Stage 5 of the BinckBank Tour was a fitting stage for Tom Dumoulin and the team to shine, starting and finishing at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard-Geleen. By the end of the day, Tom had maintained his 3rd spot on GC after helping force a selection late in the stage.
The race got off to a steady start with an early break of seven pulling clear to build a few minutes advantage over the peloton. The chase from behind was controlled as the race passed over a succession of small climbs on a stage parcours that resembled the spring classics, with little flat over the 167.3km route.
The action really kicked in when the team hit the front in narrow roads and crosswinds with just under 50km remaining. The move immediately caused splits in the peloton with a front group of around 50 riders forming, including Tom with several team mates. With every group on the road chasing hard, the gap to the break fell rapidly and as the climbs continued the leaders split. Behind, Tom was part of a select group that formed over one of the late climbs of the day, helping drive the group that would go on to fight out the stage victory.
A late solo attacker in the final two kilometres was enough to take the stage win, with Tom coming over the line just outside the top 10 but gaining time over other GC rivals to maintain his spot into the podium positions ahead of a tough weekend.
Following the stage, Team Sumweb coach Tom Veelers told us: “We made a planned move to get our team in a good position and to have an advantage on the narrow roads, and this worked out but a lot of riders came back in good position. Then further on, Tom was able to make it into the final break, but its unfortunate we didn’t have one more rider there with him.”
Tom Dumoulin added: “It was a good race by the whole team out there today and we created the situation we wanted on the road. It’s too bad we could not finish it off in a better way after all the work we put in.”