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Giro d'Italia stage 5 - Live coverage


Hello there, and welcome to the Cyclingnews live race centre for stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia. A long one today - 225km, with a late first-category climb that tops out just 11.5 downhill kilometres from the line. It's another early test for the overall contenders.

As we pick up the action, we're in the opening phases of the race and still waiting for a breakaway to form. 

Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is in the maglia rosa as the race leader, but will be still be by the end of the day? A GC shake-up is expected and this is how it currently stands at the top. 

It has been a very fast, downhill start to the day, and now we're on more of a false flat uphill, with the road to ramp up again soon after. It's a relentlessly hilly day, with a huge sting in the tail. At 225km in length, it really is a tough day in the saddle. 

"That last challenge is the Valico Montescuro, a mammoth 24.9-kilometre first category ascent that contains over half - 1,400 metres - of the stage's total of 3,700 vertical metres of climbing."

We've got some rugged terrain before we drop down to the first intermediate sprint in Catanzaro Lido, and then we take on the first two climbs of the day - both cat-3 ascents separated by a short descent. The second one takes us up to 865m for an undulating portion of the course where the altitude metres will steadily rack up. There's some downhill ahead of that big final climb, and then a fast descent to the line. It's not a day to have a bad day.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is among the riders looking to get up the road now.

Sagan is in the maglia ciclamino as lead of the points classification, so he'll certainly be interested in that first intermediate sprint. He's joined by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) and a couple of others, but they've been quickly brought back. 

Deceuninck-QuickStep are policing the peloton in these early stages and they've very wary of the breakaway candidates. This is such a hard stage to control and they're not taking any risks at the moment.

Ineos are on the move again, this time with former pink jersey and stage 1 winner Filippo Ganna in a move with their Italian domestique Salvatore Puccio. Jan Tratink (Bahrain McLaren) and Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) are with them and we'll see if this sticks.

Those four have managed to get away but their move has only inspired more attacks from the bunch, so on we go. 

We've already covered 50km and we're only just over an hour in.

A group of four has clipped off in pursuit and is making its way across.

Correction: The Lotto rider is Carl Fredrik Hagen - not Holmes. The Norwegian rider burst onto the scene at last year's Vuelta but is already eight minutes down after finishing seven minutes back on the GC contenders on Mount Etna. Still, a dangerous rider.

The four counter-attackers are: Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Hector Carretero (Movistar), Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec), and Edoardo Zardini (Vini Zabù-KTM).

Those four now reach the original four, who will be glad of the extra firepower. With two minutes over the peloton, it's a slim lead, but it looks like our breakaway is finally established:

165km to go

At 8:21, Hagen is the best-placed rider on GC and, remembering his top-10 in the Vuelta, QuickStep et al will be wary of giving this break too much ground. 

Interesting to see two Ineos riders up the road. They lost Geraint Thomas to a neutral zone crash on stage 3 and, for the second time in two Grand Tours, have had to readjust their focus. Fittingly enough, Daniel Benson has taken a look at the British team's options in the race now Thomas has gone. 

We're heading downhill into Catanzaro now, where we'll have the first sprint and the start of the first climb. The average speed so far has been over 50km/h, which, on a 225km stage, will take its toll. The gap to the break is now at four minutes.

Aside from the sprint finish, a major talking point yesterday was, regrettably, a crash in the final kilometre apparently caused by a helicopter flying too low and blowing barriers across the road. Luka Wackermann (Vini-Zabú KTM) was the worst affected and, although he was declared a finisher yesterday, was quickly taken to hospital and out of the race. He has an injury list as long as that of the safety incidents that have occurred since the season re-start and once again the CPA (the riders' association) have told us they're 'looking into it'. Full story here.

Taking the safety angle on that story, my colleague Barry Ryan spoke to Brent Bookwalter, who was one of the riders in the Wackermann group at the time of the crash. From details of how it happened, to criticism of both the CPA and RCS Sport (the Giro organisers), it's all in the link below.

145km to go

We're now on the first climb of the day, the short cat-3 at Catanzaro. The eight escapees still have a modest lead of four minutes. 

Here's a shot of the breakaway.

133km to go

QuickStep lead the peloton through the narrow streets on the climb into Catanzaro, and then out of town on the way down, pointing out the dangers in the road surface and even threatening to raise an arm to a spectator who's leaning out into the road to try and grab a photo. They'll be back on open highway pretty soon.

A zippy downhill has led into to the second climb of the day up to Tiriolo. It's another cat-3, but it's longer, and actually climbs on a false flat before the official ascent even begins. 

