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Tour de France: Sagan unstoppable on Stage 5 to Colmar

Joe Robinson
10 Jul 2019

Three-time World Champion too strong in final sprint as Van Aert takes impressive second

Peter Sagan dominated the sprint finish into Comar to take victory in Stage 5 of the Tour de France.

The Slovakian left it until the final 150m to launch his sprint eventually beating Jumbo Visma's Wout van Aert into second and Matteo Trentin of Mitchelton-Scott into third.

The sprint was initially led out by Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven, who was the first to launch for the line, however he eventually faded to ninth as Michael Matthews failed to take advantage of Team Sunweb's worth as he only managed seventh in the bunch kick.

As for the General Classification, Julian Alaphilppe rolled in 10th on the stage to retain his yellow jersey meaning will head into the race's first mountain stage to Les Planche des Belle Filles tomorrow in the race lead.

Run to the hills

After a day built for the sprinters into Nancy, Stage 5 of the Tour de France was tailor-made for the punchuers.

It was 175km running from Saint-die-des-Vosges to Colmar with four categorised climbs on the menu.

Most notable of the lot was that of the Cote de Cing Chateaux, the day's last climb, a category 3 that lasted for 4.6km at 6.1%. It also came 20km from the finish, therefore, presenting a perfect launchpad for any brave attackers.

Talking of attackers, it was also a stage that could suit a breakaway, hence the big fight at the beginning of the day to join its composition.

Despite the best efforts of Thomas de Gendt, he was unable to make it stick but his teammate Tim Wellens was. He was joined by Madz Wurtz Schmidt, Toms Skujins and Simon Clarke who formed the WorldTour-only break for the day.

They worked well together but never forged much of a gap and by 75km left to go had been pegged back to just over two minutes on the road.

As the real climbing started in the final 40km, the true sprinters began to fade away such as Dylan Groenewegen and Elia Viviani, finding themselves dropped into the gruppetto.

Also fading away were some of the break members. Skujins attacked first which put Schmidt in trouble and then Wellens and Clarke. Before long, the Trek-Segafredo's Latvian champion was out the front all alone ahead of the day's last climb, although this did not last long.

Team Sunweb set the pace for Michael Matthews, one of the day's favourites, which slowly whittled the group down and eventually saw Skujins absorbed just before the summit of the Cing Chateaux and the entire bunch got to the base of the bunch safely, too.

Rui Costa attacked late into the stage which caused an increase in the pace and further shedding of the peloton and was only caught in the final 2km as the small bunch took over and jostled it out for the stage win.