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WILLIAMS Stephen

1. WILLIAMS Stephen

2. VAUQUELIN Kévin

3. VAN GILS Maxim

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NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna

1. NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna

2. VOLLERING Demi

3. LONGO BORGHINI Elisa

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LÓPEZ Juan Pedro

1. LÓPEZ Juan Pedro

2. PELLIZZARI Giulio

3. FOSS Tobias

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DE MARCHI Alessandro

1. DE MARCHI Alessandro

2. GAMPER Patrick

3. PELLAUD Simon

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Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Race Report / Discussion: The art of not racing in the rain

Dense fog and pouring rain. A dog loose in the pack. A desultory 36 km/h average speed over the first 150 km. And then, excitement of all the wrong kind.

Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia was one of those days where everyone wanted to just be done with it. That went for the pack, which celebrated the tunnels (tunnels!) as one of the few dry spots on a day with miserable weather. It went for race favorite Remco Evenepoel, who went down hard in an early race crash when a loose dog caused havoc in the peloton and again in the final. It even went for the three-rider breakaway that went clear from the gun but was never allowed – or, rather, never managed to take – more than three-odd minutes on the “chase.”

All the drama came late, and it became immediately clear why the field had little interest in racing in such horrendous conditions. The pack finally worked in earnest with about 20 km to go to catch Green Project-Bardiani’s Samuele Zoccarato, the last surviving escapee. The rain backed off slightly for the finish in the seaside town of Salerno, but a crash in the front third of the pack on a wet curve with 7 km to go created a split, and Primož Roglič was caught up and had to switch bikes.

With Evenepoel safely up front, Soudal Quick-Step hit the gas to keep the pressure on, while Roglič’s Jumbo-Visma team quickly organized a furious chase to regain contact right at the crucial 3 km to go mark. More crashes followed on wet crosswalk striping, with Evenepoel going down again (albeit not at risk of losing time). The reigning World Champion could only shake his head at the absurdity of it all as he waited for a fresh bike from the team car.

True bunch finishes will be rare at this year’s Giro, and Stage 5 was no exception. A number of sprinters did manage to survive the chaos, and Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) managed to hold off Stage 2 winner Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) for the victory. Finally, we got a Mark Cavendish sighting, if not in the way we’d want. The Astana sprinter was spotted up front for the first time since early April’s Scheldeprijs, but just as he was winding up his sprint, he got done in by the combination of a wet paint stripe and a sharp move by Team DSM’s Alberto Dainese that swept his front wheel, sending him pinballing into Green Project’s Filippo Fiorelli and back into the field in a wince-inducing crash. Even sliding on the wet pavement, Cav managed to hold off Corratec’s Nicolas Dalle Velle for fifth on the day, so there’s that.

For a stage that was so quiet for so long, we have some questions: is Remco hurt by his two tumbles, or just pissed (he had an animated discussion with his team car in the roll to the finish)?

Dainese’s move: fair play or no? And can we get a note of appreciation for Fiorelli, who somehow managed to stay upright pinned between cannonball Cav and the barriers?

Thursday’s Stage 6 starts and finishes in Naples, describing a circuit around Mount Vesuvius and then out and back on the Sorrento peninsula. It’s broadly similar to today’s profile, and there’s a strong chance of showers in the morning at least. Will we get a carbon copy, or will the racing be more aggressive?

Brief results (provisional):

    1. Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
    2. Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious)
    3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
    4. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM)
    5. Mark Cavendish (Astana)
Escape by Escape Collective
10.05.2023