Ryan Mullen attacks on fifth stage of Giro d’Italia

Enrico Battaglin beats fellow Italian Giovanni Visconti to the line in Santa Ninfa

Irish cyclist Ryan Mullen went on the attack on Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia, going clear as part of a four-man break soon after the start in Agrigento. Together with his Trek-Segafredo teammate Laurent Didier, Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), the group built a lead of 5½ minutes over the peloton.

Although Mullen is not a climber, he finished first on the day’s first two primes and was also second and third in intermediate sprints. The break was eventually hauled back inside the final hour of racing, with Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) beating his fellow Italian Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) to the line in Santa Ninfa.

Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team) also finished in the 43-rider lead group, rolling in 38th. Mullen ended up over five minutes back in 102nd, with San Bennett keeping his powder dry for the sprint stages and taking 168th.

Australian Rohan Dennis managed to weather the storm to hold on to the pink jersey in Sicily ahead of Thursday’s mountain stage to Mount Etna.