Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin managed to stay out of trouble on a hectic finale to stage five at the Giro d’Italia, as crashes split the bunch inside the final 20 kilometres.
The action resumed at stage five in Agrigento, with a 153 stage to Santa Ninfa to contend with ahead of tomorrow’s looming Etna stage. Four riders jumped clear of the bunch after 25 kilometres of racing, opening up a solid five minute advantage over the peloton. Team Sunweb posted men at the front of the chase, keeping their lead under control through the stage. In the final 20 kilometres the breakaway began to attack each other, which caused their lead to tumble down. One rider held onto an advantage until three kilometres to go, when the fast paced bunch made the catch. Not caught out by an earlier crash which saw the bunch split and various riders having to chase back, Team Sunweb led Tom Dumoulin into the finale for him to finish inside the top 15, and remain 2nd overall.
Tom said: “I survived again without time loss, that’s what is most important. These stages we don’t have much to win, but a lot to lose and we haven’t lost anything so that’s good. Tomorrow will be really hard, it’s more difficult than the other side that we did last year so we will see how it goes. I hope that the peloton calms down as the GC is expected to settle after tomorrow. It was two days of stress here. I didn’t have good legs today but I also didn’t have bad legs, hopefully that means good legs for tomorrow.”
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen said: “The first half of the stage was pretty straightforward with the break going clear and teams controlling the pace. Laurens crashed in the second half of the stage, relatively unscathed he got back on the bike. With a couple more crashes heading towards the final the team did a good job to bring Tom and Sam into position to cross the finish line safely. We can be satisfied with our position going into the first really tough stage tomorrow.”