Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan has won Stage 5 of the Tour de France in Colmar to consolidate his lead in the points competition, with Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert just claiming second place ahead of Matteo Trentin of Mitchelton- Scott. Deceunink-Quick Step’s Julian Alaphilippe retins the overall lead.
Rui Costa of UAE Team Emirates attacked inside the final 10 kilometres of the 175.5-kilometre stage from St-Dié-des-Vosges, but was caught with 2 kilometres remaining as the stage – despite two categorised climbs late on – came down to a bunch finish among the more punchy sprinters.
Daryl Impey of Mitchelton-Scott – a former wearer of the yellow jersey – went early with around 400 metres to go, looking to set up Trentin, but it was the green jersey of Sagan, looking to win the points competition for a record seventh time, who came through for his 11th Tour de France stage win of his career.
In the day’s break was the Lotto-Soudal rider Tim Wellens, who was also one of yesterday’s escapees as he took the lead in the mountains classification, and added to his lead in the polka-dot jersey competition today.
Today was the first of two days in the Vosges mountain range, although tomorrow will be much more testing – and potentially significant for the General Classification – with a summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles.
First included in the race in 2012, when Chris Froome won and Team Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins got into the yellow jersey he would keep all the way to Paris – Vincenzo Nibali also triumphed there on his way to winning the overall title in 2014.
This year, however, there is an added twist – the finish line is a further kilometre up the road, and what is more, on a gravel surface and with a maximum gradient in the final part of that climb of 25 per cent.
It promises to be a cracking day – and if not a stage on which the Tour de France can be won, one on which the race can certainly be lost.
Stage winner Peter Sagan
As I said in the first four stages, you have to be patient and victory will come. A stage win in the Tour de France requires strong form, good tactics but also other things that have to come together. It isn't that simple.
I'd like to really thank my teammates today for their fantastic job. They were brilliant and controlled the race throughout the day. We controlled the flat parts, the climbs, all the way to finish. This victory is the result of great teamwork!
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.