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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 5

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Welcome to live coverage of stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia from Praia a Mare to Benevento

Giro d’Italia 2016 hub on Cyclingnews
Giro d’Italia 2016 Preview Podcast
Stage 4 report: Ulissi wins as Dumoulin goes into pink
Stage 4 video highlights
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Buongiorno from stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia and we're about 30 minutes away from the roll out this morning.

The riders are signing on in Praia a Mare and Tom Dumoulin is back in pink. 

Nibali up on the sign on stage at the moment. He is sixth overall at the moment. Here is a look at how the overall classification stands this morning. 

Marcel Kittel is now getting up on stage in the red jersey, after giving over pink to his former teammate yesterday. Today is Kittel's birthday, with the big German turning 28.

Kittel will certainly be looking for a birthday victory today but it's going to be a tough day out with a lot of lumps and bumps to contend with. 

A flood of riders lining up to sign on. Not long until the riders roll out and we get the racing underway. 

Dumoulin spoke to Italian television before the start, saying that there's littel chance he can try for a victory today and he's got his eyes set on the Chianti time trial.

Sign in is done and dusted and the riders are moving towards the start line. Damiano Cunego is the first of the jerseys to line-up. The former race winner is in the mountains jersey after making it into a late break yesterday. 

Tom Dumoulin and white jersey wearer Bob Jungels have now joined the Italian. Dumoulin giving his power meter a last-minute once over.

And we're off as the riders head through the neutral section. 

A quick reminder of how yesterday's stage finished, with Diego Ulissi claiming his fifth career victory at the Giro d'Italia. 

 

 

As well as Marcel Kittel, we have another birthday boy in the peloton and that is Adam Hansen. Will we see him in the break today and can he take a birthday win?

It's a difficult start to the day today with the first 35km heading uphill to the top of the one and only classified climb of the day Fortino.

Damiano Cunego will have to fend off Nicola Boem if he wants to keep the mountains jersey for another day. Yesterday was the first time in 12 years that Cuengo had stepped on the podium and he says that it made him a bit emotional.

If you missed yesterday's stage or want to remind yourself of how it played out, then check out the highlights right here

One of the big losers in the GC battle yesterday was Ryder Hesjedal and the former winner is now 1:27 down on Dumoulin in the overall classification. Hesjedal says that he's not too worried about it just yet

We're 14km into today's stage and it is still gruppo compatto. We may have to wait until the top of this climb before a breakaway forms.

As today's stage gets underway, there have been reports about the 2018 Grande Partenza. Rumours that the race could start in Japan have been around for some time but, according to an Italian newspaper, that could be a reality with all but a signature needed to seal the deal. We'll have more on that later. 

Vincenzo Nibali taking a selfie with a fan at the start this morning. 

We're 20km in and still no breakaway has formed. Just 16km to the top of the climb. Who will take the points and who will be in blue tomorrow?

There are seven points available at the top of today's climb so the blue jersey could be snatched by a number of people at the top. Four points are available for second place with two and one for the third and fourth places. Here is how the mountains classification looked at the start. 

Marcel Kittel got what looked like a birthday pie on the sign on podium this morning.

5km to the KOM point for the peloton and then it's a long run down to the first intermediate sprint at Polla. 

Most of the climb has been fairly steady up until now but it really ramps up now in the final few kilometres to the top. 

Mikel Landa was one of the pre-race favourites but the Spaniard had a tough time of it yesterday. He managed to finish with the other GC contenders but says that he had a bad day. You can read what he had to say here

Nippo Vini Fantini on the front of the bunch a little while ago at 30km ridden. 

Vini Fantini's efforts paid off and Cunego took the points at the top of the climb. With non of his rivals scoring any he now has a 7-point lead in the classification. 

With the climb over, the attacks have begun. Four riders have now jumped off the front of the group. 

189km remaining from 233km

Apologies Brutt is Tinkoff, rather than Katusha. The four leaders only have a small gap on the peloton who have not yet sat up to let this go. 

The average speed of the peloton in the opening hour of racing is 34.3kph.

It looks like the peloton are now happy to let this one go and the gap to our four leaders is 4:20.

Vincenzo Nibali is one of the best placed GC riders behind Dumoulin. The Italian was in a fighting mood yesterday and decided to put his rival Landa to the test. You can read what he had to say after yesterday's stage right here.

173km remaining from 233km

Serial breakaway rider Amets Txurruka is the best placed in the GC of today's escapees. He's 5:25 down on the pink jersey but he won't mind too much about that with his team leader Esteban Chaves is currently sitting in 10th at 37 seconds down. 