With 100km on the clock, the gap goes out to 4:30 as the peloton decide it's time for another round of comfort breaks. 

QuickStep have been on the front of the bunch all day, looking after maglia rosa Almeida. 

It's yesterday's third-placed finisher, Davide Ballerini, who's leading the way up this climb, followed by Keisse, Hodeg, Serry, Knox, and Almeida. Masnada and Honore are in the bunch but further back. 

Behind the QuickStep line we find seven EF riders. Jonathan Caicedo is only two seconds down on GC, having won the stage on Mount Etna. 

Pieter Weening (Trek-Segafredo) has abandoned the Giro d'Italia. He crashed yesterday. 

It sounds like a sensible decision to pull the veteran Dutchman, but that's a blow for Vincenzo Nibali.

For more on what Weening would have brought to the team, and what the remaining riders are expected to contribute, Trek-Segafredo was one of the rosters we looked at ahead of the race. 

The break are coming to the top of the second climb now. 

Zardini once again skips clear to collect the mountains points, ahead of Carretero. 

111km to go

The road continues to climb beyond the KOM point, and we're heading for that sort-of plateau, which is maybe the wrong word given it's so up and down, but it's followed by a longer descent to the last 65km. 

It's a murky day and there's a bit of rain about, with a few riders opting to put jackets on. 

106km to go

Away from the Giro, Richard Freeman is back in Manchester giving evidence in his medical tribunal. The former Team Ineos/Sky and British Cycling doctor admits he ordered banned substance testosterone in 2011 and covered it up, but denies he knew or believed it would be administered to a rider. Freeman is being pressed on his claims the testosterone was to treat erectile dysfunction in Shane Sutton (an allegation the former coach vehemently, dramatically, and some would say comically, denied at the last hearing in December). 

After a brief bit of disharmony in the break, they're rotating together again with a lead of 5:15 as we head into the final 100km. 

It's difficult to predict exactly what might happen today. It's still so early in the race, but then again so was Mount Etna (and we've had a few pretty dull early Etna stages in recent years) and yet the race blew apart. Thomas lost 12 minutes, Yates blew and lost more than three, and the rest were left largely isolated, with little control from any single team. It's set to be a really open Giro, and you get the feeling that'll continue today. The final climb, for the most part, isn't too steep, but it's really long at almost 25km. It's not a summit finish, and 11.6km to the line can sometimes dissuade attacks but this downhill run-in is fast, and it'll be hard to recoup much time, even if the final kilometre is slightly uphill. It also has to be stated again that this stage is 225km - the Etna stage was 150km. 

While Thomas has gone home, Yates is still here, 24th overall at 3:48. He's down but I don't think he's out. Of course, if Etna was a sign of his overall shape, it's not good news, but if it was a one-off blip, there's still time for him to work his way back into contention. He had the pre-race results, he has a much improved time trial that could actually see him gain on his rivals on the stage 14 and 21 TT's (totalling 50km), and he has the attacking instincts to claw something back in an open race where the favourite has gone home. 

85km to go

Giulio Ciccone has emerged at the front of the bunch now, as it spreads across the road. QuickStep are still there in the middle, with EF over on the right. Ciccone's preparation was knocked by COVID-19 but he's still Nibali's most important rider. 

77km to go

The break hit the descent now with a lead of 4:55. 

Lots more teams moving up now - Jumbo and Bahrain among them. The pace has really picked up here.

Bookwalter, who crashed on stage 2 and nearly crashed yesterday, is among those who are being dropped. 

The peloton have gone over the top of that last little climb on the plateau section and there's a small split towards the back of it, which should stitch back together on the downhill.

Jumbo-Visma have the front of the bunch on this descent, with Tony Martin leading the way. The roads are still wet in parts and that flurry of action was perhaps mainly about being well positioned and keeping safe on what could be a treacherous part of the course.

69.5km to go

Apologies if this live page froze for you for a while. We had some technical troubles but we're all good now. 

The surface on this descent is sketchy. Cracks, little potholes, and the odd bit of gravel. 

Problems for Tratink up front. He goes through an extended 180-degree bend but doesn't crash. It's a mechanical, and he's back on his way after a brief stop. 

63km to go

Tratnik gets back in as Zardini stops for a comfort break. The escapees will soon have to really start pushing. Four minutes doesn't seem like much to have in hand for such a long climb. 

Jumbo lead the peloton onto the uncategorised climb. Kruijswijk must be feeling good. He hadn't raced since crashing out of the Dauphiné and the thinking was to ease his way into the race and come good later on. He had a disappointing opening TT - though he blamed that on the wind - and placed just behind Nibali and Fuglsang on Etna. He's currently 10th overall. 

Louis Meintjes (NTT) is dropped as Jumbo's pace setting continues. 

Unclear if Meintjes has just been dropped or was still dropped from those splits over the top of the previous climb. Either way, not good. He started the day two minutes down, and it looks like the South African's career slump is continuing. A similar thing can be said of Ben O'Connor, who was so good at the 2018 Giro but who has already lost eight minutes. Still, NTT have Domenico Pozzovivo who looked great on Etna and  sits 7th overall. 

Jumbo have knocked it off. The gap goes back out to 4:45 and QuickStep come back to the head of the peloton. 

The pace has really eased and sprinters Demare and Gaviria have been able to get back on. 

This will be music to the ears of the eight breakaway riders, who need another couple of minutes, really, to be thinking about the stage win. 

The gap has stabilised at 4:45 with 56km to go. 

The peloton mercifully comes unscathed through a couple of unmarked low-lying bollards on the left-hand side of the road. Even ignoring the current climate, it's a wonder no one had thought to do something about that. 

Sunweb have come to the fore now. Wilco Kelderman has been so inconsistent over the last few years but remains a talent and signalled his intent with a fine stealthy attack on Etna that netted him 12 seconds over the rest of the GC men. 

51km to go

The gap drops to four minutes now as we head into the final 50km. 

The breakaway riders are heading downhill once more. It's a descent of around 13km, interrupted by a short kick uphill. At the bottom, we'll have our second intermediate sprint and then, what we've all been waiting for, the Valico di Montescuro.

The pace has really picked up again, with Sunweb and Astana leading the way. Even Lotto Soudal are present at the front, despite having a man in the break. 

45km to go

Astana have drifted back slightly but Sunweb are still on the front en masse, driving this forward. 

40km to go

We come to the intermediate sprint at the bottom of that descent and the foot of our final climb. Hagen zips to the front to take the three bonus seconds. It doesn't look like he'll gain any time by the finish, but he's reduced his overall deficit to 8:20. Restrepo was second, Tratnik third. 

QuickStep have taken it back up in the peloton now. 

Here we go then! Time for the Valico di Montescuro. Here it is: 24.2km in length, 5.6% average gradient, with a nasty section in the middle. 

"The ascent itself is made for power climbers rather than out-and-out lightweights."

The eight escapees rotate on the lower slopes, but their lead dips just below the three-minute mark now. 

Back in the bunch they're about to hit it, and we have a few trains setting up - Sunweb on the left, QuickStep through the middle, Bora on the right. 

Sprinters are getting dropped almost immediately and the break's advantage drops to 2:25. They seem resigned to their fate up there. 


Restrepo is dropped as the others continue on several seconds behind Carretero.

World time trial champion Ganna is dragging this one back for Puccio. 

Hagen can't handle Ganna's pace and is dropped. That's a surprise as you'd have him down as the strongest climber in that group, along with Conti. 

Lotto Soudal are still up towards the front of the main bunch. Their young Belgian Harm Vanhoucke is in the white jersey as best young rider, on loan from Almeida, after finishing third on Etna. 

AG2R are on the move in the bunch, with Geoffrey Bouchard looking to spark some action. 

Ganna drags Carretero back, and there are six left at the head of the race. 

Attack from Thomas De Gendt!

Einer Rubio (Movistar) is quick to go after De Gendt

Rubio links up with De Gendt and they catch Restrepo from the break. The trio are 30 seconds in front of the peloton now. 

Bouchard is now chasing with Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) a little further back. 

De Gendt and Rubio drop Restrepo now and find a few more seconds on the bunch. 

At the head of the race, Ganna, Puccio, Conti, Tratnik, Carretero, and Zanardi continue to ride together. They're 1:45 ahead of De Gendt and Rubio, and 2:15 ahead of the peloton. 

Sunweb now have seven riders on the front, Matthews the only one not there. Denz is setting the pace at the moment, and he's more of a Classics rider so it tells of the steadier gradients on the lower slopes. Haga is up there and so's Oomen, who's already eight minutes down, so it's all for Kelderman. 

De Gendt sees his teammate Hagen, who was dropped from the break? Can you lend me a hand mate? No... Didn't need one anyway. De Gendt is going so fast he breezes past his teammate, who can only watch him soar away. 

