Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) put in a formidable ride on stage five of the 2020 Giro d’Italia to take his second victory of the race.
The Italian, winner of the opening time trial on stage one, attacked from the remaining breakaway riders on the final climb of the stage, having ridden in a break for most of the stage.
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Such was the power of his effort, that his attack with 17km gave him an advantage of over a minute on the chasers with 13km to go. Those two remaining chasers, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Einer Rubio (Movistar), were soon caught by the peloton, who trailed Ganna by 1-05 over the top of the climb with 11.4km to the finish.
Ganna was able to hold an advantage of around 50 seconds on the peloton, led by Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), down the descent and never looked like ceding his advantage as he clicked into time trial mode to power to the finish.
He entered the final kilometre with 39 seconds and had time to spare as he celebrated across the line to take the stage victory.
João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) held on to the race lead after sticking to the overall contenders to the finish, extending his lead by four seconds thanks to taking third on the stage. The biggest change in GC sees Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) drop out of second place and the top-10, with Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) now in second place at 43 seconds.
How it happened
Stage five of the 2020 Giro d’Italia saw a return to the mountains for the peloton as they moved from Sicily to the Italian mainland, with a monster 22.7km climb to come just before the finish on the long 225km stage.
The route from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano featured two category three climbs, but the action would surely come on the category one Valico di Montescuro (22.7km, 5.8 per cent) which topped out just 11.6km from the finish, with a short descent and run-in to the line.
The race began at a frantic pace with numerous riders trying to make it into the day’s breakaway, the most active of those Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
It took until around 150km to go for a break group to really settle, with Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni Giocatolli), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-McLaren), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Filippo Ganna and Salvatore Puccio (both Ineos), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), and Edoardo Zardini (Vini Zabu-KTM) getting away and building to a maximum gap of around five minutes.
The gap remained fairly healthy at well over two minutes as they hit the final climb with 36km to go. But the efforts of the day began to take their toll as riders dropped away.
With 28km remaining, Thomas De Gendt made a move from the peloton to try and catch the remaining breakaway riders, taking Einer Rubio with him.
Only Ganna, Carretero and Zardini remained out front, and were gradually being closed down by the two chasers as the kilometres ticked away.
With 22km remaining, second place overall Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) was dropped out of the peloton as Trek-Segafredo now pushed the pace with just 1-30 to the break.
Ahead, Carretero tried attacking with Ganna pulling him back, as De Gendt and Rubio made the bridge. That joining up with 19km to go saw Rubio immediately attack having sat on De Gendt’s wheel up the climb, but he couldn’t shake the Belgian and it was back together with Ganna; Carretero and Zardini now dropped.
With 1-02, back to the bunch, it was Ganna the next to attack, with neither Rubio nor De Gendt able to follow the powerhouse up the final kilometres of the climb.
Ganna quickly put in a gap of a minute to the two chasers, who were eventually caught by the bunch with 12.5km to go.
It was an advantage of 1-05 over the top of the climb in the mist for Ganna, who looked like he wouldn’t be caught now.
Behind, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was distanced towards the top of the climb, with around 10 seconds to the back of the peloton.
The gap on the descent came down to 50 seconds thanks to Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) leading the chase, but there was nothing they could do to prevent Ganna from soloing to victory.
Yates was able to make it back to the peloton on the descent, with the GC contenders heading into the finish for the final bonus seconds available.
Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) was able to take second place and the six bonus points, while João Almeida was able to extend his overall lead as he sprinted to third place and the four bonus seconds.
The Giro d’Italia continues with stage six on Thursday, a 188km route from Castrovillari to Matera.
Giro d’Italia 2020, stage five: Mileto to Camigliatello Silano (225km)
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, in 5-59-17
2. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 34 seconds
3. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
5. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb
7. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
8. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
10. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, all at same time
General classification after stage five
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, in 17-06-23
2. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 43 seconds
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 48s
4. Harm Vanhoecke (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 59s
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-01
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling, at 1-05
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 1-19
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-21
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-26
10. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-32