As it happened: Victory for Groves and crashes aplenty on Giro d'Italia stage 5
Re-live the full stage, as wet weather caused chaos all the way to the finish line
Hello there and welcome along to our live coverage of the Giro d'Italia. Stage 5 today, and a day that features some undulating terrain in the first half, which could give impetus to a breakaway, but is likely to come down to a bunch sprint.
It's a rainy day at the start in Atripalda - full wet weather gear for the riders - although the conditions are expected to improve later.
Andreas Leknessund, the new pink jersey, has been up to the podium and now everyone has signed on for the stage. The riders have congregated on the start line and will be rolling in a few minutes. We've then got 15 minutes or so in the neutral zone before things really kick off.
Two non-starters today, and one could be key as Kaden Groves' lead-out man Ramon Sinkeldam is out with stomach problems. Corratec-Selle Italia's Valerio Conti has also had to pull out after it emerged he'd been riding with a broken pelvis.
The riders are rolling and they're on they're way towards kilometre-zero.
Before we get going, now's the time to catch up on yesterday's action, and there were some significant developments.
And once again, Barry Ryan captures the complexion with his latest analysis piece.
Remco Evenepoel loses Giro d'Italia lead but not as smoothly as planned - Analysis
This was the start line, where riders weren't bunched up but spread down the barriers sheltering under the fan's brollies.
The new pink jersey Leknessund, who took the overall lead of this Giro after getting into yesterday's breakaway, drops back to his DSM team car to sort some clothing out. Once he's back in the bunch we'll be underway shortly.
The flag is waved and the battle for the breakaway begins. How much of a battle will it be?
Bardiani send two up the road along with one from Corratec.
Thibaut Pinot follows them. The Frenchman is looking for more KOM points at our early cat-3 climb.
Wet roads and the lead Bardiani rider slips out on a bend.
It was Gandin for Corratec who went down first, followed by one of the Bardiani duo. Pinot just avoided it and eased to the side of the road without locking up, along with the other Bardiani rider.
Thomas Champion (Cofidis) was just bridging over so he's now out in front with Pinot and the other Bardiani rider, who we've confirmed is Samuele Zoccarato.
The lead trio are about to hit the Passo Serra, the first of the two cat-3 climbs on today's menu. They have a minute in hand.
Gandin has bridged back up to the leaders to make it four out front.
Pinot looks relaxed and is chatting with Champion. They're not ploughing on but still, the bunch are taking it so easy that the gap is going out to two minutes.
Pinot will look to take the points at the top of this climb but surely won't carry on in the break after that.
The breakaway reach the top of the Passo Serra and no one challenges Pinot for the points. Another nine points for his collection as he extends his lead in the blue jersey standings.
Pinot has already backed off as they start to head downhill on roads that are soaking wet.
The peloton come over the climb two minutes in arrears. This will be a twitchy downhill in these conditions.
So, with Pinot gone, we have a three-man breakaway on stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia
Thomas Champion (Cofidis)
Stefano Gandin (Corratec-Selle Italia)
Samuele Zoccarato (Green Project-Bardiani-CSF-Faizane)
The world champ and pre-race favourite is staying down.
He's not getting up. Wow. Is this Giro over?
Finally he's back on his feet but this looks far from ideal.
He doesn't look too injured, and the peloton is calm so he should be able to return easily enough, but he's already far behind the race now.
Cameras didn't pick up how that happened but we may get replays soon.
Dog in the road!
It was a stray dog that ran out into the bunch and took down an Evenepoel teammate, who went sliding along on the wet road as his bike went sliding into the bunch. It wasn't captured but Evenepoel is seen on the deck off the side of the road on the other side.
Evenepoel is riding again and has his teammates around him. They're two minutes behind the bunch.
Evenepoel has four teammates with him. Ballerini was the rider who was taken out by the dog.
Thumbs up from Remco
The camera bike draws up alongside the world champ and he gives a thumbs up. He seems to be ok.
Evenepoel is now 45 seconds behind the bunch. It's still a super relaxed pace up there so no trouble in coming back.
