Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) turned Tuesday’s third place in Caltagirone into victory in Santa Ninfa on Wednesday, winning stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia with strong sprint to the line after a steep climb to the final kilometre forced the overall contenders to dig deep yet again.
The Italian was unable to match Tim Wellens on Tuesday, but he had far more power and speed than Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) on the flat finish after teammate Domenico Pozzovivo tried to split the select peloton on the steep climb. Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) was third, Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) was fourth despite a late crash, and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was fifth.
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) finished 15th in the reduced front group of 42 riders and so retained the leader’s maglia rosa. defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) is second at one second back, with Yates third overall at 17 seconds.
Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was the big loser of the day. He crashed with five kilometres to go and lost 43 seconds, slipping to 39th overall at a distant 1:57.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) appeared to struggle to hold the wheels on the short, steep climb up to Santa Ninfa, but he finished 33rd in the same time as Battaglin. He is 19th overall at 55 seconds as the Giro d’Italia prepares to climb Mount Etna on Thursday.
Battaglin’s LottoNL-Jumbo teammates celebrated his win even before they reached the finish. It was his third stage victory at the Giro d’Italia after also winning in 2013 and 2014.
Another day in the Sicilian hills
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