Degenkolb wins Giro d'Italia stage 5

John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) won a crash-affected fifth stage at the Giro d'Italia from Cosenza to Matera with Angel Vicioso (Katusha) finishing in second and Paul Martens (Team Blanco) in third. Luca Paolini (Katusha) avoided going down in the pile-up and retained his overall lead in the race for another day.

Degenkolb had started the day as a pre-race favourite, his punchy sprint and climbing ability enough to pinpoint him as the man to beat should the race be decided by a sprint. When the sprinters with weaker climbing legs were distanced on the penultimate climb of Montescaglioso, Degenkolb marshalled his lead-out train to the front. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had long since been dropped but Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and a number of other gallopers remained and were targeting victory.

However on the late corner disaster struck as one of Degenkolb's lead-out train, Luka Mezgec, lost his front wheel on the wet road and skidded into the barriers. The screech of brakes and locked wheels immediately followed as the a dozen or so other riders crashed and the majority of the bunch was held up.

Marco Canola (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), who had led the peloton through the turn, looked back to see just Degenkolb in the distance chasing him. The Italian bolted forward, aware that the biggest win of his life awaited if he could just hold on. It looked possible until the final 200 meters, when the German bulldozed past to take his first Giro d'Italia stage win.

"My lead-out man crashed along with some other guys," said Degenkolb of the hectic finale. "There was one guy in front from Bardiani (Canola). I looked back and there was just Viviani behind. Then I went full gas to the finish to catch the Bardiani rider."

"In the end I couldn't see, I was so empty. It was a great job from my team. We had the confidence and we took the responsibility. It was really hard in the end. It would have been not that hard but I had to suffer a lot to get to the finish today."

How it happened

After four days that had seen three race leaders, fireworks from the GC contenders and murmurs of a Colombian conspiracy at the heart of Team Sky, the peloton was looking to take a welcome breather during the stage and for those that have followed this pulsating race to take stock.

Bright sunshine greeted the peloton in Cosenza and when the early move of Tomas Gil (Androni Venezuela), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole), Alan Marangoni (Cannondale), Ricardo Mestre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Brian Bulgac (Lotto Belisol), and Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini Selle Italia) sailed clear inside the first five kilometres it was time to sit back as the race hugged the Ionian coast and headed toward Matera.

But this is the Giro, a race that doesn’t do relaxing and is certainly not predictable. As the peloton sauntered through Rocca Imperiale, the heavens began to open. The showers weren’t constant but they were enough to keep the intensity brewing and the nervousness in ferment.

The break opened a nine-minute gap but by the time the race began to move inland, towards the two final strappi that decide the nature of the finishing group, the gap was down to less than four minutes.

Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep comrades were missing from the front but with only one sprint stage so far in this year’s race there was no shortage of teams willing to take control. Argos-Shimano and Orica-GreenEdge combined to dismantle the final hopes the break may have had and by the time the tiring six had reached the slopes of the Montescaglioso they were sitting ducks and quickly swept up.

The sprinters’ teams huddled around their protected riders, eager for the pace to remain constant rather than breakneck and when Movistar and Garmin-Sharp began forcing the pace it briefly looked as though another GC battle could erupt. Ryder Hesjedal sat in third wheel as at the back rider after rider began to fall by the wayside.

Cavendish misses out

Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man Geert Steegmans was among the first to sit up but with under one kilometre of the climb to go Cavendish began to slip back too. The sprinter had wisely started the climb near the front and he lasted longer than former Giro winner Stefano Garzelli (Vini Fantini) but with 500 metres remaining the former world champion’s shoulders began to buckle and weave, a sign that fatigue would end his chances. A number of teammates waited for him going over the top of the climb and they started to chase. But it was game over when they failed to get back on and the Manx Missile would have to save his speed for another day.

Garmin-Sharp by now were in full swing, Tom Danielson making an appearance before a mechanical forced him into the red. Pirazzi picked up the maximum points on offer as the road bent upwards but the peloton would not let anyone get away.

