Andre Griepel (Lotto-Soudal) won the stage 5 Giro d’Italia sprint into Benevento ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF). Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) retained the pink leader’s jersey.
For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka it would not be the best of days as our African Team lost Omar Fraile (pictured above), when the Basque rider had to abandon after 100km’s of today’s stage. Fraile crashed heavily during yesterday’s stage but was still able to finish. Overnight though, the young climber picked up a fever and was not able to keep any fluid down. He started today’s stage with the hope of nursing through to the finish but a really fast start meant this would not be possible and unfortunately he had no choice but to stop at the feedzone.
The stage went on though and it was 4 riders who animated the 230km stage today by making the break of the day. While the stage was by no means flat, the sprinters teams were intent on bringing the race back together for a bunch sprint. This scenario would eventually materialize as with 10km to go, the race was all together.
Once again our African Team was focused on delivering Kristian Sbaragli to the sprint as the final 1.5km suited our young Italian, being a slightly uphill pave surface. Sbaragli was well positioned going onto the pave but with no team really taking control of the leadout there was a slight lull in the pace which saw a number of riders swamp to the front before a left hand turn with 1km to go. Sbaragli was boxed in, lost position quickly and then there was also a crash in the corner.
The sprint then opened up and Sbaragli found himself having to come from around position 20 when before the final corner he was 8th wheel. In the end our Italian had to settle for 11th place on the stage.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
We have to start with the bad news of the day, Omar stopped today. He had a bad night after he crashed yesterday. He threw up a couple of times in the evening and a couple of times during the race. He was feeling dizzy and had a headache, he really wasn’t feeling well and you could see he was completely empty so he stopped in the feedzone. It’s always a bad thing when you lose a rider in a grand tour, and more so when it is early on so we are sad to see him go. Then we went for Kristian in the sprint. He had a good position but was in the middle of the road. Some riders went past him on the left and others on the right, then he was too far back before the last corner. There was also a crash which he was behind, it didn’t help the situation so it wasn’t the result we were expecting from today.