Giro d'Italia: Caleb Ewan wins crash-marred stage 5

Caleb Ewan’s (Lotto Soudal) dreams of winning stages in all three Grand Tours this year kicked into life on stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia with the Australian winning ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis) after a tense and chaotic sprint.

The day was overshadowed by a string of crashes in the final 15 kilometres with Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) both hitting the deck in separate incidents. Landa was treated at the side of the road by medical staff and then taken to hospital, ruling him out of the race altogether.

Ewan’s sprint, however, saw the Lotto Soudal rider finally find his feet after a difficult opening few days in the Giro d’Italia in which he suffered in the conditions and looked somewhat short of his best form.

On stage 5, he was back to his imperious best, using his lead-out to perfection and coming from way back to deny Nizzolo his maiden Giro d’Italia stage. Even a late tangle with Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) couldn’t rob Ewan of his win, with the Lotto leader remaining upright before he used his speed and his ability to follow the right wheel at the right time before edging ahead of Nizzolo inside the final 50 metres.

It was Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team that controlled the peloton in the final 1,500 metres with several tight corners stringing out the peloton. Ewan had to back off at one point after he found himself too close to the front but he followed Viviani when the Italian launched his sprint with 125m to go, before moving into the centre of the road and over the top of both the Cofidis rider and Nizzolo. Sagan and Fernando Gaviria completed the top five.

"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," Ewan said.

"I don't know what happened [with Merlier]. I think there were some guys 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."

In the overall standings, Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-up Nation) maintained his lead and the maglia rosa, but the loss of Mikel Landa from the race comes as a huge blow for both the Spaniard and his Bahrain Victorious team. 

Landa had gone on the attack on stage 4 and looked like a genuine contender for the podium after a brisk and consistent start to the race, but with 4.3km to go the Bahrain Victorious rider crashed with stage 4 winner Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) when a rider hit a traffic island and the marshal charged with warning riders of the road furniture. 

When Dombrowski was able to remount and limp home to fight another day, Landa was left lying on the roadside, his team solemnly leaving him behind and crossing the line together several minutes after Ewan had blazed to glory.

For Sivakov, the prognosis was somewhat better, although he too would go for scans after he crashed inside the final 15km. The Russian was given the co-leadership of Ineos Grenadiers alongside Egan Bernal but after losing time on stage 4 Sivakov limped home several minutes down with his GC ambitions over for another year.

How it unfolded

After the first GC mountain stage on stage 4 and the dismal conditions faced by the peloton the riders were treated to a complete contrast on Wednesday with brighter skies and a pan-flat 177km between Modena and Cattolica. With a day designed entirely with the sprinters in mind it was little surprise to see a lack of enthusiasm to form an early break. In fact, only two riders put their hands up with Filippo Tagliani (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) moving clear almost immediately.

The pair built up a healthy near five-minute lead on the peloton but at the intermediate sprint the bunch accelerated, and although the duo took first and second at that point, they were reeled in soon after. That left the peloton looking around for ideas and direction, as with 100km to go there was no team willing to control proceedings, and little interest from riders willing to attack. In the end, Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) dutifully obliged and provided desperate television commentators with something to talk about with the pair stretching out a minute’s advantage with 68km to go.

Alexis Gougeard attacked with 24km to go to make it three riders up front but by then the peloton were closing in on the finish and with the sprinters’ teams on the front there was little chance of any break succeeding.

Sivakov crashed with 15.8km to go, and for a moment, it looked as though his race was over, before Tejay van Garderen got in on the act by coming down on a tight left-hander. There was another crash with 8km remaining but with 4.3km to go the most serious of incidents took out Landa and left the race without one of its potential winners. A day that promised nothing but a routine sprint ended up delivering one of the key GC moments of the race so far. Sadly, it was also one of the most unfortunate.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 4:07:01
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
3Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9Manuel Belletti (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
10Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
11Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
12Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
13Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
14Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
15Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
16Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
17Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
18Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation
19Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
20Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
21Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
22Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
23Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
24Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM
25Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
26David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
27Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
28Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
29Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
30Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
31Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team
32Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
33Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
34Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
35Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
36Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
37Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
38George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
39Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
40João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
41Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
42Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
43Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
44Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
45Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
46Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
47Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
48Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
49Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
50Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
51Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
52Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
53Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
54Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
55Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
56Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
57Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange
58Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
59Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
60Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
61Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
62Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
63Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
64Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team
65Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
66Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
67Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
68Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
69Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
70Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
71Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
72Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
73Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
74Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
75Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
76Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
77Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
78Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
79Umberto Marengo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
80Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
81Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
82Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
83Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
84Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
85Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
86Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
87Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
88Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis
89Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
90Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
91Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
92Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
93Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo
94Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
95Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
96Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
97Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
98Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
99Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
100Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
101Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
102Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
103Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation
104Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
105Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos
106Edward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
107Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
108Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
109Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
110Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
111Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
112Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
113Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
114Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
115Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
116Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
117Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cofidis
118Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
119Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
120Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
121Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
122Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team
123Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
124Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
125Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
126Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
127Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
128Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
129Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
130Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Qhubeka Assos
131Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
132James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
133Mark Christian (GBr) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
134Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
135Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
136Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
137Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
138Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
139Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:43
140Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
141Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:03
142Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
143Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
144Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
145Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
146Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) Trek-Segafredo
147Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
148Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
149Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:17
150Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:29
151Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
152Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
153Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 0:01:37
154Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
155Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:01:44
156Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:51
157Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM 0:02:04
158Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
159Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
160Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
161Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
162Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
163Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:02:22
164Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team BikeExchange
165Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange 0:02:34
166Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:02:49
167Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:03
168Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:03:35
169Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
170Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:04:00
171Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:04:51
172Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:56
173Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
174Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:05:05
175Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
176Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
177Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
178Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:07:31
179François Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:08:00
180Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:15
181Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 0:13:08
182Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
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Sprint 1 - Imola km. 70
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 12
2Umberto Marengo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 8
3Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates 6
4Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 5
5Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4
6Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 3
7Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos 2
8Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 1
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Sprint 2 - Cattolica km. 177
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 50
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos 35
3Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 25
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 18
5Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates 14
6Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 12
7Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 10
8Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 8
9Manuel Belletti (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 7
10Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 6
11Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 5
12Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4
13Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 3
14Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM 2
15Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 1
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Bonus Sprint 1 - Savignano sul Rubicone km. 136.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:00:03
2Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:00:02
3Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:00:01
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Young Riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 4:07:01
2Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
3Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
4Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
5David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
7João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
9Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
10Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
11Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
12Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
13Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
14Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
15Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
16Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
17Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
18Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
19Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
20Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
21Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
22Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis