Pascal Ackermann powers to second stage win in Giro d’Italia
Bora-Hansgrohe rider pips Fernando Gaviria on the line after mastering wet conditions
Pascal Ackermann (R) powered to victory in stage five of the Giro D’Italia. Photograph: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty
German national champion Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) proved best on Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia, blasting home ahead of Fernando Gaviria after the UAE Team Emirates rider started his sprint too soon. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) took third and fourth in the bunch gallop.
“Today was one of these days in which I wondered why am I a cyclist,” he said, referring to difficult weather conditions in the rain. “It was cold. I’m in a good shape and there are more sprints to come, plus the intermediate sprints if needed, but for sure I’ll try and win the cyclamen [POINTS]jersey.”
Ackermann also won stage two and his pair of victories has relieved the pressure he was under heading into the race. His Bora-Hansgrohe team had controversially selected him instead of Ireland’s Sam Bennett, who notched up three stage wins last year. The fact that both the team and Ackerman are German was seen as the reason for that decision, but his successes thus far have lessened the scrutiny over that move. It remains to be seen if Bennett will remain with the team after this season; he has taken six wins thus far this year, is arguably the world’s fastest sprinter but feels he is not being given the opportunities he deserves.
Irish duo Conor Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy) and Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) both finished in the same time as Ackermann, rolling in 58th and 82nd respectively. Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) continues to lead Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) by 35 seconds in the overall standings, while Dunbar is 8 minutes 35 seconds back in 96th. Dunne is 162nd.
The stage from Frascati to Terracina was marked by the withdrawal of 2017 Giro champion Tom Dumoulin. The Dutch Team Sunweb rider crashed heavily on Tuesday’s stage and while X-rays ruled out any fracture, he was unable to complete Wednesday’s stage due to acute knee pain.
“I came here for a three week adventure and I wanted to finish it,” he said. “I’m not ready to go home. I went on the trainer this morning in my room and it was actually kind of ok, but when I stood up on the pedals my knee was really sore. I also tried it seated but that didn’t work either - I could spin the legs but not race.
“For me it’s terrible. Months and weeks of preparation and dedication went into this Giro and in one moment it’s over. I don’t know how bad the injury is, we only know that nothing is broken and it will probably just be swollen for a few days, but we have to see. For now I will just rest and see how it goes.”
Giro d’Italia, Italy (WorldTour)
Stage 5, Frascati - Terracina: 1, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 140 kilometres in 3 hours 15 mins 44 secs; 2, F. Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates); 3, A. Demare (Groupama-FDJ); 4, C. Ewan (Lotto Soudal); 5, M. Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo); 6, R. Gibbons (Dimension Data) all same time
Irish: 58, C. Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy); 82, E. Dunbar (Team Ineos) both same time
General classification after stage 4: 1, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 19 hours 35 mins 4 secs; 2, S. Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at
35 secs; 3, V. Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) at 39 secs; 4, M. Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) at 44 secs; 5, D. Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) same time; 6, R. Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 49 secs
Irish: 96, E. Dunbar (Team Ineos) at 8 mins 35 secs; 162, C. Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy) at 29 mins 15 secs
Points Classification: 1, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 121 pts; 2, F. Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 93; 3, A. Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 86
Mountains classification: 1, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 24 pts; 2, F. Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale) 6; 3, M. Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 4
Young rider classification: 1, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 19 hours 35 mins 48 secs; 2, H. Carthy (EF Education First) at 32 secs; 3, P. Sivakov (Team Ineos) at 40 secs
Irish: 23, E. Dunbar (Team Ineos) at 7 mins 51 secs