Despite his time spent in breakaways Txurruka is yet to win a Grand Tour stage. The only Grand Tour stage winner in this breakaway group is Pavel Brutt. The Russian rode to victory on stage 5 of the 2008 Giro d'Italia, taking it by four seconds over Johannes Frohlinger in a breakaway ride. 

The gap to the escapees has ballooned up to 5:29, making Txurruka the maglia rosa on the road. 

Should Tom Dumoulin keep hold of his pink jersey today, he will join Peter Weening as a wearer of the jersey for four days. Only Erik Breukink has spent more days in pink with eight in total. 

Courtesy of the BMC team, a picture of the breakaway. As they approach the intermediate sprint, the gap continues to grow and it now stands at more than seven minutes. 

Have you listened to the Cyclingnews podcast yet? If you haven't, click here to listen to our Giro d'Italia preview episode. 

The escapees are through the intermediate sprint to take 20 points. He'll have to take out the second one of the day to move him into equal first place. 

The speed has upped with the roads flattening out and the average speed for the second hour of racing was 41kph.

94km remaining from 233km

It's almost lunch time for the peloton and the gap has gone up to 6:36. There's still a long way to go for the leaders to the finish

Earlier we told you about the reports regarding the Giro d'Italia starting in Japan. You can read the full story here

Gazprom-Rusvelo will be delighted that they've managed to get a rider into the breakaway. The Russian team, which is linked to the WorldTour Katusha team, is making its Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia. Foliforov is also making his GT debut after joining the team last season. 

Another shot of the breakaway, courtesy of the organisers. 

118km remaining from 233km

Dimension Data have confirmed that Omar Fraile has abandoned the race due to the injuries he sustained in a crash yesterday. That will be a big blow to the team who would have hoped that Fraile could take the mountains classification jersey as he did at last year's Vuelta a Espana. He did, however, wear it for one day after getting in the break on stage 2. 

Daniel Oss has claimed the points again at the second intermediate sprint of the day. He will be joint first with Maarten Tjallingii in the intermediate sprints classification. Unfortunately for both, there is no jersey that comes with this prize as races are only allowed to have four jerseys.

110km remaining from 233km

The riders are on a small descent and while there are no classified climbs to come there is a lot of up and down to contend with. The sprinters will still be hoping that they can make it a bunch sprint to the line. 

Michele Scarponi is a former winner in Benevento and he spoke to TV reporters about what he expects to happen in today's stage. 

Daniel Oss is missing a bit of his shorts, it seems that he crashed on the decent. He slipped out on a corner and hit a metal fence in the process. He doesn't look too hurt though, perhaps it is his pride that has been hurt more than anything. 

 Oss is up and chasing but is at least a minute down on the attack now. 

We are finally into the second half of the stage and after the second intermediate sprint, the toughest climbs of the stage will begin. However the steady pace of the peloton should mean the stage ends in a sprint.

The teams are riding in blocks. from the Cyclingnews blimp we can see the Astana, BMC and Sky teams all riding together. 

Oss has fought his way back to the break of the day and so we enter the final 90km of the stage, we have four riders up front.

Oss has some nasty road rash but is fighting on.

90km remaining from 233km

At the back of the peloton Giacomo Berlato is getting treatment from the race doctor. He went on the attack on the two road stages in the Netherlands but then cut his chin in a training crash on Monday's rest day. He is riding on with three stitches in his chin.

Boy Van Poppel (Trek) is also suffering at the back of the peloton. 

The peloton is slowly pulling back the break as the kilometres tick down. The gap is at 4:50 now. 

The FDJ team has confirmed that Alex Geniez has a wrist injury and is heading home to France for more checks. He quit the Giro d'Italia during Tuesday's stage to Praia a Mare.

All the signs are that today's stage will finish in a sprint but at 233km and a hilly second half will mean a hard day in the saddle. The distance and fatigue could influence the outcome of the sprint. 

Today's stage is the second longest of this year's Giro. Only stage 18 to Pinerolo is longer, at 240km.

The Giant-Alpecin team of race leader Tom Dumoulin is leading the chase, with Cheng Ji on the front. 

75km remaining from 233km

Reports coming through that Jakob Mareczko has abandoned. Mareczko would have been a contender for victory in today's finish if it comes down to a bunch sprint. 

Here is Pavel Brutt, one of today's escapees, giving his bike a final check ahead of the stage. Can he and his fellow breakaway riders stay away from the clutches of the peloton?

Giant-Alpecin are in a long line at the front of the peloton. With the pink jersey to look after, they've been doing most of the work on the front today. 

The riders are heading into the city of Montella a place known for its chestnut groves. 

Andre Greipel has won a stage of every Giro d'Italia he's ridden and he'll be keen to get off the mark as soon as possible. He could do that at the finish today. 

62km remaining from 233km

If the slightly uphill nature of the finish, it is narrow and the final 200m is paved with porphyry.

Earlier we mentioned Michele Scarponi being a winner in Benevento in 2009. The Giro d'Italia has finished in the town on several more occasions. Here are some more winners in the city: Costante Girardengo (1925), Adriano Durante (1965), Ercole Gualazzini (1971), Roger De Vlaeminck (1973), Giuseppe Saronni (1978) and Robbie McEwen (2002)

Birthday boy Adam Hansen picking up some bottles from the team car. He's not in the breakaway so he's on team duty for Andre Greipel. 

53km remaining from 233km

In fact, most of the peloton are now organised in team formation. Lampre-Meirda are just behind Astana with Sky in formation behind them. 

Wilier-Southeast DS Luca Scinto explains that the reason for Jakub Mareczko's abandon earlier was illness. The young Italian woke up with a fever this morning and was suffering as soon as he started. 

Just 2:27 for the escapees now. Lotto-Soudal are in a determined mood at the moment. There is still 48km to go however and they won't want to make the catch too early. 

The riders are currently on the middle time schedule, which means that if they continue like this the stage will finish just after 5pm local time. 

The escapees have obviously had a word in their ears because they're kicking on down this descent and have pushed the gap back out to around 3 minutes. 

Some riders being dropped with the pace being so high on this descent. AG2R-La Mondiale's Blel Kadri is furiously trying to get back on and uses the draft from one of the Giant-Alpecin minis to assist him. 

The peloton is fighting fire with fire and as soon as the break push the gap back out the bunch has cut it down even further. The four leaders have less than two minutes to go with just over 40km to the finish line. 

The road flattens out for the riders but it is slightly downhill for much of the run-in to the line. 

37km remaining from 233km

As we post that last update, the group has finally knocked it off now that they are onto the flatter roads and there is a little bit of respite for the escapees. 

Away from the men's Giro and the teams have been confirmed for the women's Giro Rosa, which takes place in July. World Champion Lizzie Armitstead has been confirmed as a starter and you can read the full story here

Lots of teams are interested in making the chase in this finale. IAM Cycling are also lending a hand on the front.

Andre Amador back at the team car for some mechanical assistance. He's got his power meter dangling from his handlebars. Amador was another loser in terms of time yesterday. 

28km remaining from 233km

Esteban Chaves has kept his nose clean so far during this year's Giro d'Italia and he's sitting in 10th place overall. Chaves is targeting the GC for the first time at the Giro d'Italia but told Cyclingnews this morning that he is trying not to think too far again. You can read what he had to say here. 

 

With 23km to go the gap has been trimmed down to 1:03.

21km remaining from 233km

Now just 300 metres separate the two groups and the escapees are beginning to look over their shoulders. They must sense the bunch behind them and no doubt they will have received the news over the radio. 

Giant-Alpecin have been able to sit inside the bunch for the past few kilometres with so many teams putting rides up front but they're now making moves towards the front again along with Team Sky. 

A mechanical problem for Chad Haga. He was relatively high up in the GC and he'll want to make it back to the peloton pretty sharpish. We spoke to Haga earlier in the week and posed some fan questions to the American and you can read what he had to say here

Crash

Zilioli is one of the riders down and we've got two riders in a ditch. 

It is Alberto Timmer for Giant-Alpecin and Australian champion Jack Bobridge. 

15km remaining from 233km

A mechanical problem for Majka and this is really a bad time for him to have such a problem. 

Bobridge and Timmer exchanging notes on that crash. There's no rush for them to get back on, they just want to make it home inside the time limit. 

It's getting to squeaky bum time in this stage, as Alex Ferguson would say. Teams are now fighting for space at the from of the bunch as Majka fights his way onto the back. 

11km remaining from 233km

With 10km to go, the riders are into Benevento and the break has just 17 seconds. 

Benevento has been decorated for the occasion with streamers all over the place. There are plenty of spectators our lining the street too. 

7km remaining from 233km

It's gruppo compatto now and the riders are getting a chance to look at the finish line for the first time. 

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