Demare wins stage five of Giro as tough climb beats Cavendish and Ewan

Juan Pedro Lopez retains leader’s pink jersey he gained on Mount Etna

Arnaud Demare won stage five of the Giro d’Italia on a day when Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan were caught out on a climb and left unable to contest the sprint in Messina.

Groupama-FDJ won the battle for position going into the final corner and got their reward as their rider Demare held off Fernando Gaviria and Giacomo Nizzolo to take the win.

The sprint finish meant there were no major changes at the top of the general classification, with Juan Pedro Lopez retaining the leader's pink jersey he gained on Mount Etna on Tuesday.

Britain's Simon Yates remains fourth overall, one minute 42 seconds down and the best placed of the main favourites.


Victory was a repeat for Demare, who won a similar stage to this in the 2020 Giro. Just as happened then, the race split on the only categorised climb, the Portella Mandrazzi, midway through the 174km stage from Catania, with several sprinters put in trouble.

With the peloton around halfway up the 20km-long climb, Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix squad moved to the front and upped the pace, successfully distancing Cavendish, Ewan and, briefly at least, Demare himself.

Cavendish crossed the summit around three minutes behind the main pack with Ewan conceding five, but Demare limited his own losses and got back into the pack on the descent.

Gaviria, the main victim in 2020, held on this time but had to settle for second place at the finish.

Cavendish and Ewan kept up their own forlorn chases with the help of team-mates before giving it up with around 50km still remaining, deciding it was better to save energy for Thursday and another anticipated sprint in Scalea as the race moves to the Italian mainland.

“What can you do?” Cavendish said on Eurosport. “You’ve just to got to try. We were probably only about 30 seconds behind FDJ and had Caleb behind us. If we were all together we’d probably get back.

“We just had to give everything, the boys did everything. I’m so proud. In the end, what can you do?

“Of course you’re always disappointed but we knew that was going to happen today. It would have been a bonus if we could sprint, but we have to try. We’ll try again.”

At the end of the stage, two-time Giro winner and 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali, a native of Messina, told local media he plans to retire at the end of the season.

Leading Positions after Stage 5 (Catania-Messina 174km)

1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 4hrs 3mins 56secs, 2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates, 3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech, 4 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, 5 Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert, 6 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious,7 Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM,8 Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli, 9 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo, 10 Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis all at same time.

General Classification after Stage 5

1 Juan Pedro Lopez (Esp) Trek-Segafredo 18hrs 21mins 3secs, 2 Lennard Kamna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 39secs, 3 Rein Taaramae (Est) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert at 58, 4 Simon Yates (Gbr) Team BikeExchange-Jayco at 1min 42secs, 5 Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team at 1:47, 6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:55, 7 Joao Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:58, 8 Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious at 2:00, 9 Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:04, 10 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM at 2:06.