Giro d'Italia: Battaglin wins stage 5 in Santa Ninfa

Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) turned Tuesday's third place in Caltagirone into victory in Santa Ninfa on Wednesday, winning stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia with strong sprint to the line after a steep climb to the final kilometre forced the overall contenders to dig deep yet again.

The Italian was unable to match Tim Wellens on Tuesday, but he had far more power and speed than Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) on the flat finish after teammate Domenico Pozzovivo tried to split the select peloton on the steep climb. Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) was third, Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) was fourth despite a late crash, and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was fifth.

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) finished 15th in the reduced front group of 42 riders and so retained the leader’s maglia rosa. defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) is second at one second back, with Yates third overall at 17 seconds.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was the big loser of the day. He crashed with five kilometres to go and lost 43 seconds, slipping to 39th overall at a distant 1:57.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) appeared to struggle to hold the wheels on the short, steep climb up to Santa Ninfa, but he finished 33rd in the same time as Battaglin. He is 19th overall at 55 seconds as the Giro d’Italia prepares to climb Mount Etna on Thursday.

Battaglin’s LottoNL-Jumbo teammates celebrated his win even before they reached the finish. It was his third stage victory at the Giro d’Italia after also winning in 2013 and 2014.

“I last won four years ago, it’s been a while…” Battaglin said.

“This year I’ve finally found a good vein of form and started the Giro feeling good. I was strong yesterday and so had to try again today. Yesterday was really a powerful sprint on a really steep climb. Today was a steep climb but at 2km to go and I had a little bit of time to recover and so then do a really good sprint."

Dennis warmed down before pulling on another pink jersey.

“It was a nice day on the bike, on quite a slow pace because of the head wind,” he explained.

Another day in the Sicilian hills

The second day in Sicily again included a series of rolling hills, but with the stage distance only 153km and the serious climbs in the second half of the day, the riders were more relaxed at the start, with some teams and leaders perhaps already thinking about Thursday’s first mountain finish on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Riders signed on late and lined up in the shade as they enjoyed the warm 22C temperatures that are typical for Sicily in May.

An incident caused by a car on the race route sparked a delay to the start and a slight deviation to the race route, but when technical director Stefano Allocchio dropped the flag at kilometre 0, four riders quickly kicked away to form the early break of the day.

With a stiff headwind blowing from the left, the peloton seemed happy to let them go, and so Ryan Mullen and Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) laughed at their fortune and began to work together. Their lead quickly reached 5:30 as BMC’s Jempy Drucker lead the peloton in defence of Rohan Dennis’ race lead and maglia rosa.

Other teams were interested in the stage victory, and so Lotto Fix All put Sander Armee on the front to help with the work, while UAE Team Emirates and Team Sunweb also did their bit. That reduced the gap to 3:30 after 100km of steady riding along the southern coast of Sicily towards Sciacca.

Soon after the coastal town, Team Sky hit the front but led by Salvatore Puccio as the race passed through his hometown of Menfi.

As the peloton collected its musettes, it was announced that Guy Niv of the Israel Cycling Academy had retired. The 24-year-old has made history as the first Israeli rider to start a Grand Tour with his teammate and namesake Guy Sagiv. However, he had been struggling with illness and was unable to continue. Niv is the second rider to abandon this Giro after Bardiani-CSF sprinter Andrea Guardini pulled out on stage 4. The race is now three riders light, with Kanstantsin Siutsou failing to start after crashing in his recon of the stage 1 time trial.

Mullen lead the break over the top of the category 4 climb at Santa Margherita del Belice but the gap with 50km to race was down to 2:30.

The stage profile had become much hillier, but the quartet stayed together with Mullen leading through Partanna and over the second categorised climb.

With 40km to go Francois Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale) slipped on the polished road surface, indicating that the tension was rising in the peloton and the kilometres ticked down to an aggressive finale. Steve Morabito and Laurens Ten Dam, domestiques for Pinot and Dumoulin, respectively, also crashed on a descent but were quickly up and away.

The race continued through the valley roads and ghost villages where a major earthquake caused hundreds of deaths and widespread destruction in 1968.

With 23km to go Didier tried an attack, splitting the break but they soon came back together. Vendrame was next to try his hand and went away to reach the final categorised climb in Poggioreale Vecchio. Mullen, Didier and Zhupa eased up and were swept up as Lotto Fix All and Team Sky set the pace at the head of the peloton. The race was on and the speed high.

A tight curve with 14km to go sparked a crash near the back of the peloton, with Domenico Pozzovivo and best young rider Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) amongst those delayed. Three Bahrain-Merida riders quickly helped Pozzovivo get back up to the reduced peloton, but the young German rider needed much longer amongst the team cars.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was not so fortunate. He went off the road with 5.5km to go. He had a soft landing in the grass but never saw his overall classification rivals again.

