Giro d'Italia: Pineau takes stage 5 as the peloton gets it wrong
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Pineau takes stage 5 as the peloton gets it wrong

by Ben Atkins at 11:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
Break defies the sprinters

Jerome PineauJérôme Pineau (Quick Step) won stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia between Novara and Novi Ligure from a breakaway that managed to hold off the sprinters’ teams right to the line. Quick Step’s “other Frenchman” took the Belgain team’s second stage of the race so far, beating fellow escapees Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) and Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouyges Telecom) into second and third respectively. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) led the peloton home right on the trio’s heels.

The route of stage 5 paid homage to Italian legend Fausto Coppi, who died 50 years ago this year. Il Campionissimo started his working life in a butchers shop in the finish town of Novi Ligure and the course passed through his home village of Castellania on the way. Usually tributes to Coppi involve high mountains but this stage featured just two small climbs in its middle part.

After around 20km Arashiro managed to escape and was quickly joined by Pineau, Fouchard and Paul Voss (Milram). Voss was wearing the green mountains competition jersey and was looking for points on the two climbs to secure it further. With Fouchard the best placed overall, 11’04” behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo), the quartet was allowed to build a lead of 5’20” in the next 20km before the sprinters teams began to pull them back.

With the Garmin-Transitions, Lampre-Farnese Vini and HTC-Columbia teams leading the peloton behind the breakaway Voss took the maximum points on both climbs, making sure he keeps the jersey for another day. At the second climb, the “Passo Coppi” in Castellania, the lead was still 3’57” with 50km to go.

More and more sprinters’ teams lent their support to the front of the peloton, but were anxious not to pull back the break too soon and allow for counterattacks. The lead tumbled steadily but with the foursome working well together and the twisty nature of the small country roads it still looked possible that they might stay away. With just over 25km to go though, as the leaders climbed a small rise to the village of Gavi, Voss could stay with them no longer; leaving just three men to hold off the peloton.

With Voss caught and dropped by the peloton the Milram team joined the chase up front. Once more though, the cohesion of the leading trio and the narrow village streets meant that the gap would only come down slowly. At 25km the gap had been 2’45”, at 20km it was 2’18”, while at 15km it was still 1’25”; with the general principle being that a peloton could hope to close down a minute per 10km it was going to be touch and go.

At 10km the gap was 58 seconds and by 5km it was still 30, it looked to be advantage peloton at this point though as Team Sky came to the front on the wide straight roads into town. In the final 2km the peloton had the leaders in sight and, with the other two looking over their shoulders, Pineau seemed to be the only one still trying to stay away. Just before the flamme rouge marking the final kilometre though, Arashiro attacked.

The Japanese rider was unable to distance Pineau who latched onto his wheel and, with Fouchard just behind them they entered the twisty finishing straight. Even at this late stage it seemed certain that the peloton would catch them before the finish; in the final 200m though, Pineau launched himself at the line, managing to hold off Fouchard and an exhausted Arashiro. Farrar led the disappointed sprinters home 4 seconds later.

Nibali finished safely inside the peloton, along with all the other overall favourites, and so the classification remains unchanged.

Result stage 5
1. Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step
2. Julien Fouchard (Cofidis
3. Yukiya Arashiro (Bbox Bouyges Telecom
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions @ 4s
5. Greg Henderson (Aus) Team Sky
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
7. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
8. André Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
9. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank
10. Willian Bonnet (Fra) BBox Bouyges Telecom

Standngs after stage 5
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
2. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 13s
3. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 20s
4. André Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia @ 26s
5. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia @ 26s


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