Evenepoel is back
The world champion eases his way back into the bunch. That was a very calm 'chase' indeed, and everything looks under control at the moment. Sometimes injuries only truly become apparent later on but Evenepoel took a lot of time there to get back up after the crash. He was in no hurry and it genuinely looked like his Giro hopes could be going up in smoke, but he was perhaps just making sure and collecting himself rather than rushing into an adrenaline-fuelled remount and chase when it wasn't necessary.
Shades of 1997 when a cat ran into the road and took out Marco Pantani, ending Il Pirata's Giro. That was in this very part of Italy, with the stage finishing in Cava de' Tirreni, just a few kilometres from where we're heading today, Salerno.
Anyway, the crash seems to have come without any major consequences for now, and we crack on with the breakaway enjoying a lead of 2:30 after just over 30km of racing.
The lumpy terrain in the first half of today's stage made you wonder if this wouldn't be a clear cut sprint stage, and whether we might see some early drama. But this is a very slow and calm day. That's partly perhaps due to the wet roads, which have made some of these little downhills treacherous. Everyone's been in nursing mode.
We're now starting the long sustained drag up to our highest point of the day, just past Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi. We'll have an intermediate sprint there, then some downhills, then the next short cat-3 climb and a long 50km run-in that's false flat down all the way to the coast, where we'll have a long finishing straight of 7km.
As the peloton takes on this long drag, Trek-Segafredo have sent a man to the front to set the pace. They're working for Mads Pedersen, who not only loves sprints on lumpy days but loves the rain.
Pedersen drops back to his team car for a change of jacket. Clothing management is a key part of days like this.
👍👍👍@EvenepoelRemco - @soudalquickstep #Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/9QYlqKrpiuMay 10, 2023
DSM are also working up front. They have Alberto Dainese and Marius Mayrhofer as sprint options.
Alpecin and Arkea also have riders up towards the front. That'll be for Kaden Groves and David Dekker, respectively, who were respectively 2nd and 3rd on the stage 2 sprint.
That stage was won by Bahrain Victorious' Jonathan Milan, who is surely the favourite given the convincing nature of that win. However, Pedersen and Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) didn't have the chance to sprint that day after being caught up in the late crash.
Here's a photo of Evenepoel after his crash. He's looking for the dog.
The breakaway's lead of 2:30 is stable and this stage is well under control.
The gap is relatively stable, just above 2:30. We're still heading uphill and we're not far from our first intermediate sprint.
Intermediate sprint time and we have a contest between Champion and Gandin. Zoccarato is not bothered.
A close one but Champion shades it.
With only three in the break, there are a fair few points left for the bunch, so we should see some of the sprinters interested.
Pedersen gets a lead-out. Milan on the wheel.
Pedersen takes it ahead of Milan, Matthews, and Groves.
It was in fact Gandin who pipped Champion at the sprint.
Downhill now and the gap has come down to 2 minutes.
It's still very wet indeed out there, and these downhill roads are very slippery indeed. The breakaway trio are breaking up a little as they all tread cautiously, and the bunch behind are similarly just trying to get down safely.
Evenepoel stops for a comfort break. There have been no signs of any ill after-effects of his crash - he hasn't been back at his or the doctor's car - but that'll be the main point of inquisition after the finish.
A long tunnel offers some respite from the rain.
It's not all about the Giro. Today we have the Bretagne Ladies Tour and Navarra Women's Classic, and also the start of the Tour de Hongrie. That's part of an 'alternative' May calendar for the men, and for the women it's a bumper month to follow on from a great edition of the Vuelta. More on Hongrie at the link below.
Egan Bernal and star sprinters back in action at Tour de Hongrie, Chris Froome out after injury
The gap between break and bunch comes down to 1:18. We're coming onto the final section of gentle downhill ahead of the second cat-3 climb.
A few technical problems but we are on the second cat-3 climb at Oliveto Citra. The breakaway still have just over a minute in hand.
Gandin losing the wheel in the final kilometre of the climb.
The breakaway trio reach the top of the climb and they do not contest for KOM points. Zoccarato rolls over first, then Champion, while Gandin makes it back to them just over the top.
