Degenkolb makes it two
Froome remains one second off Rodriguez
Last Updated: August 23, 2012 6:31pm
John Degenkolb: Proved his class once again with a second Grand Tour stage win
John Degenkolb continued his momentum at the Vuelta a Espana after sprinting to a second victory on stage five.
The German (Argos-Shimano) timed his kick well to narrowly edge out Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) on the line in Logrono to claim consecutive sprint wins.
Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) took third after the fast men duked it out inside the final kilometre on the Spanish streets.
Degenkolb said: "We wanted a really small group to get in the early break, and only one guy got away, and then after he was caught late on us and Katusha moved to the front to control the final lap of the race.
"Just like when I won on Sunday (team-mate) Koen De Kort dropped me off in exactly the right place for my last sprint.
"That last sprint for the line was really fast, I'd be curious to see how quick it was, but I didn't expect to win by such a big margin over Bennati."
Eight laps of a 21km circuit always looked destined to end in a bunch sprint and saw a huge fight for positioning inside the final 30 kilometres.
The sprint played into the hands of overnight leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who was able to finish safely, maintaining his one-second lead over Britain's Chris Froome (Team Sky).
The riders had 168 kilometres ahead of them on a day which looked like a much more straightforward prospect following two tough uphill finishes.
One man who wouldn't have an easy day was Javier Chacon (Andalucia), the Spaniard plugging away solo to build up a lead touching on 12 minutes before being gradually dragged back by the bunch.
Two intermediate sprints at the finish line broke up the action, with Ben Swift (Team Sky) in the mix to take two points at the first time of asking. Unfortunately the Brit was not able to back this up in the final sprint as he sat up to finish 19th.
The peloton were headed up by the red of Katusha after Rodriguez had moved into the race lead on Tuesday, with more teams joining in on the front as the end neared, the bunch holding Chacon at arm's length before finally putting him out of his misery with 28km to go.