• Rúben Silva

Giro d'Italia Stage 5 Preview

Mayhem struck the peloton today with a crash in the final 7 kilometers taking down several GC contenders. There was another crash not caught on camera with others involved, from there Richard Carapaz emerged alongside Roglic as the only GC contenders in the front group, and in the uphill finish to Frascati he attacked antecipating the sprint of Caleb Ewan who almost overtook him in the end and Diego Ulissi who also came from the group. The sprinters were in number in the front group, Viviani cracked, Dèmare and Ackermann failed to be up there in the sprint as the gradients rose. And between those affected, Tom Dumoulin was the main one, loosing over 4 minutes, his chances of winning the race are over and there's no confirmation of him continuing in the race despite no fractures.

Positive: Carapaz had hazzards yesterday and recovered some today, with a stage win it's a compensation for what he's lost, Roglic can be considered the big winner for the GC, gaining more time on his rivals and having Dumoulin out of the fight. The Bora, INEOS, AG2R riders and some others managed to save it, Ulissi also with a good day but I got the feeling Emirates could've ridden better by using Conti tactically. Zakarin also has to be considered a winner, 4 of his teammates came down in the finish, but amazingly he managed to stay upright, at the very least staying in contention.

Negative: Dumoulin obviously, Landa, Pozzovivo, Izagirre... But there were plenty of riders loosing time, some were just lucky to be able to limit their losses as it could've been over in such a chaotic finish.


+2 - Roglic

+18 - Lopez, Yates, Majka, Mollema, Formolo, Nibali, Jungels, Zakarin, Hart, Chaves, Caruso +25 - Sivakov

+31 - Carthy

+36 - Bilbao

+44 - Landa

+1:20 - Kangert

+1:30 - O'Connor

+4:04 - Dumoulin, Oomen

+10:33 - Hirt, Izagirre, Pozzovivo

Stage 5 will have the sole circuit finish of the race (discounting stage 16). It's another flat stage with a rolling start which will at this point be very familiar for the riders. But with only 140 kilometers in the route it will be a softer day for the peloton, and the fast run-up to the line will surely make it another one for the fastest riders.

From the 5 to 3Km to go banner there are some technical sections, also in the begining of the circuit, but the final 3Km are relatively straightforward so there shouldn't be too many technical issues there.

The Weather

Something that will be to the liking of the sprinters, headwind most of the day will make it an easy stage to control despite some climbing, no doubt for the sprinters. Inside the final circuit there's a seafront road with 2/3Km where there will be some crosswind, but that won't make much of a difference as there is time to reorganize after. The final kilometer will be in a somewhat headwind.

The Favourites

Today was an exception but there still were some sprinters up there, but what we're in for tomorrow is what we've seen the last few days with another bunch finish. A less nervous stage, a more lined out peloton, good news for those that have crashed in these two stages.

The main favourites will remain the same though, Elia Viviani will be looking to get the win after he was disqualified yesterday, and with him are the German powerhouse Pascal Ackermann, the official stage winner Fernando Gaviria, and today's second placed Caleb Ewan, who seems to be struggling in the more technical finales, but tomorrow isn't very technical so it's to his liking, and Ciclamino jersey contender (I'll say only "contender" as he's the only one focused on getting points in intermediate sprints) Arnaud Dèmare.

And outside of that main group there are the outsiders, Jakub Mareczko of CCC who will likely have a shot as the stage will certainly be easy, Israel duo Davide Cimolai and Kristian Sbaragli, Dimension Data's Giacomo Nizzolo, Sacha Modolo, Matteo Moschetti and Manuel Belletti. The total leadout train hasn't been the most important, so I'll give a little view on who's been the most important men for the sprinters.

Viviani - Sabatini, Sénéchal

Gaviria - Consonni, ̶M̶o̶l̶a̶n̶o̶

Ackermann - Selig, McCarthy

Ewan - De Buyst, van der Sande

Dèmare - Guarnieri

Of these, the Deceuninck riders have looked very good, Sabatini having a major role in getting Ackermann to launch his sprint too early yesterday. Gaviria lost one of his leadout men, he will be a bit fragile in terms of total leadout. Ackermann has looked very good so far, Selig is a very experienced and powerful rider more than capable of putting him in place for the sprint. Ewan can be said the same, Lotto has looked like the best team by far on stage 2 but failed yesterday completely, today they looked good again, De Buyst and van der Sande are looking good to support him. As for Dèmare he's been counting on just Guarnieri in the final meters, but his team has been able to position him properly very well so far in the race as a whole.

I think though with the headwind, it will favour more the lighter sprinters as it won't be a hyper-speed sprint, taking some from Ackermann and Dèmare who are less capable of a long sprint.

Prediction Time

Viviani, Gaviria, Ackermann

Ewan, Dèmare

Nizzolo, Modolo, Mareczko, Cimolai, Belletti, Moschetti

It's a roulette as it's been so far in the sprints. I will go for Viviani again as in theory he sounds to me as the best sprinter overall, he has to come out of the race with a win and I think he'll be even more motivated to get one after yesterday's situation.

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