Stage 5: Taranto to Viggiano, 203km
Diego Ulissi timed his late attack to perfection to sail over the line a second ahead of Cadel Evans and Julian Arredondo as the general classification contenders fought for bonus seconds on the Giro’s first summit finish.
Stage hunters versus contenders
Today’s stage, marked by blustery winds, ended with a cat 4 climb into Viggiano, followed by a twisty and technical descent and one last ascent into the town. As the peloton neared the final descent, more rain led to further spills but thankfully no serious injuries. Fortune certainly favoured the brave with the early 11-man break containing a number of the sprinters with their eyes firmly fixed on the intermediate sprint points which saw Elia Viviani (Cannondale) take possession of the points jersey. But everyone was back together in the last 14km as the peloton readied itself for those back-to-back climbs at the finish.
Gianlucca Brambilla (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) bravely attacked on the wet final descent but he too was reeled in only for Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) to counter just after the flamme rouge which stirred the other leading contenders, in particular Cadel Evans (BMC) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), into action as the race headed for its first summit finish.
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) bravely clung to the race lead, finishing sixth on the stage, and will wear the pink jersey for the fourth consecutive day tomorrow when we’ll get a much better idea of the form of the GC contenders. One or two looked a little off the pace today.
VeloVoices rider of the day
With 500 meters left, it was anyone’s race to win. Seconds later, Evans counter-attacked and appeared poised to win the stage before Diego Ulissi rode up the left side of the road and came off his teammate Przemyslaw Niemiec’s wheel to take victory by a second. Thought of as more of a one-day specialist, this young 24-year-old has added a second stage win in his home grand tour to his growing palmares. This year he’s already won a stage in the Tour Down Under and taken victory in the GP Camaiore.
Stage 5 result
1. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) 5:12:39
2. Cadel Evans (BMC) + 0:01
3. Julian Arredondo (Trek) same time
4. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) s/t
5. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) s/t
1. Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) 17:41:23
2. Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEDGE) +0:14
3. Cadel Evans (BMC) +0:15
4. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +0:19
5. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) +0:26
6. Edvald Boassen Hagen (Sky) +0:35
7. Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) +0:37
8. Michele Scarponi (Astana) +0:41
9. Dario Cataldo (Sky) +0:49
10. Fabio Aru (Astana) +0:52
Points leader: Elia Viviani (Cannondale).
Mountains classification: Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin).
Best young rider: Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE).
Team classification: Astana.