Here come the peloton and Pinot skips away in search of the last remaining KOM point.
The blue jersey has a challenger, in Santiago Buitrago, but he just about holds on for it.
The gap is down to 50 seconds. The peloton upped the tempo on approach to that climb, just looking for position, but everyone's over it safely, and we're going to head downhill now into the final 50km for our long run-in to the expected bunch sprint finish.
Updated KOM standings after today's two climbs
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) - 40 points
Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo) - 26
Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2r Citroën) - 22
Samuele Zoccarato (Green-Project-Bardiani) - 13
Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) - 12
There are a few nasty corners on this descent. The roads are still slippy and to make it worse the visibility is really poor here.
Champion is the nerviest descender of the breakaway trio. He's gingerly making his way down a few seconds behind.
The road has flattened out a little now and Champion powers his way back onto the breakaway group.
No one in the peloton taking any risks here and the gap goes out to 1:30 again.
Jayco-AlUla are currently pulling the bunch, high on confidence after Michael Matthews' victory on stage 3.
Soudal QuickStep are just behind the sole Jayco rider, with Evenepoel right up there.
We expected some dryer conditions for the finish but it's still went and grey out there.
We're on flatter terrain now for the final 30-odd kilometres and it's up to the sprinters' teams to combine before the trains get set up before long. Trek, DSM, Alpecin, Jayco... that's who's been working so far.
I shouldn't forget Arkea, actually. And it's worth noting that Bahrain have done nothing, despite their sprinter Jonathan Milan dominating the stage 2 sprint.
For anyone joining late, here's what you missed there.
We're coming into Battipaglia, where we'll have our second intermediate sprint. This one doesn't count for the ciclamino jersey, so don't expect any peloton action.
We'll get some action from the break, though, and Gandin opens it up. Champion responds but Gandin holds on.
Gandin claims maximum points for the second time, although this time it's only points for the standalone intermediate sprints classification, plus a little cash. There's also three bonus seconds on GC but that's irrelevant.
Zoccarato has attacked the breakaway.
And with that, Gandin and Champion drift back and are absorbed by the peloton.
Zoccarato goes under the 20km to go banner with a lead of one minute over the peloton, which now contains his former breakaway mates.
Gear problems for Zoccarato, who keeps looking down at his cassette and seemingly trying to shift without luck.
Despite those problems, he takes his lead out to 1:05.
Ineos Grenadiers move up on the right. Teams are properly getting organised here.
Just over 10km out now and we're zipping along the coast.
Zoccarato has 40 seconds in hand but will fade fast as the pace in the bunch ratchets up and up.
A reminder that 3km to go is the safety net, where GC times are neutralised in the event of crashes or punctures. The big stage 2 crash happened with 3.5km to go and so a number of GC riders lost 19 seconds.
We'll have the usual mix of sprint trains alongside GC teams keeping their leaders safe.
The good thing from a safety perspective is it's not raining anymore, although there are plenty of wet patches on the roads.
Here's the map. We're on that coast road and we're just doing that little kink before a long old finishing straight.
Just 10 seconds now for Zoccarato with 8km to go.
Alpecin set up shop on the left. A reminder that they're without their lead-out man Ramon Sinkeldam, who had stomach problems. Kaden Groves is their sprinter.
Crash! On that kink and the right-hand bend back onto the final straight coastal road.
This has split the bunch!
QuickStep are on the front. Evenepoel has avoided this one. They don't look to be drilling it.
Pink jersey caught out! Leknessund is chasing.
Roglic's bike is on the side of the road! He must have taken a teammate's bike but we can assume he crashed and is chasing
Gaviria was down too and is surely out of the sprint now.
QuickStep are on the front under the 5km to go banner and there are only 25 riders in the front bunch! Behind are Jumbo and Roglic!
Thomas is safe for Ineos.
4km to go and the gap back to the second peloton is five seconds or so.
But the second group splits! Not sure how that happened but someone let the wheel go.
Leknessund is with Roglic clipping off the front of that second bunch, and they're getting back in now.