Rubio has taken up position in De Gendt's slipstream and will soon be getting his mail forwarded there. He's not doing any work here and I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't want to or if he simply can't. 

Either way, with 25km to go (and 13km to the top of the climb), De Gent and Rubio are 55 seconds down on the break and 1:05 ahead of the bunch. 

We're done with the steadier lower slopes of this long climb and we're onto that steep section just shy of the half-way mark, at Spezzano della Sila. 

The gradients head well into the double digits here on narrow roads through the town. Conti is in difficulty! Puccio too. 

Conti and Puccio are dropped, leaving Ganna, Zanardi, Carretero, and Tratnik out fornt. 

Back in the bunch, Trek-Segafredo come to the fore. He showed little pre-race form but Nibali looked ominously good on Etna. 

Trek's pace on these steeper gradients is thinning out what was still a pretty large bunch. 

Up front, Tratnik loses contact now as Carretero accelerates again. 

De Gendt - with Rubio still in tow - reaches Conti and Puccio now. 

Caicedo in trouble!

Ganna is looking really strong here, climbing better that anyone surely imagined. Perhaps it should have been Puccio working for him to close that earlier Carretero attack. Ganna clearly has the engine and there has been speculation over what he could achieve in his career if his climbing develops. Well...

Still, we're still a long way from the top of this climb. A lot can still happen here, and a little further down the mountain Trek-Segafredo continue their charge. 

21.4km to go

Carretero attacks again! This time the Spaniard opens a decent gap. 

Ganna sets about shutting it down and gaps Zanardi in the process!

De Gendt and Rubio reach Zanardi now. What a ride this has been from De Gendt.

Ganna reaches Carretero and there's an exchange of words. The indefatigable De Gendt is dragging Rubio and Zanardi up now.  

19.5km to go

And now, after sitting on De Gendt's back wheel all the way up this mountain, Rubio attacks! Fair play to the Colombian. I love it when it's that brazen. That's racing, and I don't think De Gendt has any real complaints, although he jumps to close it down. 

The riders who’ve been in the break all day are understandably tired here and that group blows apart. De Gendt comes through and starts working with Rubio. 

Ganna works his way back to the duo! This is quite some ride from the Italian. 

Rubio has reverted to his former position of De Gendt's wheel. Unless he's on his own, he's not going to do the work here. 

17.8km to go

The gap to the leaders drops from 1:30 to 1:10 in the blink of an eye. This looks more and more like a set-up for Nibali, who's one of the best descenders in this bunch. 6km to the top of the climb now. 

Ciccone pulls aside, his work done. Brambilla is now the final man with Nibali

The sky has really closed in on the upper section of this climb. Montescuro means ‘dark mountain’ and you can see why. The moto headlights are on full beam. A bit of surface water as well. 

16.3km to go

Ganna has a big gap already. We've said it before and now we say it again with a little more confidence - what a ride this is!

Ganna has already found 26 seconds on De Gendt and Rubio. Wow. The trek-led bunch are still at 1:10. 

Almeida in trouble!

15km to go

Ganna is simply riding faster than Brambilla, who is still leading the bunch, the last man for Nibali ahead of a trio of Sunweb riders.

Ganna's face is betraying signs of his suffering, and why wouldn't it. It didn't look good for the break a while ago, but he has a chance here to turn this into an extraordinary stage victory. 

Ganna has already won a stage and worn the pink jersey, but Ineos’ Giro has already changed significantly after Thomas’ departure. They'll never have the success they envisaged, but this wouldn't be a bad way to go about making it up for it. 

Brambilla pulls over

It doesn't look like we're going to get any big action between the GC contenders today. We'll see if anyone launches an attack over the top of the climb. 

12.5km to go

Ganna has his arms folded over his bars and his hands twisted around onto the back of the drops. This is a horribly long climb but it has the sort of steady gradients that would suit a rouleur. Still, this is a climbing performance few would have expected. He's in the mist and near the top now. 

11.6km to go

Pozzovivo accelerates in the bunch!

And now Fuglsang takes it up

Pozzovivo puts in another dig as they come to the top. Yates is in trouble again!

Yates loses ground over the top, and it seems his Etna slump wasn’t just a one-off

10km to go

We’re still in the mist and the roads are wet. This is a treacherous descent.

It’s certainly not signed and sealed for Ganna. It's not a case of just getting down - he still has to race down here. 

We mentioned Nibali’s descending skills and the Italian comes to the front of the GC group now.

