The battle for the national titles in photos
Last week was full of nationals championships. Relive the battle for the jerseys...
The fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia has ended in a bunch sprint. The day after the first mountain stage, Team Jumbo-Visma kept somewhat in the background and finished in the middle of the pack. Pascal Eenkhoorn rode a creditable final kilometre. In the sprint he crossed the line in fifteenth place.
A 174-kilometre ride took the riders from Catania along the Mediterranean coast towards Messina. The peloton faced one obstacle: a long twenty-kilometre climb at an average gradient of four percent. Five riders saw their chance early in the stage. They jumped away from the peloton and grabbed a 4-minute lead. Shortly after the climb, the peloton caught them back.
Some sprinters had to let go on the climb. Subsequently. the pace in the peloton was kept high by teams with ambitions for the day's victory. In the streets of Messina the stage finally ended in a bunch sprint. Arnaud Démare won. The riders of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the line unscathed and in the same time as the winner.
"There is still a lot to come this Giro"
"It was important today to finish well", Jos van Emden said. "Those kinds of stages are simply part of a grand tour. There is still a lot to come this Giro. So a day like today is certainly welcome. Although it is sometimes unfortunate that there is a lack of sporting challenges at such a stage. That's not to say that today was an easy day. Several teams kept the pace pretty high. Tomorrow I expect a similar day. From Friday onwards, we'll be entering different terrain."