Vendrame was finally caught with three kilometres to go and Mitchelton-Scott took over. The climb up to Santa Ninfa began with two kilometres to go, and Pozzovivo and then Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) were the first to try their hand. Froome appeared to struggle to hold the wheels as he spun a low gear. Fortunately the front group was spread across the road and stayed together going onto the flat final kilometre.

Visconti tried to anticipate his rivals and dived through the final corner but only served to lead out Battaglin, who timed his sprint much better. 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo4:06:33
2Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 1 - Cell 2
3José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 2 - Cell 2
4Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 3 - Cell 2
5Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-ScottRow 4 - Cell 2
6Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 5 - Cell 2
7Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 6 - Cell 2
8Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 7 - Cell 2
9Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 9 - Cell 2
11Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 11 - Cell 2
13George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-JumboRow 12 - Cell 2
14Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-ScottRow 14 - Cell 2
16Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team SunwebRow 15 - Cell 2
17Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 19 - Cell 2
21Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 20 - Cell 2
22Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-ScottRow 21 - Cell 2
23Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 22 - Cell 2
24Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 23 - Cell 2
25Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJRow 24 - Cell 2
26Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 25 - Cell 2
27Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 26 - Cell 2
28Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 27 - Cell 2
29Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 29 - Cell 2
31Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 31 - Cell 2
33Chris Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 32 - Cell 2
34Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 34 - Cell 2
36Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 35 - Cell 2
37Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 36 - Cell 2
38Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 38 - Cell 2
40Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 39 - Cell 2
41Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 40 - Cell 2
42Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-ScottRow 41 - Cell 2
43Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:15
44Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy0:00:21
45Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 44 - Cell 2
46Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:22
47Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:31
49Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:37
50Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:40
51Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 50 - Cell 2
52Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:43
53Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:01:03
55Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:06
56Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 55 - Cell 2
57Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:30
59Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 58 - Cell 2
60Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 59 - Cell 2
61Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 60 - Cell 2
62Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Fix All0:01:47
63Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:01:51
64Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Fix AllRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 64 - Cell 2
66Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 65 - Cell 2
67Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Fix AllRow 66 - Cell 2
68Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 67 - Cell 2
69Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 68 - Cell 2
70Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 69 - Cell 2
71Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:59
72Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:02:11
73Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:02:13
74Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 74 - Cell 2
76Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:41
77Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 76 - Cell 2
78Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 77 - Cell 2
79Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:02:55
80Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:02:59
82Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 81 - Cell 2
83Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 82 - Cell 2
84David De La Cruz (Spa) Team SkyRow 83 - Cell 2
85Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 84 - Cell 2
86Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:04
87Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:03:09
89Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:03:45
90Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 89 - Cell 2
91Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 90 - Cell 2
92Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 91 - Cell 2
93Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 92 - Cell 2
94Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo0:04:10
95Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-ScottRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott0:04:29
97Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 96 - Cell 2
98Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:04:49
99Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:08
100Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:31
101Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:46
102Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-SegafredoRow 101 - Cell 2
103Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 102 - Cell 2
104Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 103 - Cell 2
105Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 104 - Cell 2
106Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:05:51
107Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 106 - Cell 2
108Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 107 - Cell 2
109Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 108 - Cell 2
110Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 109 - Cell 2
111Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 110 - Cell 2
112Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 111 - Cell 2
113Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 112 - Cell 2
114Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension DataRow 113 - Cell 2
115Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
116Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 115 - Cell 2
117Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 116 - Cell 2
118Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-SegafredoRow 117 - Cell 2
119Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 118 - Cell 2
120William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
121Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 120 - Cell 2
122Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team SunwebRow 121 - Cell 2
123Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 122 - Cell 2
124Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:05:57
126Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 125 - Cell 2
127Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 126 - Cell 2
128Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 127 - Cell 2
129Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:08:22
130Jérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 131 - Cell 2
133Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 132 - Cell 2
134Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 133 - Cell 2
135Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 134 - Cell 2
136Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 135 - Cell 2
137Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 136 - Cell 2
138Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 138 - Cell 2
140Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 139 - Cell 2
141Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 140 - Cell 2
142Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 142 - Cell 2
144Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 143 - Cell 2
145Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:08:29
147Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:53
148François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 147 - Cell 2
149Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 148 - Cell 2
150Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia0:10:04
151Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 150 - Cell 2
152Giuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 151 - Cell 2
153Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 152 - Cell 2
154Marco Coledan (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 153 - Cell 2
155Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 154 - Cell 2
156Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 155 - Cell 2
157Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 156 - Cell 2
158Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 157 - Cell 2
159Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 158 - Cell 2
160Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
161Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 160 - Cell 2
162Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 161 - Cell 2
163Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 162 - Cell 2
164Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 163 - Cell 2
165Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 164 - Cell 2
166Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 165 - Cell 2
167Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
168Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-HansgroheRow 167 - Cell 2
169Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 168 - Cell 2
170Svein Tuft (Can) Mitchelton-ScottRow 169 - Cell 2
171Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 170 - Cell 2
172Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 171 - Cell 2
173Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:10:13
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 173 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo25pts
2Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida18Row 2 - Cell 3
4José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo9Row 4 - Cell 3
6Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors8Row 5 - Cell 3
7Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia8Row 6 - Cell 3
8Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott6Row 7 - Cell 3
9Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Fix All