Today’s stage was one set up for the sprinters, or at least the sprinters who could get over the 10% climb into Matera and finish with the peloton. Mark Cavendish was not one of these sprinters and that opened the door for John Degenkolb who not only made it over the climb, he avoided the chaos of a crash on the final curve which disrupted the entire group.
Hubert Dupont tried for a cheeky break with 4 km remaining in the race but BMC was happy to reel him back just 1 km later and taking control with 3km to go. Heading into the final km BMC was ripping it on the front with the Bardiani team right in tow. Heading into the final curve it was Bardini with the bit between their teeth and then all chaos broke loose as an Argos-Shimano rider lost his wheel and 6 or 7 men hit the ground.
After the crash it appeared that Bardiani would get another win as their rider suddenly had a 200m gap on the peloton which was in pieces behind. The problem was that he had just been leading out the Bardiani sprinters and was now driving hard to the line himself, but appeared to being traveling about 30kmph instead of 60. Degenkolb behind him was able to manage about 32 as he had turned himself inside out to close the gap and we witnessed what may have been the slowest sprint in Giro history.
Luca Paolini maintained his jersey and because the crash came in the last 3km there was no major change to the overall.
Stage 5 Top Five
1. John Degenkolb (ARG)
2. Anel Viscioso (KAT)
3. Paul Martens (BLA)
4. Sergio Henao (SKY)
5. Matteo Trentin (OPQ)
Overall Classification after Stage 5
1. Luca Paolini (KAT)______19h56’51″
2. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)___+17″
3. Benat Intxausti (MOV)___+26″
4. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)___+31″
5. Ryder Hesjedal (GRM)___+34″
6. Bradley Wiggins (SKY)
7. Giampaolo Caruso (KAT)_+36″
8. Sergio Luis Henao (SKY)__+37″
9. Mauro Santambrogio (VIN)_+39″
10. Cadel Evans (BMC)_____+42″
12. Robert Gesink (BLA)____+45″
14. Giovanni Visconti (MOV)_+52″
19. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)__+1’18″
21. Michele Scarponi (LAM)__+1’23″
27. Carlos Betancur Gomez (ALM)_+1’41″
28. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)___+1’41″