Hindley Conquers Mountains to Win Stage 5 of Tour de France

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07/5/2023| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com
Australian Jai Hindley crosses the finish line as winner of stage 5 of Tour de France 2023
Jai Hindley has won stage 5 of Tour de France 2023 for Team Bora-Hansgrohe A.S.O.

Hindley Conquers Mountains to Win Stage 5 of Tour de France

Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) has won stage 5 of Tour de France 2023 and taken the general classification lead; Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard has gained valuable seconds on Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) in the GC.

Pau welcomed the 2023 Tour de France peloton for the start of stage 5. The 162.7-kilometer route took the riders through mountainous terrain that included one Hors Categorie climb (Above category), one Category 1 climb, and an easier Category 3 climb.

The riders would have to challenge the Col de Soudet (HC, 15.2 km, 7% incline) before descending into the valley. The riders would then face the Col d’Ichere (C3, 4.2 km, 6.2% incline). With approximately thirty kilometers left of the stage the peloton would meet the final uphill challenge of the day - the Col de Marie Blanque (C1, 7.8 km, 8.4% incline) before descending into the finish town of Laruns.

TotalEnergies’ Pierre Latour was one of the first riders to attack following the start of the stage. He quickly built a lead of eleven seconds, while other riders were trying to bridge the gap from the main peloton. Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu Van der Poel launched an attack, while Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose crashed in the middle of the peloton and was brought back by two loyal teammates. Neilson Powless tried his luck for EF Education-EasyPost while Latour increased his lead to twenty-four seconds. His attack was later neutralized.

Multiple attempts were made at forming a new and viable breakaway group while the speed was very high in the peloton. Eventually a three-man group featuring Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) broke away from the peloton. Some to gain points in the intermediate sprint for the points classification, others to become valuable support posts for their team leaders later in the stage.

Behind the front group a larger group formed that featured more than thirty riders. The group included notable riders such as Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost), Daniel Martinez (Ineos-Grenadiers), Felix Grossschartner (UAE Team Emirates), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), and Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek).

After securing points for the points classification, Pedersen decided to wait for the main peloton, while fellow compatriots Campenaerts and Van Aert soldiered on. The duo built a lead of more than three minutes over the main peloton where general classification favorites such as Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard were located. The larger breakaway group was twenty-five seconds behind the front duo with eighty kilometers left of the stage while the cyclists were climbing Col du Soudet – the first Hors Categorie climb of Tour de France 2023.

The two front groups merged on the Col du Soudet and a small group fought in front in pursuit of the points for the best climber classification. Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroen) looked strong. He accelerated and soloed to the top of the climb. Behind him Hindley, Ciccone, Van Aert and Campenaerts were chasing. Martinez was second across the top, while Ciccone crossed the peak immediately behind him. A dangerous and foggy descent now awaited the riders in the breakaway, while UAE Team Emirates were leading the main peloton up the climb. The front group now had an advantage of more than four minutes.

On the descent from the Category 3 Col d’Ichere a front group featuring Alaphilippe, van Aert and Krists Neilandts (Israel-PremierTech) was formed. The group built an advantage of twenty seconds over the chasers that included Hindley, Uran, Benoot, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Chaves and others.

The riders at the front entered the final climb of the day – the Col de Marie Blanque (Category 1) - with an advantage of twenty-four seconds over the group of chasers and 03:10 minutes over the main peloton. 

Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) set a fast and excruciating pace as he led the main peloton onto the Col de Marie Blanque climb.

At the front Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroen), Martinez, Hindley, Buchmann, Ciccone were fighting to keep chasers such as van Aert, Madouas, Alaphilippe and Benoot at bay. Hindlay and Gall launched their attacks and formed a front duo. The duo built a 56 second lead on the chasers.

Hindley accelerated and left Gall behind. He now had one kilometer left of the climb – before entering the dangerous descent. Gall continued his chase, while a quartet featuring Martinez, Jack Haig, Buchmann and Ciccone was a minute behind the leader.

Meanwhile, defending Tour de France Champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) attacked from the main peloton. UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar countered but was unable to follow Vingegaard at first.  

Hindley was first across the top of the Marie Blanque while Gall continued his chase. 

Vingegaard crossed the top approximately one minute later. He was taking valuable time on Pogacar. Pogacar reached the top 38 seconds later closely marked by Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma). 

With seven kilometers left of the stage Hindley was in front with a fifty second lead, Gall was caught by Vingegaard, Ciccone and Buchmann, while Pogacar was approximately one minute behind the Vingegaard group.

Hindley crossed the finish line as winner of stage 5 of Tour de France 2023. Ciccone finished second, while Gall completed the stage podium. Vingegaard was fifth across the finish line, 34 seconds behind the winner. Pogacar fought hard, but had to settle for eighth, 01:38 behind the stage winner.

“I was just improvising out there and enjoying some bike racing. Winning this stage and taking the yellow jersey is really incredible and I have no words,” Hindley told Roadcycling.com shortly after the finish.

While Hindley took the yellow jersey and is the new overall leader of Tour de France 2023, Vingegaard gained valuable time on Pogacar in the general classification. Vingegaard is now second in the GC, 47 seconds behind Hindley, while Pogacar is sixth, 01:40 minutes behind the leader.

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Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for complete coverage from Tour de France 2023.

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