Daniel Oss (BMC Racing) went from starring in the day's Giro d'Italia breakaway on stage 5, winning two intermediate sprints and claiming the day's combativity prize, to picking himself up from a nasty crash. The Italian suffered some road rash, but rejoined the ultimatley unsuccessful escape and will fight another day.
“We started the stage with the idea that I would try and get in the breakaway. After the first KOM it was pretty hard but four riders went away. The only bad thing was that Amets Txurruka from Orcia GreenEdge was only five minutes behind on GC so the peloton couldn’t let him get too far in front," Oss said.
The breakaway was just over 100km from the finish when Oss crashed on a descent, ripping up his shorts and his skin. He fought his way back to the breakaway but the move was caught with 7.5km to go.
“I went around the corner in the wrong way and I know it was my mistake but I didn’t give up and just tried to get back into the breakaway and just tried to do my best until the finish. And we actually got caught really close to the finish. With 50km to go I didn’t think we would be able to stay away because Team Giant Alpecin were pulling and the sprinters’ teams too. The parcours was pretty tricky in the end so this allowed us to remain away for a bit and the gap moved up and down.”
“I was looking for a breakaway like this to understand how I feel and actually I feel pretty good. The crash wasn’t ideal but I didn’t have too much pain, just road rash. Otherwise I am happy with today."
Fraile quits after stage 4 crash
On Wednesday Dimension Data lost their most successful rider so far in the Giro d'Italia. Omar Fraile, the first wearer of the mountains jersey after being in the break on stage 2, abandoned the race following a crash on stage 4.
"He had a bad night after he crashed yesterday," directeur sportif Jean-Pierre Heynderickx said. "He threw up a couple of times in the evening and a couple of times during the race. He was feeling dizzy and had a headache, he really wasn't feeling well and you could see he was completely empty so he stopped in the feed zone.
"It's always a bad thing when you lose a rider in a Grand Tour, and more so when it is early on so we are sad to see him go."
Close call for Rafal Majka
Tinkoff's general classification leader Rafal Majka climbed up the standings on stage 4, but very nearly had all of his gains wiped away when he punctured with just 14km to go in the fast finish of stage 5 to Benevento.
The peloton was in full flight behind the day's breakaway when the incident happened, but his teammates Manuele Boaro and Ivan Rovny waited to tow him back to the bunch.
Directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman explained: "[The breakaway] got caught with 7.5km to go, but things were a bit nervous before that as with 14km to go Rafal had a flat tyre and at this point it was really flat out and technical. I have to say the boys did fantastic here - Ivan waited with him, then Boaro was there as well to help him through the cars, with the others at the back of the peloton. It worked out fantastically, but it was on the limit."
Majka finished 21st, holding onto the maglia rosa group that finished four seconds behind the sprint.
"When I punctured it took some time to change the wheel, so it was quite nervous, but thanks to the extraordinary effort of Boaro and Rovny I managed to close the gap to the bunch and finish safely in the front," Majka said. "We didn't lose any time today and it was a good day overall in the end, but I spent an immense amount of energy to get back to the leading positions in the group. I would like to thank the guys for their fantastic effort and sacrifice to get me back. They went really hard on the last climb which took its toll but it all worked out. It was great team work from the guys and shows the strong team spirit we have here."
Jungels sprints to fourth behind Greipel
Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) filled in for double stage winner Marcel Kittel in the stage 5 bunch kick, finishing fourth behind Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) in the uphill dash to the line. It was yet another indication of the young Luxembourger's talent on a difficult stage.
"The stage was very long. They said it was one for the sprinters, but it was really hard, as we were all the time up and down through the mountains," Jungels said. "With Marcel suffering, we decided to go for Matteo [Trentin], but unfortunately he got caught behind the crash. I was in a good position and started my sprint, although it wasn't easy at all.
"Still, to finish fourth in a bunch sprint it's a nice result, which shows that I have good feelings in the legs," Jungels said.
"Now I am looking forward to tomorrow's mountain stage and especially to the individual time trial on Sunday."