Defending champion, Pogačar, started strongly and continued to hammer the pace around the course to beat European champion, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) to the stage win.
But, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) defies the odds to keep the yellow jersey for another day with Pogačar moving up to second overall.
The day saw young Dane, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) lead for most of the day as he went off very early and held onto the lead of the race until Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) came through.
That didn't last long with Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) smashing the lead time from Cattaneo, putting 36 seconds into him. Pogačar was the dominant force in the end though by 19 seconds.
How it happened
The fifth stage of the Tour de France was the first test against the clock between Change and Laval over 27.2km.
The day started dry with one of the earliest riders, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) putting in a very strong time of 33-01, which held into the lead for quite some time.
One of the pre-race favourites, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) had a few sketchy moments in the rain and it saw him finish 21 seconds down. He did slot into second place before team-mate Magnus Cort came in and missed out on the lead by just six seconds.
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) crashed in the early stages on one of the corners and ended up finishing over five minutes down.
Fortunately for some riders the roads then dried up again just in time for one of the biggest names in the time trial, Küng set off on his ride and multiple other rider’s times started to get faster.
Cattaneo was the next man to take the lead and he took the throne by six seconds over Bjerg. But Küng was flying around the course and leading at every intermediate split.
And the European champion, Küng, flew through the final few kilometres and took the lead by 36 seconds over Cattaneo.
But Kung wasn’t going to have it all his own way as riders such as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Kasper Asgreen (Dececuninck - Quick-Step), Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Pogačar and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) all setting off in the final 25 riders on the day.
And immediately it showed to be the case that these riders would challenge. Asgreen and Vingegaard both beating Kung at the first split with Roglič just a bit behind.
Vingegaard did lose time at the second split to Küng. Asgreen also lost quite a bit in the middle part of the course with the Danish national champion slipping to 17 seconds down. Both missed out on the top step as Küng continued to lead after his first major tests.
Roglič put in a superb ride too, slotting him in fourth when he crossed the line. He seemed to have put his injuries behind him. Whereas, Thomas seemed to still be struggling as the Welshman lost 59 seconds.
But it all turned out to be about the defending champion, Pogačar and the yellow jersey of Van der Poel as they seemed head and shoulders above the rest.
It was Pogačar who came out on top just ahead of Küng with Vingegaard holding onto third ahead of Van Aert and Van der Poel.
Van der Poel did manage to hold onto the overall lead by eight seconds but now ahead of Pogačar instead of Alaphilippe.
Stage six is back to the sprinters and a possible 32nd win by Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) potentially on the cards. Tours to Chäteauroux on a pan flat 160.6km route as Van der Poel will likely have another day safe in yellow.
Tour de France 2021 stage five, Changé to Laval (27.2km)
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 32-00
2. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 19s
3. Jona Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 27
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-VIsma, at 30s
5. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, at 31s
6. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 37s
7. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 44s
8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 55s
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, at sametime
10. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 1-00
13. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-08
14. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 1-11
16. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-18
23. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-44
26. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 1-49
27. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
44. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-14
51. Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkéa-Samsic, at 2-36.
General classification after stage five
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, in 16-51-41
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 8s
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 30s
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 48s
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 1-21
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) Team TotalEnergies, at 1-28
7. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-29
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-43
9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-44
10. Primož Roglič (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-48.
12. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-54
13. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-56
14. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 1-58
17. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-35
18. Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkéa-Samsic, at 2-45.
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