I came to the realization today that we are at the end of the first week of October, and the Giro d’Italia has only just begun. Why it took me until Stage 5 to reach this level of consciousness, I do not know. While odd, today’s wet, misty stage provided an exemplary level of spookiness that fits this month oh so well. Proving to be INEOS Grenadiers’ top rider this season, Filippo Ganna asserted himself as best of the breakaway and soloed to his second stage in five days. The general classification remains largely unchanged after race leader João Almeida finished with the favourites and snagged four bonus seconds at the line.
How the race was won
The race kicked off with a breakaway containing two INEOS riders. With a long climb cresting just 11 kilometres before the finish, it looked set up for Filippo Ganna to work for his teammate, Salvatore Puccio. Even the team thought so.
But as Ganna went to work at the base of the climb, it was clear he was the strongest of the group. Before we knew it, he had ridden most of the breakaway — including Puccio — off his rear wheel! Unfortunately for him, Thomas De Gendt was in hot pursuit from the peloton.
After struggling in France last month, De Gendt looks to be full steam ahead at this Spooky Giro. Our favourite Belgian (well, for some of us) closed a two-and-a-half minute gap to Ganna single handedly, with a Movistarlet plumped on his rear wheel.
Unfortunately for De Gendt, Ganna’s wattage reigned supreme. Listed at a towering 1.93m and a healthy 76kilos, the big Italian steamed away from his companions on the upper slopes of the Valico di Montescuro. Opening up nearly a minute gap prior to reaching the summit, Ganna was free to spin down the soaked descent by himself and solo to a beloved stage win.
Who knows where this rider could go! With heroes like these, we can see cobbles in his future.
Giro di Spooky
As I said at the top of this report, today’s wet finish fit perfectly into what October means to many of us – Halloween! It was dark. It was foggy. We couldn’t really see what was around the next corner. It was … spooky!
Bottles Take More Prisoners
Let’s spare a thought for Trek-Segafredo’s Pieter Weening today. After being yet another victim of poor bottle etiquette yesterday, Weening withdrew during today’s stage with dizziness. It would seem that the Giro peloton needs a lesson in bottle-throwing physics. I wonder if anyone has put one together. . . (pssst, Alex Dowsett has)
[Ever so slightly like a ransom video – Ed]
The Final Word
Stage 5 Results
1 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 5:59:17
2 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:34
3 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) s/t
4 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) s/t
5 Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 17:06:23
2 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) +0:43
3 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:48
4 Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) +0:59
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) +1:01
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) +1:05
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +1:19
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:21
9 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:26
10 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:32
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Points jersey Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)
King of the Mountains Filippo Ganna (INEOS-Grenadiers)
Best Young Rider Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.
Official race website: Giro d’Italia