What's Cool In Road Cycling

Bennati and Majka boxed in by crash marring fifth stage of the Giro

Today’s 203 kilometer long fifth stage of Giro d’Italia from Cosenza to Matera on the Italian East coast was dominated by a breakaway consisting of Gil Martinez (Androni), Alan Marangoni (Cannondale), Ricardo Mestre (Euskaltel), Brian Bulgac (Lotto) and Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini).

In the peloton, several different sprinter teams tried to control the pace but on the first steep climb in the finale, the heavier sprinters were tailed off. The breakaway split up as well and suddenly, Dane Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) bridged the gap to the front group but they were caught with 8 kilometers to go.

The neutralization resulted in new attacks from the bunch but Saxo-Tinkoff maintained a high steady pace and as the stage were to be decided in a bunch sprint there was a huge crash on the slippery surface.

John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) managed to go around the fallen riders and took the stage win.

”We had two main objectives today. We had to bring Rafa safely through the stage and that’s why Petrov went to the front of the pack on the final climb. It wasn’t an attack but simply a safety precaution. In the finale, Bennati was in an excellent position and ready to sprint it out when they crashed right in front of him with 60 km/h. He and Rafa were forced to hit the brakes and slowly roll across the finish line. Luckily, we avoided crashing but I would have loved to see Benna up there with the best of them today. Tomorrow, I guess we’ll have a more ordinary bunch sprint on our hands and our goal is to stay in the front of the pack without spending too much energy,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Dan Frost.

Luca Paolini (Katusha) retained the lead of the race.

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