1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 4:07:01
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6 Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
10 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
General classification after stage 5
1 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 17:57:45
2 Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:42
3 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:0:48
4 Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:00
5 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:15
6 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:24
7 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:28
8 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:37
9 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:38
10 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:39
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the fifth stage of the 2021 Giro d'Italia!
After the GC skirmish on the Colle Passerino yesterday, today's stage is another chance for the sprinters as the peloton heads south-east through Emilia-Romagna to the coastal town of Cattolica.
Yesterday's stage saw Alessandro De Marchi take the maglia rosa for the first time in his career after finishing second behind first-time Giro stage winner Joe Dombrowski. You can read our stories on the pair below.
There was a shakeup among the general classification contenders, too, with Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) the big GC winners of the day.
In contrast to stage 4, today's stage is pretty much featureless, a flat run to the coast with two intermediate sprints along the way.
It's going to be a fun four or so hours!
The peloton are just starting out in Modena now, riding in the neutral zone in the city.
Modena is the home of numerous Italian carmakers, including Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.
We'll also pass through several other notable towns and cities today.
Bologna – famous for Bolognese sauce and Paralympics handcycling champion Alessandro Zanardi
Imola – home of the F1 circuit, which hosted last year's World Championships and a sprint finish of the Giro in 2018
Faenza – home of the old Minardi/Toro Rosso F1 team and Italian cycling's national coach Davide Cassani
Forlì – birthplace of World, Olympic, and Giro champion Ercole Baldini
Cesena – Eolo-Kometa rider Manuel Belletti hails from here, and it's also the birthplace of Marco Pantani
Rimini – hosted an Arnaud Démare stage victory last year
177km to go
The flag is waved and a couple of riders go on the attack to start today's stage.
Just two men are off.
The duo have 35 seconds on the peloton already.
Filippo Tagliani (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) are out front once again after making the break on stage 2.
171km to go
The gap is up to a minute already. That's our break of the day.
Here's what new race leader De Marchi had to say this morning ahead of his first day in pink.
"Thr nicest thing about wearing the maglia rosa is that so many people are happy for me, the other riders, people I go training with, my friends at home and so many people at the Giro d’Italia. I’ve had a 1000 Whatsapp message, so it’ll probably take me the rest of the Giro to reply to them all.
"We’ll obviously try to defend the pink jersey and enjoy it all too. It’s a sprinters stage, so it’s not for a dangerous stage but you never knmow, we’ll be careful and be ready. Today, defence is the only tactic I have to follow. That’s strange for an attacker like me for me but I’m happy to have it."
European champion Giacomo Nizzolo has finished second 10 times at the Giro. He'll be hoping to break that record later today.
"It’s not the record I’d like but I’ll always try in the sprints and especially today,” he said.
"The finish in Cattolica is technical and so you need a good team to protect you and keep you well placed, most of all you need the legs to produce a good sprint."
158km to go
3:30 for the break now as ISN work on the front.
Tagliani is currently second in the intermediate sprint competition, tied with teammate Simon Pellaud on 20 points, so he should move into the lead there today.
Here's a look at the map of today's stage. A near-straight line to the south-east.
Pan flat ride to Cattolica sees Sagan, Merlier, Gaviria, Ewan and Groenewegen return to the front
148km to go
3:50 for the breakaway riders. ISN continue to lead the peloton on behalf of De Marchi.
We're now 30 kilometres into the stage and into Bologna. The road does head up by 25 metres on the way, to reach the highest point of the stage at a whopping 75 metres of altitude.
Will we see the likes of Egan Bernal and Mikel Landa put in a dig on this ever so slight uphill gradient???
No attacks from the peloton yet!
In fact, the riders are behind the slowest time schedule so far as they pass through Bologna.
Dylan Groenewegen will be seeking his first win since returning to racing after his nine-month ban later. Here's what he said at the start.
"After yesterday, a hard day, it’s today less hills, and that means a chance for the sprinters. Yesterday was a really hard day, also for the sprinters, you had to survive it, but I think the legs are OK.
"Today’s another day, the sun is shining, and it’s a long way until we get to the sprint, so we will see. I think it’s a good stage. The final will be hard and hectic but we have a really strong team, I trust in them. My confidence is OK, my shape is OK, it’s the second sprint in a long time, but. Yeah, we’ll have some fun and I will try."
130km to go
4:45 for the two breakaway men at the moment.
A look at our two breakaway riders with Marengo at the front.
Here's some information about the breakaway riders today....
