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Giro Stage 5: Gorilla Devours Sprint in Benevento

Luk Benies

Andre Greipel of Lotto-Belisol padded his career grand tour stage totals with a long-range sprint victory in today's undulating fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia in the southern town of Benevento. Greipel came from way out to surprise his rivals, Arnaud Demare of FDJ, Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani CSF and Bob Jungels of Etixx-Quick Step, to win by several bike lengths. The win marks the third stage victory for a German national, after Marcel Kittel's two prizes, and the maglia rosa has been held exclusively by either Germans (Kittel) or a German-based team, the Giant-Alpecin squad of current leader Tom Dumoulin.

BMC's Daniel Oss, Alexander Foliforov of Gazprom, Orica's Amets Txurruka, and Pavel Brutt of Tinkoff were the escapees of the day, with Lotto-Belisol and IAM Cycling among those taking turns at the front of the peloton as the race headed up and down past the ancient villages of the Campania region. The group were caught at 7km to go as the race entered the finishing circuit in Benevento, where the peloton rolled up without its most dominant sprinter, Marcel Kittel, who was distanced on the ascents heading to town.

Heading to the finale nobody had control over the front per se, though Lampre had two helpers for Sacha Modolo and Jurgen Roelands got Greipel where he needed to be. Then Alexander Porsev of Katusha rider went down at 1km to go, delaying Giacomo Nizzolo and Matteo Trentin but most people got past, and Greipel followed Demare who followed Sacha Modolo of Lampre in third wheel with a leadout. Once the Lampre worker swung off with 250 meters to go and left Sonny Colbrelli in the widn, Greipel shot up the middle, sensing the hesitation in the rest, and got a huge gap that he held all the way to the line. Demare took second over Colbrelli in the final burst to the line.

No great changes in the classifications.

Results:

  1. Andre Greipel, Lotto-Belisol
  2. Arnaud Demare, FDJ, s.t.
  3. Sonny Colbrelli, Bardiani, s.t.
  4. Bob Jungels, Etixx-Quick Step, s.t.
  5. Moreno Hofland, LottoNL-Jumbo, s.t.
  6. Manuel Belletti, Southeast, s.t.
  7. Rick Zabel, BMC, s.t.
  8. Georg Preidler, IAM Cycling, s.t.
  9. Caleb Ewan, Orica-GreenEdge, s.t.
  10. Alexey Tsatevich, Katusha, s.t.