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GIRO’22 Stage 5: Démare Dominates In Messina!

Sprint stage to Démare

Giro Stage 5 Race Report: Stage 5 was billed as a sprinters day, but there was a climb that saw sprint favourites Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan dropped by the peloton. In Messina Arnaud Démare was the fastest in a chaotic sprint ahead of an angry Fernando Gaviria and Giacomo Nizzolo.

Stage 5 final K

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Démare takes stage 5

Arnaud Démare won the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia. After Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan, on paper the fastest men in the peloton, were dropped on the only climb of the stage, the Frenchman was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Fernando Gaviria was second, Giacomo Nizzolo third. Juan Pedro López held the overall lead.

The start in Catania with Etna in the distance

The Route:
Stage 5 is a short stage, with an uncomplicated climb, mid-course, up Portella Mandrazzi. From Catania, to just outside Taormina, the roads are fairly wide and mostly flat, but twist and wind, with only a few straight stretches. After leaving the coastline, the route takes in the long Portella Mandrazzi climb (avg. gradient: 4%), followed by a lengthy descent that will lead the peloton to the northern coast of the island. Over the final 70km, the stage follows the shoreline. The roads here are wide, flat and straight, with a few urban areas along the route.


Final kilometres
With nearly 4km to go, the course leaves the trunk road and kicks up into urban Messina. The route continues along broad city avenues, initially downhill, then up again until the 1,500m marker, where it takes a short descent. There is one final bend at 800m before the finish line.

The heroes of Etna – Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) and Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe>

Old Catania

The day after the finish on Etna, where Juan Pedro López grabbed the pink jersey, Wednesday was not a difficult stage. It was expected that the 174 kilometre stage between Catania and Messina would end in a bunch sprint, although there was the question whether all the fast men would manage the Portella Mandrazzi (20 kilometres at 4%). After the summit there was still 100 kilometres to the finish.

Cannoli e Sicilia

The break of the day

Right after the start five riders broke away: Jaako Hanninen (AG2R-Citroën), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa) and, for the third time this Giro, the duo of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli: Filippo Tagliani and Mattia Bais. The five gained a maximum lead of just over 4 minutes. In the peloton, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Trek-Segafredo took the lead. Biniam Girmay went for the intermediate points that were still left to be collected. He moved 3 three points closer to Mathieu van der Poel in purple.

The road to Messina

López happy in pink

Not long after, the Portella Mandrazzi climb started. In the peloton the pace went up, so that the gap to the escapees dropped. At first there was no riding at full throttle, after halfway up the climb did the men of Alpecin-Fenix, for Mathieu van der Poel, take over and lift the speed. Caleb Ewan was one of the first victims. Then Mark Cavendish also had to let go. Five Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders waited for ‘Cav’, hoping they could bring him back after the climb.

Cavendish was in trouble on the only climb of the day

Arnaud Démare, who was distanced 2 kilometres from the top, was immediately surrounded by his teammates. Once at the top, he was 1:20 behind the bunch. Cavendish was already almost 3 minutes back, while Ewan faced a gap of more than four. In the meantime, Maestri had taken the KOM points in the leading group. Mountain jersey wearer Lennard Kämna, the first of the peloton, also picked up 1 point.

The climb saw Cavendish and Ewan dropped by the bunch

On the descent Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert led the pack. The tight pace they maintained didn’t prevent Démare from returning, but ensured that the four remaining escapees, Tagliani had already been dropped on the descent, were caught at more than 65 kilometres from the finish. Israel-Premier Tech, Giacomo Nizzolo’s team, and Fernando Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates also contributed to the speed. They, too, would rather not have Cavendish and Ewan with them.

The climb was no problem for Mathieu van der Poel

After the climb some teams (Groupama and Alpecin) in the peloton made sure Cavendish and Ewan didn’t get back

In the end Cavendish and his teammates gave up the fight. Groupama-FDJ also started leading at the front and the Quick-Step men stopped chasing with about 50 kilometres to go. A bunch sprint was inevitable, but before that, there was another bonus sprint. Almeida took 2 seconds. Filippo Fiorelli abandoned.

Démare had a perfect lead-out

Alpecin-Fenix, Groupama-FDJ and Israel-Premier Tech in particular led the way into the final, when several trains were formed. Mathieu van der Poel was boxed-in in the final kilometre, but Arnaud Démare was brought perfectly to the front by his team. Ramon Sinkeldam, who had the role as last man because Jacopo Guarnieri had been dropped, started the sprint perfectly, after which his French leader finished it off. Fernando Gaviria was second, Giacomo Nizzolo third.

It looked a close sprint head-on

From an angle, Démare won by a bike length

Stage winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “I’m super happy to win at the Giro. The sprint has been fluid from my point of view, even though it might have appeared chaotic. I’ve been patient before I launched the sprint. I lost a fair bit of time up the hill but my teammates have done a great job to bring me back quickly in the downhill. Then we worked hard to maintain Cavendish and Ewan behind. My victory today means that in cycling we must never give up.”

Arnaud Démare: ‘Never give up’

Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s incredible to have the Maglia Rosa. I still can’t believe what I’m experiencing. Today has been the most beautiful day of my life as a rider. I rode near the front towards the end to avoid any problems. I’m living a dream!”

A less than happy Fernando Gaviria at the finish

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Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:03:56
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
5. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Victorious
7. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
8. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
9. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 5:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 18:21:03
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:39
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:58
4. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:42
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:47
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:55
7. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:58
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 2:00
9. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:04
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 2:06

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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