Thomas Escapes to Victory in Stage 5 at Giro d’Italia

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05/8/2024| 0 comments
Benjamin Thomas wins stage 5 of Giro d'Italia 2024
Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) has won stage 5 of Giro d'Italia 2024 ahead of Michael Valgren (EF Education-EasyPost) RCS Sport - LaPresse

Thomas Escapes to Victory in Stage 5 at Giro d’Italia

Benjamin Thomas has won stage 5 of Giro d’Italia 2024 in Genoa following a courageous breakaway effort. Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) remains main challenger to Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) who leads General Classification after today’s Giro d’Italia stage

Giro d’Italia race organizer had designed stage 5 of this year’s Giro as a 178-kilometer ride from Genova to Lucca. The stage included the Passo del Bracco climb (Category 3; 15.3 km; 4% incline) after approximately 50 kilometers of racing, plus a minor Category 4 climb of Montemagno twenty kilometers from the finish.

Genoa (Genova) is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria. It is the sixth-largest city in Italy. Including its vicinities, the city has 1.5 million inhabitants along the beautiful Italian Riviera. Architectural attractions worth a visit include the Piazza de Ferrari, the Palazzo San Georgio, and the Via Garibaldi. 

Lucca is situated in Tuscany and is known as the home of many professional cyclists. Its climate and geographic location make it an ideal location for cyclists to train from. Lucca is known as the City of Art (Citta d’Arte) because of its well-preserved historic city center and city walls from the Renaissance period. Lucca is also the birthplace of famous composors such as Luigi Boccherini, Giacomo Puccini, and Alfredo Catalani. 

A four-man breakaway group set out on a quest for stage success. The group featured Mattia Bais (Team Polti Kometa), Manuele Tarozzi (VF Group – Bardiani CSF - Faizane), Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ), and Berlin-native Simon Geschke (Cofidis), who is riding his last season as professional cyclist.

Soudal-QuickStep and Lidl-Trek riders were setting a fast pace in the peloton to keep the attackers on a tight leash. The front quartet was never allowed an advantage of more than two minutes.

Cofidis rider Harrison Wood tried his luck with 141 kilometers of racing remaining but was caught by the chasing peloton a couple of kilometers later.

Bais was the first of the breakaway quartet riders to enter the Passo del Bracco climb (category 3; 15.3 km; 4%).

The breakaway was caught with 110 kilometers left. Alas, no great result for Germany’s Geschke in his final season. Hopefully he will have more success in later stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Sprinters Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep), Caleb Ewan (Team Jayco-Alula) and Movistar’s Fernando Gaviria had been dropped from the peloton on the climb but reemerged at the front of the peloton after a fast descent by the riders who were hoping to take a sprint victory at the finish of today’s stage 5. Other sprinters such as Fabio Jakobsen and Julius van den Berg from Team DSM-Firmenich-PostNL were still caught behind the peloton.

Eighty kilometers from the finish line, European Champion Christophe Laporte (Team Visma – Lease a Bike) crashed during an intermediate sprint after hitting a pothole in the road while reprimanding another rider and being distracted. Attention s’il vous plait Monsieur Laporte.

Soudal-QuickStep and Lidl-Trek riders continued their hard work for their respective sprinters following the intermediate sprint that was won by Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ahead of Olav Kooij (Team Visma-Lease a Bike) and Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek).

A new attempt to establish a breakaway was launched with 77 kilometers left of today’s stage 5 of Giro d’Italia 2024. Michael Valgren (EF Education-EasyPost), Benjamin Thomas (Team Cofidis), Andrea Pietrobon (Team Polti Kometa), and Enzo Paleni (Groupama-FDJ) were the optimists. The group fought their way to a one-minute lead over the peloton with 24 kilometers left of the stage.

The sprinter teams fought hard at the front of the peloton to reel in the escapists, but they still had a 51 second lead with 14 kilometer left.

It appeared the breakaway group was in luck. The peloton was struggling to take time on the breakaway riders. Seven kilometers remained for the attackers, and they still had a lead of 43 seconds.

Would the breakaway succeed and be lucky in Lucca?

The front quartet reached Lucca and were preparing for the final attacks and a sprint in the streets of Lucca. The main peloton had been tricked by the courageous quartet.

Pietrobon attacked in the final kilometer. He delivered a very strong performance.

Valgren countered and reeled in the Italian trickster, who hadn’t taken part in the hard work in the final kilometers. But it was Benjamin Thomas who was the fastest man and moved past the Great Dane in the final meters.

Benjamin Thomas won stage 5 ahead of Michael Valgreen and Andrea Pietrobon.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains general classification leader. The Sovenian rider has a 46 second advantage over Welshman Geraint Thomas of Ineos-Grenadiers. Daniel Martinez is in third for Bora-Hansgrohe.

Stay tuned to for complete race coverage from Giro d’Italia 2024.

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