Nibali’s lines are really stretching out this group now. No big splits for the minute, but the pressure is on

Ganna goes well wide around a wet hairpin, and his lead drops to 45 seconds.

Nibali cuts such a tight line through that bend, which almost drops away. Almeida is present and correct. 

A flatter section and Ganna moves back out to 50 seconds. 6.4km to go!

Nibali is sprinting out of these corners. This is a big charge from the Italian.

Pozzovivo, Kelderman, and Fuglsang are all up near Nibali and descending well.

5km to go

We’ve seen Nibali put pressure on like this on so many occasions. He knows he won’t necessarily get away from his rivals, but not all of them can descend like him, and they can often be forced into mistakes. Just look at Kruijswijk in the 2016 Giro – he pretty much won the Giro on the descent of the Agnello. Also this year’s Lombardia, which ended Evenepoel’s season. Nibali won’t enjoy his rivals crashing, but descents are part of cycling and playing to his strengths is part of the game.

10 seconds are shaved off Ganna’s lead, but he has enough in the bag now.

3km to go

QuickStep still have a couple of riders to work for Almeida in this bunch, which still contains around 30 riders. 

That group will just ride into the finish now. This is about Ganna and the stage win.

1km to go

Ganna has his tongue out. One final effort but he knows this is in the bag now.

Ganna rounds the final bend, looks over his shoulder, wipes his mouth, and allows a smile to break out.

He crests the final little ramp, sits up, and burys his face in his hands. An arm is raised in the air and he crosses the line. What a win

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) wins stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia

And here comes the GC group. We still have bonus seconds (6 and 4) for second and third place. Almeida is looking to sprint for them.

Bora's Patrick Konrad beats Almeida in the sprint for second place, but the maglia rosa still adds four seconds to his overall lead. Caicedo fell away earlier, so he'll now lead by around 43 seconds, with Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) moving up to second. 

CAMIGLIATELLO SILANO ITALY OCTOBER 07 Arrival fof Italy and Team INEOS Grenadiers Celebration Public Fans Landscape during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 5 a 225km stage from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano 1275m girodiitalia Giro on October 07 2020 in Camigliatello Silano Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
General classification after stage 5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 17:06:23
2Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:43
3Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:48
4Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:59
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:01
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:01:05
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:19
8Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:21
9Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:26
10Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:32
Swipe to scroll horizontally
General classification after stage 5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 17:06:23
2Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:43
3Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:48
4Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:59
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:01
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:01:05
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:19
8Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:21
9Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:26
10Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:32

Let's hear from Ganna

There had been whispers for a little while, but after a performance like that, you have to wonder what this 24-year-old could go on to achieve. More TT world titles, more medals on the track, an Hour Record... sure, but how about stage racing? Today he showed he's far more than a mere flatlander, and if he can climb like that at that weight, who knows what he might be able to do if he loses some kilos and gain some experience. If only someone knew a team who can turn Olympic track champions into Tour de France winners....

Here's the maglia rosa, Almeida

CAMIGLIATELLO SILANO ITALY OCTOBER 07 Podium Filippo Ganna of Italy and Team INEOS Grenadiers Celebration Flowers Mascot Mask Covid safety measures during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 5 a 225km stage from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano 1275m girodiitalia Giro on October 07 2020 in Camigliatello Silano Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

CAMIGLIATELLO SILANO ITALY OCTOBER 07 Podium Joao Almeida of Portugal and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Pink Leader Jersey Celebration Mask Covid safety measures Mascot Flowers during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 5 a 225km stage from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano 1275m girodiitalia Giro on October 07 2020 in Camigliatello Silano Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

A reminder that our report, results, and photos can be found at the link below.

Meanwhile, over in Belgium, Julian Alaphilippe has just taken his first win the in rainbow bands at Brabantse Pijl. And... he celebrated early, just three days after Liège, where he vowed he'd never do it again! Fortunately, Mathieu van der Poel, who in all honesty made a mess of the sprint, couldn't quite make up enough ground and Alaphilippe was crowned the winner, but not before a look of utter panic just beyond the line. Benoit Cosnefroy was third and all the details are in our report page. 

We mentioned how De Gendt had his wheel sucked by Rubio for most of that final climb. Well, the Belgian has given some cracking post-race quotes, in which he vents his frustration at his 'Movistar backpack'. We have a story with his reaction on the way shortly. 

That's it from us for today. Keep an eye on Cyclingnews for all the news and reaction from the day's events, and we'll be back with full live coverage of stage 6, which could be another one for the puncheurs. Ciao!

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