The Great Escape: Pineau Wins Stage 5 of Giro
Escapes are death-or-glory affairs that usually result in the former.
Escapes are death-or-glory affairs that usually result in the former. Once in a while, however, a break has the right combination of riders and luck to stay the course. Today, an early break did just that and provided the Giro with a stage winner. Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) outsprinted Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) and Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) to win Stage 5, a 162-km, mostly flat run from Novara to Novi Ligure, in 3:45:59. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) remains the maglia rosa.
After a number of abortive sallies, Arashiro launched the break of the day with an attack at 25 km, and Paul Voss (Milram), Fouchard, and Pineau followed. At 49 km, the break led the bunch by 5:40. Liquigas rode tempo, but Lampre began to chase in the last 50 km.
With 40 km left, the fugitives led the field by about four minutes. Garmin joined Lampre at the front, and Columbia followed suit. With 25 km remaining, the escapees led the peloton by 2:30.
Other teams joined the chase. Voss was dropped from the break with 25 km left, so Milram felt free to chase. Liquigas went to the front in support of Fabio Sabatini. The break's lead fell to 1:00 with 10 km left and 0:30 with four km remaining.
With 1.5 km to go and the bunch less than 0:10 behind the break, Arashiro attacked. He was caught, but he tried again with 300 m left. This time, Pineau passed him for his first victory in five years and the second stage win of this Giro for Quick Step.
In the overall, Nibali leads teammates Ivan Basso and Valerio Agnoli by 0:13 and 0:20. Stage 6 will be a hilly, 172-km ride from Fidanza to Carrara will feature the Passo del Cucco and the Foce di Ortonovo, which are 29 and eight km, respectively, from the uphill finish. It appears that another Great Escape is in the making. Check in at www.roadcycling.com to find out what happens.