Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
The fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia gave Team Jumbo-Visma a scare. The final was one for the fast men but was marred by several crashes on the slippery roads. Primoz Roglic was also involved in a crash, but owing to the outstanding work of his teammates, he quickly rejoined the lead group.
From the start in Atripalda, it rained nonstop. The peloton took it easy at first, and three riders opened up a lead of several minutes. These riders were caught well before the finish, leaving the sprinters to prepare for the fight for the stage victory. The wet roads in the finish town of Salerno caused several dangerous situations. The riders of sports director Marc Reef were vigilant but were shocked to see race leader Roglic involved in a crash.
"Normally, this finish is not a problem. But the rain made it hectic and slippery. Several riders went off in a right-hand corner with about seven kilometres to go. Primoz was one of them", Reef said. "Koen immediately handed his bike to Primoz. The rest of the guys waited and brought him back to the front. Edoardo Affini did a strong final turn there."
"My teammates did a great job in the last few kilometres, the damage could have been much worse."
The Slovenian was impressed with his teammates' efforts. "They did a great job in the last few kilometres. The damage could have been much worse. When I got back up front, there was another crash, but this time I was lucky. I am glad that we were able to cross the line safely after that."
Despite the mayhem, Reef looks back on day five with satisfaction. "A crash is, of course, unfortunate, but it happened at a low speed. It was good to see how the men handled it. We previously discussed what to do in such a situation. We got through it well, and at first glance, it doesn't look too bad with Primoz."