BMC took up the reins on the twisting descent and Pirazzi and two breakaway companions were brought back on the long drag to the finish. Danielson suffered his problems at this point as Matteo Rabottini jumped clear. The Vini Fantini rider was unable to draw out more than a handful of seconds and when Dupont tried a similar counter attack with five kilometres to go BMC ushered their bodies to the front with Cadel Evans in close quarters with his GC rivals.

Argos-Shimano, who had taken a back seat over the top of the climb, re-emerged as the peloton hoovered up Dupont and it looked as though Degenkolb, Vicioso and Viviani would fight out the sprint. But in a split second there was a crash. The wet roads, a tight left-hand corner and the riders went down like dominos. Suddenly Degenkolb’s job had become much easier but also longer as he was forced to sprint for 800 metres. The expected winner, perhaps, but in unexpected circumstances.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano4:37:48
2Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) KatushaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jarlinson Pantano (Col) ColombiaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 10 - Cell 2
12Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 12 - Cell 2
14Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 13 - Cell 2
15Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJRow 14 - Cell 2
16Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 15 - Cell 2
17Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 16 - Cell 2
18Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 18 - Cell 2
20Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Yury Trofimov (Rus) KatushaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 22 - Cell 2
24Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-SharpRow 23 - Cell 2
25Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 28 - Cell 2
30Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) ColombiaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) KatushaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 34 - Cell 2
36Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Luca Paolini (Ita) KatushaRow 36 - Cell 2
38Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 37 - Cell 2
39Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 38 - Cell 2
40Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 39 - Cell 2
41Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 42 - Cell 2
44Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 43 - Cell 2
45Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack LeopardRow 44 - Cell 2
46Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 46 - Cell 2
48Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 47 - Cell 2
49Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack LeopardRow 48 - Cell 2
50Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack LeopardRow 50 - Cell 2
52Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 52 - Cell 2
54Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto BelisolRow 54 - Cell 2
56Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 57 - Cell 2
59Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) ColombiaRow 58 - Cell 2
60Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 59 - Cell 2
61Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Petr Ignatenko (Rus) KatushaRow 63 - Cell 2
65Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 64 - Cell 2
66Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 66 - Cell 2
68Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 67 - Cell 2
69Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 69 - Cell 2
71Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 71 - Cell 2
73Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 75 - Cell 2
77Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 76 - Cell 2
78Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 77 - Cell 2
79Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 78 - Cell 2
80Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 80 - Cell 2
82Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 81 - Cell 2
83José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 83 - Cell 2
85Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 84 - Cell 2
86Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 85 - Cell 2
87Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 86 - Cell 2
88Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 88 - Cell 2
90Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 89 - Cell 2
91Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto BelisolRow 90 - Cell 2
92Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 91 - Cell 2
93Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 92 - Cell 2
94Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:01:15
97Fabio Taborre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 97 - Cell 2
99Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 98 - Cell 2
100Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 99 - Cell 2
101Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 100 - Cell 2
102Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 101 - Cell 2
103Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJRow 102 - Cell 2
104Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
105Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:01:42
106Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol0:01:45
108Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-SharpRow 107 - Cell 2
109Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 108 - Cell 2
110Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 109 - Cell 2
111Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:25
112Sylvain Georges (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:27
113Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia0:02:36
115Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:02:35
116Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) ColombiaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
118Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:30
120Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 119 - Cell 2
121Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ0:03:54
122Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 121 - Cell 2
123Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard0:05:03
124Christian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 123 - Cell 2
125Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:58
126Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:06:37
127Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 126 - Cell 2
128Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 127 - Cell 2
129Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 128 - Cell 2
130Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 129 - Cell 2
131Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 130 - Cell 2
132Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 131 - Cell 2
133Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 132 - Cell 2
134Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 133 - Cell 2
135Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 134 - Cell 2
136Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 135 - Cell 2
137Pavel Brutt (Rus) KatushaRow 136 - Cell 2
138Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 137 - Cell 2
139Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 138 - Cell 2
140Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 139 - Cell 2
141Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 141 - Cell 2
143Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
144Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 143 - Cell 2
145Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) ColombiaRow 145 - Cell 2
147Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:09:06
148Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:09:49
149Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack LeopardRow 148 - Cell 2
150Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 149 - Cell 2
151George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack LeopardRow 150 - Cell 2
152Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 151 - Cell 2
153Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 152 - Cell 2
154Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling0:11:35
155Danny Pate (USA) Sky ProcyclingRow 154 - Cell 2
156Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia0:11:40