The second bunch rejoins with 3km to go
Interesting developments. QuickStep were riding on the front but were they really riding? It didn't look like they were really pushing on there, not attacking rivals after a crash.
Another big crash! Evenepoel down again
2km to go so he will get the same time as the winner. No rush to get up.
Nightmare day for the world champ.
He's back on his feet and the race goes on. Alpecin hit the front with 1500m to go.
Jayco now have two on the nose and Arkea and DSM have numbers behind.
Simone Consonni shoulders Cavendish off a wheel. Into the final kilometre!
DSM rider on the front, looks around, it's a messy order.
DSM lead it out.
Groves hits out, Milan tries to get him but can't! Groves wins. And Cavendish crashes over the line.
Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) wins stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia
That was a rubbish finish, really. Two big crashes in the run-in and another one right on the line. All at the end of a day where everyone was just nursing their way through. The weather's fault, really.
Evenepoel is back on his bike and rolling in but he is fuming. He's remonstrating with his team car, clearly upset about how that crash happened.
That was a bizzarre crash on the line. Cavendish opened out to the left but didn't properly go for it and then drifted back right, colliding with Dainese, whose back wheel catches his front wheel, and it's a wonder Cavendish keeps upright after that. Well, he does so as he's pinged right into Filippo Fiorelli, who is then pinned against the barriers. Cavendish is then pinged back out the other way and this time his bike comes out from underneath him and he slides across the line before a couple of others are also taken out.
It looked like Andrea Vendrame was one of the riders taken out as Cavendish slid across the road, and he has been stretchered away from the scene. Hopefully it's nothing too serious.
The talking point is all the crashes, but what a win for Groves - the biggest of his career so far. He won a stage of the Vuelta last year and now the 24-year-old Australian just needs a Tour de France win to complete the Grand Tour set. Jayco signed Dylan Groenewegen last year and didn't fight to keep Groves, but he's turning out to be a great signing for Alpecin-Deceuninck, after losing Tim Merlier to QuickStep.
Groves confirms he crashed in that spill with 7km to go. Full quotes shortly.
Let's hear from the winner
"I surprised myself today. Everything was going well but then I crashed at the roundabout with seven kilometres to go. Luckily I put my chain back on fast enough and the group came back together but it wasn’t very clean, we all got lost. The guys did a good job earlier and then luckily I was good enough to be in position on DSM and had the legs to lead out and win.
"It’s a dream to win. This is a race I’ve been focusing on since November or December. I want to thank the team, everyone involved, my teammates. They believed in me. After two third places this week, they delivered me to a win."
Evenepoel was reportedly angry with Trek-Segafredo over the crash with 2.4km to go. Replays show he's drifting right as a Trek rider is cutting left across him. Like Cavendish he just about manages to keep it up but there's a touch of wheels and he's then bumped out into the path of another Trek rider and he hits the deck, with more riders ploughing into the pile.
Roglic was also involved in the second crash and has a bloodied right leg, but says he's ok.
"It's all good, could be a lot worse. The guys did an incredible job to bring me back. Just super bad luck, with the second crash, they hit me here [points to bloody leg]."
Here's Andreas Leknessund, who suffered a scare to his overall lead but comes through to ride another day in pink
"It was a hectic final. I was behind the crash. I had a teammate there, he went all-in to close and there were a few other teams who were also riding so I could see it would come back and tried to stay calm. Also there was a second crash, I wasn't behind it but saw it to my side. It was hectic.
"It was a nice day but honestly not the most enjoyable day, rainy, cold, but still a nice day and luckily I had pink rain clothing so I could still wear pink."
A shot of the Cavendish crash
Full report, results, and photos are all here.
So Evenepoel crashed twice, Roglic crashed twice, but Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) didn't, while it also looks like Ineos' Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart avoided the spills too (although Sivakov and Arensman were caught up).
We're still awaiting the full results for today's stage from the race organisers. Not sure what's taking so long but we haven't got a full picture of any DNFs or time losses from the 7km-to-go crash.
Evenepoel makes it to the finish after a miserable day.
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