Filippo Tagliani is a neo-pro. The 25-year-old joined Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec from the famous Italian amateur squad Zalf this season.
He was a silver medallist at the 2018 Mediterranean Games road race and can count Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche among the races he has taken in so far in 2021. At the latter he made the break of the day after bridging across to the eight-man move.
Tagliani hails from Gavardo, near Lake Garda in Lombardy. He led the way over the first intermediate sprint of the day on stage 2, but the break was caught before the second one, 26km from the line.
Umberto Marengo is riding his first Giro d'Italia. Yesterday he finished 168th out of 184 starters in Turin. He joined Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè this year having raced for Vini Zabù the previous two seasons after turning pro in 2019.
The 28-year-old's biggest win so far has been stage 1 of the 2019 Tour of Utah. He beat Lawson Craddock to the line after the pair were part of a late breakaway on a tough, hilly stage.
During last year's COVID-19 lockdown, he spent hours every day making food deliveries in Collegno.
112km to go
Not long now until the first intermediate sprint in Imola. It's coming up in five kilometres.
The gap has gone down in recent kilometres. It's 2:20 at the moment.
Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis, AG2R and Lotto Soudal are up front now as they work for their sprinters. The gap has collapsed to 1:05 already!
108km to go
Now it's down under 30 seconds... The two breakmates are sprinting now.
Tagliani gets the points.
It's close on the line back in the peloton. Merlier was up there with Viviani and a few others.
106km to go
The break is over already. Caught by the peloton right after the sprint.
ISN move back to the front of the peloton.
Well, this should be a brilliant closing 105 kilometres if nobody else goes on the attack...
So the intermediate sprint results, then...
12pts – Tagliani
8 – Marengo
6 – Gaviria
5 – Merlier
4 – Viviani
3 – Sagan
2 – Nizzolo
1 – Pasqualon
99km to go
Astana-Premier Tech, BikeExchange, Jumbo-Visma, and Deceuninck-QuickStep are all up at the front of the peloton now.
We're still 10 kilometres away from the halfway point of the stage.
He's not using it at the intermediate sprints, that's for sure...
The slowest time schedule for reaching Faenza (at 86.4 kilometres to go) is 15:22 local time.
It's currently 15:30 and the riders are 10 kilometres away from Faenza...
The peloton are heading into Faenza now.
86km to go
Here's a shot of the peloton because why not.
The Vuelta a Andalucía, Tro-Bro Léon, Tour de Hongrie and Challenge Mallorca are coming up this month
77km to go
Still no change in the situation. The speed has gone up in the peloton with a number of different teams on the front. It's around 52-55kph at the moment.
The peloton passes through Forlì.
68km to go
Finally something happens. More men from Androni and Bardiani.
Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) are up the road now.
The duo are a minute up on the peloton already.
No stress in the peloton now after that period where they had sped up and looked a bit nervier.
56km to go
1:20 for the two breakaway riders now.
50km to go
The riders pass through Cesena now. A minute between the break and peloton.
Lotto Soudal and Alpecin-Fenix are among the teams leading the peloton, while a number of GC-focussed teams are up there, too.
The two breakaway riders will hoover up three and two seconds at the upcoming intermediate sprint, the last one of the day.
Gabburo led the way over the sprint, so €500 for him.
Two Bardiani riders jumped out of the peloton to take third place. It looked like Filippo Fiorelli taking a second back and some prize money.
39km to go
Under 40 to go now, and the gap is down to 40 seconds.
No rush to make the catch yet, though. The two out front will easily be brought back before the finish, but the sprint squads won't want to risk any counter-attacks if they make the catch too early.
Here's a look at the finish today. A few turns inside that last five kilometres, including a pretty tight one just after the kilometre to go mark.
30km to go
45 seconds is the gap now as Alpecin-Fenix and Lotto Soudal continue to lead the way.
The gap is edging down as the peloton edge closer to the end of the stage. The skies are looking dark, so the finish might be even trickier...
24km to go
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën) has attacked from the peloton!
And a crash in the peloton soon after – Tejay van Garderen hits the deck on a tight corner but he's back up and running.
30 seconds between break and peloton. Gougeard is 15 seconds back.
Now Gougeard has made it across to the breakaway duo. 20 seconds is the gap.
18km to go
The gap is 15 seconds now with the sprint teams still in charge of the peloton. It's almost over.
Plenty of roundabouts and road furniture on this run-in.
15km to go
Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) is down. He was squeezed at the side of the road and collided with a tree.
