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Giro d'Italia 2019: Pascal Ackermann wins wet and wild sprint on Stage 5

Pascal Ackermann won the sprint for stage honours, but due to the weather the GC times were taken at the 10km mark. Photo: RCS/Giro d'Italia

Jack Elton-Walters
15 May 2019

Pascal Ackermann won Stage 5 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish that did not have any influence on the overall General Classification. Ackermann was the strongest in the sprint and also timed his effort the best to take his second stage win of the race, and further his lead in the points classification.

The joy shown by Ackermann and his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates when he takes a stage makes the win all the better.

The time for the GC was neutralised at the first time across the finish line, with 10km still to race, due to particularly foul weather and treacherous road conditions throughout the whole day of racing.

The sprinters were left to fight for stage honours while the GC contenders and their teams kept out the way. Following Ackermann over the line was Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates), who'd gone first but couldn't hold off the late surge of the big German.

As a result of the effective total neutralisation for the pink jersey, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) remains in the race lead and the rest of the top 10 behind him is unchanged.

Giro d'Italia 2019 Stage 5: Goodnight Mr Tom, see you in July?

The big news of the day was that 2017 overall winner and fan favourite Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) abandoned the race within the first two kilometres.

The injuries he picked up on the previous stage, most notably damage to his left knee, proved too painful for him to continue. His chances in the GC, barring a performance like Froome's last year, looked to be over anyway as he lost four minutes limping to the line on Stage 4.

All being well, Dumoulin will make a full recovery ahead of the Tour de France and challenge the control of Team Ineos on cycling's biggest race.

Dumoulin's teammate Louis Vervaeke tried to give the team's clouds a silver lining by getting in the day's breakaway, where he was joined by Miguel Florez (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec), Enrico Barbin & Umberto Orsini (Bardiani-CSF), and Ivan Santaromita (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane).

Vervaeke attacked his companions to gain maximum points on the only classified climb of the day (there could have been two others earlier in the day) and then pushed on solo with around 52km to go to the final finish line.

Despite their efforts, not one of the riders out front was going to be allowed to go all the way to the finish line. UAE-Team Emirates, in their ill-fitting rain jackets, monitored the front of the peloton and brought Veraeke's lonely lead down to 11 seconds with 23.5km to go.

At this point the Belgian sat up and knew his day was done. Small consolation for losing their team leader, but at least Team Sunweb get some telly time and a few KOM points.

The first time across the finish line, when the GC time gaps were taken, gave the peloton and spectators a preview of the finishing straight and it's masses of puddles and standing water. Roglic was second across the line behind a teammate, knowing all he had to do now was keep the pedals turning for the local lap and his lead in the race would be confirmed for another day.

The front group instantly thinned as anyone not wanting to get involved in the triathlon that the sprint looked likely to be sat up and formed a rare grupetto. Rare because it contained everyone with any hope of winning this race overall.

The 10km local lap was all for the sprinters' trains.