Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 5 – Victoire for Demare as Lopez stays in pink.

Stage Five of the Giro saw the Groupama-FDJ team deliver Arnaud Demare perfectly to claim his first victory of the year – and the beautiful maglia ciclamino. The French speedster survived a climb which took hot favourites Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan out of contention with 100km to go. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates and Israel Premier Tech’s Giacomo Nizzolo joined him to complete the podium. There was little change in the GC with Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) retaining the pink jersey for another day. In other news from Messina, local hero Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qaxaqstan) announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2022 season.

Alpecin-Fenix take the reins on the climb

Stage 5 was always heading towards a day for the sprinters, the only question was which ones would survive the the grinding 20km at 4% ascent of the Portella Mandrazzi. The answer came pretty quickly as Alpecin-Fenix piled on the pressure at the front and Cavendish, Ewan and Demare were distanced and fighting for survival in different groups. As the group crested the summit, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert came to the fore for Biniam Girmay, making it harder for those riders making up ground. A frantic chase on the descent saw Demare get back to the peloton. Cavendish and the Quicksteppers chased on the descent and the along the flat roads but had to give way and save energy for tomorrow. Ewan and the Lotto train never looked like they were going to make any inroads at all.

Here’s your highlights

Round of applause for Groupama-FDJ

I have to give full kudos to his FDJ team today. They didn’t panic on the climb, rode at their pace and brought Demare back on the descent. They came to front at the right time to give Demare the perfect armchair ride and deliver him with so little time in the wind that he pounced to his 6th Giro victory. Even the fact the last lead out man Jacopo Guanieri was dropped on the climb didn’t phase them, they simply all shuffled up a place in the NoNo train and Ramon Sinkeldam executed his duties brilliantly.  This tweets sums it up – ‘He never gave up, they never gave up’.

It was a pleasure to see Arnaud’s happy smile and #CapsNotHats grace the top step of a Giro podium for the sixth time. The glorious maglia ciclamino is my favourite points jersey, and might even be my favourite Grand Tour jersey – watch out for that discussion on the VeloVoices podcast!

Post race interview with a beaming Demare.

When you know your sprints

It’s no secret I love a good a sprint analysis. Give me the overhead slo-mo so that I can appreciate the nitty gritty of that secret world of the fast twitch muscles. There are NONE better at this than Eurosport’s Robbie McEwan (WE LOVE HIM) and Adam Blythe (WE LOVE HIM TOO)!!! Watch them pick this sprint apart, and try not to gasp when you see what happened to Bini at 70kph!!

I think he could do with a little help in those final crucial metres, but surely that first Giro victory is not far away, VAI VAI VAI BINI!

Go Eritrea

Pretty in Pink

After commenting on Alpecin Fenix’s ‘WHOAH THAT’S TOO MUCH PINK FOR STAGE 2’, I was pleased to see Trek-Segafredo keeping it classy for Juan Pedro Lopez – with pink socks and gloves to compliment the maglia rosa

Embed from Getty Images

Arriverderchi Lo Squalo

As the Giro pulled into Messina, the hometown of Vincenzo Nibali, an emotional Lo Squalo took the opportunity to announce his retirement on RAI’s Processo alla Tappa programme.

I was waiting for this stage for a while, for years, it’s where I started to ride and train, so I wanted to confirm that this is my last Giro and my last season. It’s time to call it a day. I’ve done so much for so long but it’s the right time. I can’t forget that I left home when I was 15 years old. I think I gave a lot to cycling and now it’s time to give time back to all the people who sacrificed things for me.

I am sure much will be written in the coming months of the rider who not only won all three Grand Tours, but also has Lombardia and a thrilling Milan SanRemo on his palmares. It is fitting that he gets to choose his retirement date, and I’m sure his fans would love one last firework of a show from him.

Last Word – All aboard as the Giro heads to mainland Italy

All the results

Stage results 

1 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 4:03:56

2 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time

3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel Premier-Tech) ST

4 Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) ST

5 Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) ST

GC Top 10 

1 Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 18:21:03

2 Lennard Kamna (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:39

3 Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

4 Simon PHILIP Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) +1:42

5 Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +1:47

6 Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe) +1:55

7 Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1:58

8 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +2:00

9 Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:04

10 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +2:06

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Points jersey : Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

King of the Mountains: Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe)

Best young rider: Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Team : BORA-hansgrohe 

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Giro d’Italia website is here


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