The Russian was wiped out there, somersaulting over his bike. He's back up and running with a cut on his arm but he didn't get up quickly and he's not flying along.
13km to go
Lotto Soudal and Astana-Premier Tech are both lined up at the front of the peloton.
The three breakaway men are still 15 seconds up the road.
Sivakov is talking to his directeur sportif in the team car at the moment.
Jhonatan Narváez dropped back to help Sivakov but the Russian waved his teammate back to the peloton.
10km to go
Gougeard, Gabburo and Pellaud pass the 10km banner. The peloton is 10 seconds back.
A crash in the peloton as they head around a right-angle corner.
Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) is among them, along with Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) rider. Both get going again.
8km to go
Still 12 seconds to the leading trio.
Ineos lead the peloton on one side while jumbo-Visma and Lotto Soudal occupt the right-hand side of the road.
6km to go
More turns and roundabouts coming up on the run to the line as they enter Cattolica. The break is still 12 seconds up.
The leaders are doing well to hold this gap.
A reminder of this run-in.
Mikel Landa and blue jersey Joe Dombrowski have crashed! No images yet but looks like they hit some road furniture in the middle of the straight road.
Landa isn't getting up.
3km to go
Dombrowski is standing up but looks winded. Meanwhile an AG2R rider was also involved.
The break has been caught, meanwhile.
The signalman in front of the road furniture was on the floor too, so it looks like the riders, or at least one of them, hit him before others also fell.
2km to go
Lotto Soudal command the peloton ahead of Bora-Hansgrohe and Cofidis.
Now Bora-Hansgrohe take over. Alpecin-Fenix are also up there.
1km to go
Bora lead the way into the final kilometre.
Everyone is around the final sharp turn OK.
It's lined out at the front.
Daniel Oss with the final lead out.
Krieger for Alpecin-Fenix now.
Cofidis take over as Merlier has a problem. Nizzolo is up there too!
Ewan vs Nizzolo to the line!
And Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) takes the win! Another second place for Nizzolo.
Viviani was third.
Ewan was right up against the barrier on the right as Merlier had what looked like a gear problem. Then the Australian moved out from behind Viviani and Nizzolo to speed past just in time for the line. A great sprint from him.
An overhead view of that finish.
Ewan somehow navigating that tight space by the barrier, just as Merlier had a problem. Great sprint #Giro pic.twitter.com/WZDZl1QonKMay 12, 2021
Several Bahrain Victorious riders are crossing the line now. Landa isn't with them.
The Basque rider and Sivakov will either be out of the general classification battle or out of the race altogether tonight. For Landa it looked certain to be the latter.
Ewan takes the win. He was aiming to win at each Grand Tour this year. That's 1/3 done!
A good stage for Ewan and Lotto Soudal, then.
But that was awful for spectators and for a chunk of the peloton, too, given all the road furniture and roundabouts.
We have some news on Sivakov and Landa. The latter is sadly out of the race after being taken away in an ambulance.
Bahrain Victorious DS Franco Pellizotti said Landa might have fractured his collarbone or wrist.
"He was in pain, we’re not sure if he has fractured his collarbone or his wrist.
"Mikel was our team leader and he was here to try to win the Giro. We’ll race on and we’ve still got Pello Bilbao and Damiano Caruso."
Meanwhile, Sivakov lost 13 minutes today, Dombrowski 8 minutes.
Here's what Ewan had to say after the finish today...
"It was a relief. My goal is to win in all three and the first sprint stage didn't go good at all, so there was a lot of pressure on me and the team to do a good job. I think they outperformed themselves. Without them I wouldn't have been so fresh at the finish and I got good lines through all the corners in the last 20 kilometres. I think I showed that I had the best legs in the final.
"I don't know what happened [with Merlier]. I think there were some guys were coming back through the bunch and there were a few twitchy moments. It didn't stop me too much and I was still able to get out, so I was lucky, I think.
"The goal to start with was one win. I've done that and I'm pretty hungry to win as much as I can. This is good confidence for the team and myself going forward and we'll give the next few sprint stages a good shot as well."
Ineos directeur sportif Matteo Tosatto said that Sivakov has a suspected fractured collarbone.
"It was a bad crash but the good news is that Pavel finished the stage," Tosatto said.
"He is in pain and he feels he’s broken his collarbone. He’ll go for an x-ray and we can only cross our fingers and hope it’s not fractured."
"He’s out of the overall classification but the important thing he’s not seriously injured. Pavel had shown he was on form at the Tour of the Alps. He’d shown he was good here too and so we hope he can recover and race on."
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