Simon Clarke won stage five of La Vuelta as Rudy Molard took the leader's red jersey off the shoulders of Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski.

Education First-Drapac's Clarke beat Trek-Segafredo's Bauke Mollema and BMC's Alessandro De Marchi in a three-man sprint at the end of the 188.7km stage from Granada to Roquetas de Mar.

They had been part of a 25-man breakaway which also included Groupama-FDJ's Molard, who came home in a second group just eight seconds behind.

With the main peloton, including Kwiatkowski, not crossing the line for another four minutes and 47 seconds, Molard goes into the red jersey by 61 seconds from the Polish rider.

Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates was safely in the main bunch and now sits fourth overall, 71 seconds behind Molard. 

Ireland's Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) was in the same group as the British rider and slips back to 24th on the GC. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) meanwhile was at the back of that pack; he moved up four places to 75th overall.

It was a second Vuelta stage win for the 33-year-old Australian Clarke, with the other coming back in 2012.

"It's just amazing," he said. "I've worked so hard since I last won a stage here and I just couldn't repeat it. It's taken me so long to get back there and have my stars aligned. Even today I wasn't sure it was possible.

"I knew I had good legs but when you have a breakaway with so many riders the cooperation is not very good.

"The winning move went on the descent so it was a tricky one to pick. I knew I had good legs, I just had to pray the moves I was doing were the right ones."