A difficult start to stage five saw Team Sunweb’s GC man Tom Dumoulin abandon in the neutral zone, just two kilometres into the stage. The 2017 winner suffered a crash on yesterday’s stage four and tried his best to continue, but his injuries proved too painful to go on.
Following the news of his teammates abandon, Louis Vervaeke flew up the road in the day’s five man breakaway, with the first attack of the day proving to be the move that stuck. Rainy conditions made for a difficult 140 kilometres between Frascati and Terracina and the peloton only granted the breakaway a lead that peaked not much over the two minute marker.
With 53 kilometres to go and in advance of the day’s only KOM, Vervaeke jumped from the break, going on to mop up maximum points and lead the race solo for a brave 30 kilometres in treacherous conditions.
After being mopped up by the peloton with just over 20 kilometres to go, the sprinter’s teams took the reigns and brought the day down to a sprint, with Ackermann taking the win in the Maglia Ciclamino.