Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe has won a rain-soaked Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia in Terracina this afternoon, his second stage win of this year's race, just pipping Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team Emirates to the line. With surface water forming, race organisers RCS decided to neutralise general classification times at the first passage of the finish line, 10 kilometres out, and with the peloton passing together, Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma retains his 35 second overall lead from Mitchelton-Scott’s Simon Yates.
Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida had dropped back to the race director’s car midway through today’s 140-kilometre stage from Frascati to request that the times be taken as the riders entered the closing circuit, and given the conditions it was little surprise that organisers agreed.
Just minutes into today’s stage, Tom Dumoulin, injured in a late crash yesterday, decided he couldn’t go on and abandoned. The 2017 Giro d’Italia winner had said before the stage, "I don’t know if it’s possible, but I want to at least try, then I can’t blame myself for not trying."
One of his Team Sunweb colleagues, Louis Vervaeke, did get into a four-man breakaway and was the final member of the group to be swept up with 23 kilometres still to ride as a nervous peloton prepared for the final, with the overall contenders leaving it to the sprinters and their leadout men to fight it out for the win after passing the finish line for the first time.
Stage winner Pascal Ackermann
Today was one of these days in which I wondered why am I a cyclist. We had to change clothes every 30 seconds or so. It was cold. My goal for my first Giro was always to get to Verona. I'm in a good shape and there are more sprints to come, plus the intermediate sprints if needed, but for sure I'll try and win the cyclamen jersey.
Maglia Rosa Primoz Roglic
It was the right decision to take the times 10km before the end. We always try to stay safe. We saw yesterday how much can be lost in a crash. Tom Dumoulin's abandonment doesn't change much for me. The only important thing for me is that our team stays focused and we do our job the best we can. Tomorrow, why not lose the Maglia Rosa? It looks like a good stage for the breakaway to succeed.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.