Frenchman Benjamin Thomas takes the 5th stage of the Giro, first victory for Cofidis this season

Frenchman Benjamin Thomas takes the 5th stage of the Giro, first victory for Cofidis this season
Frenchman Benjamin Thomas takes the 5th stage of the Giro, first victory for Cofidis this season

Surprise. This fifth stage, promised to the sprinters, finally smiled on the escapees. Coming out less than 80 kilometers from the finish, Michael Valgren (EF Education – Easy Post), Andrea Pietrobon (Polti Kometa) and the French Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) and Enzo Paleni (Groupama-FDJ) competed for victory in the sprint . In this game, it was Tarnais Benjamin Thomas who was the fastest. This is the first victory of his career on a Grand Tour and the first success for Cédric Vasseur’s team in 2024.

Thomas took advantage of the sprint launched from (too) far away by the Dane Michael Valgren, who crossed the finish line in second place ahead of the Italian Andrea Pietrobon, who had gone all out in the last kilometer. The young Enzo Paleni (22 years old) placed fourth. Behind, Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) settled the peloton sprint, ahead of – in order – Caleb Ewan (Jayco AlUla), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) and Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step).

Christophe Laporte fell

This fifth stage was marked by several falls, notably that of European champion Christophe Laporte (Visma-Lease a Bike), before the intermediate sprint at Ceparana located nearly 80 kilometers from the finish. At that time, there was no escape and it was difficult to imagine such an outcome.

The first part of the stage, hilly, had worn out the big thighs of the peloton and sprinters such as Tim Merlier, Caleb Ewan and Fabio Jakobsen (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) were afraid of not being able to take part in the final sprint, abandoned in the Passo del Bracco. An ascent, classified in 3rd category, swallowed at high speed under the leadership of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team, which worked very (too?) early for its Australian sprinter Kaden Groves. Without success, the sprinters left having joined up a few kilometers later.

Present within the peloton, the Pink Jersey Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) was able to avoid the pitfalls of this fifth round of the Tour of Italy, 178 km long, to arrive safe and sound in Lucca. The Slovenian still has a 46-second lead over his British runner-up, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).

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