. Freire, with three stage victories at the
Vuelta this year, is more than 18 minutes off the overall lead.
Freire won a sprint finish, edging Lampre-Fondital rider Daniele
Bennati by a wheel. Paolo Bettini of Quick Step-Innergetic was
third. Phillippe Gilbert of Francaise des Jeux and Team Milram's
Erik Zabel rounded out the top five.
After two consecutive mountain legs, cyclists Thursday face a flat, 115-mile ride to Logrono.