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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical. - Arthur C. Clarke

Tour de France: the Inside Story

Current racing:

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Latest completed racing:

Pavel Sivakov withdraws from Giro after suffering shoulder injury

Here’s the update from Sivakov’s Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Pavel Sivakov suffered the injury after crashing in the closing stages in Cattolica, with a post-race x-ray revealing the extent of the damage.

INEOS Grenadiers Doctor Derick Macleod said: "Pavel has unfortunately landed heavily on his shoulder and damaged a plate he had in his clavicle from a previous injury, so he will need surgery to fix this and we are planning specialist orthopaedic assessment as soon as possible.

Pavel Sivakov

Pavel Sivakov earlier this year at the Tour of the Alps. Sirotti photo

Sport Director Matteo Tosatto said: "Today is a bad day for us because Pavel had a big crash with 15km to go. There were a lot of small towns and roads, then when he crashed he immediately felt pain.

"He finished the stage, but in the end after the check in hospital they found a fracture in his collarbone, and he's abandoned the race. Pavel had an important role, he was the second leader for GC, and a key support rider for Egan in the mountains.

"Now it's important that the other guys stay strong because of having one guy less, but at the same time it's important to support each other and stay positive. It's difficult, but it's important to stay positive."

François Bidard fractures left clavicle in Giro stage five

Here’s the short note from Bidard’s Ag2r-Citroën team

François Bidard fell with just 4 kilometers to go before the finish of the 5th stage of the Giro d’Italia in Cattolica. “X-Rays performed after the finish revealed a fracture of the left clavicle. Upon his return to France, François will undergo additional examinations in order to determine the best treatment for the fracture,” Dr.Fabien Cardinale, doctor for the AG2R Citroën team, explained.


Bedard racing back in 2016. Sirotti photo

Giro d'Italia stage five team reports:

We posted the report from fourth-place Peter Sagan's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results.

Here's the Giro organizer's stage five report:

Victory for Caleb Ewan, second place for Giacomo Nizzolo, crashes for Pavel Sivakov, Mikel Landa and Joe Dombrowski, and a series of memorable moments.
Three moments.

Caleb Ewan

Caleb Ewan takes the Giro's fifth stage.

Bologna, kilometre 35: 4’40” behind the leaders, the Eolo-Kometa rider Lorenzo Fortunato, born in Bologna on 5 September 1996, a stagiaire with Tinkoff in 2016 and with Bardiani in 2017, talks to the Maglia Rosa Alessandro De Marchi, and is granted permission to ride into into the empty city streets ahead of the peloton. For 3.5 km, he waves to the crowds and receives their cheers.

Savignano sul Rubicone, km 136: by winning the second intermediate sprint, Simon Pellaud stands to replace his teammate Tagliani at the head of two classifications, the Traguardi Volanti and Premio della Combattivitá standings. He is poised on the wheel of his breakaway companion Davide Gabburo, and, just before the sprint line… he turns to the camera and smiles. Simon has already visited the podium. Why not let a team-mate to the same?

Rimini, km 153: the Maglia Rosa is moving to the front of the peloton to being working for his sprinter, Davide Cimolai, 2nd in stage 3. The Spanish national champion Luís León Sánchez looks over, sees the jersey, reaches out an arm and helps him through, with a smile.

It is impossible, for me, at least, not watch these minor episodes, of virtually no sporting significance, without feeling slightly uplifted.

Just inside 16 km to go, the motorbike regulator waved the red flag to warn the riders of a coming hazard. As the paced slackened, the peloton bunched, veered left, and Pavel Sivakov was forced into the roadside greenery and performed a somersault, landing on his back. It recalled his crash on stage one of his much-awaited debut Tour de France.

Just inside 5 km, the marshal waved an orange pennant to warn the riders of a traffic island. One rider hits him full on, then careered across the road. François Bidard, the Maglia Azzurra Joe Dombrowski, and Mikel Landa, end up on the ground. Landa’s Giro ends there and then.

It is impossible to see these incidents without wincing.

With 200 metres to go, Giacomo Nizzolo flies past Elia Viviani and the other sprinters and hits the front. Fifteen times in the top three at the Giro, but never a stage winner, it seems to be his moment. But the voracious Caleb Ewan somehow finds the strength and speed to draw level, and ease past, to win by half a bike length.

A sporting moment, at last: yet it is hard not to feel more for Giacomo, second yet again, than for Caleb, yet again first.

And this is the paradox that today’s stage teaches us so starkly. So much of what sport is about is not about sport.

Here's the report from stage winner Caleb Ewan's Lotto Soudal team:

Caleb Ewan has won the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia after a powerful sprint delivered him the victory in Cattolica. In the much anticipated bunch sprint, the 26-year-old Australian proved to be the fastest and beat Italians Nizzolo and Viviani. Exactly four years after his first, Caleb Ewan sprinted to his fourth ever Giro stage win.

Caleb Ewan

Caleb Ewan enjoys his stage win. Sirotti photo

“After the disappointment of missing out on the first sprint opportunity, this victory gives me great satisfaction”, Caleb Ewan said. “There was quite some pressure on myself and the team to get a good result today, so this win kind of feels like a relief. I wanted it so badly and to finish off the superb teamwork really is a great feeling. In my mission to win a stage in every Grand Tour this year, I can now tick off a stage at the Giro. But of course, I’m always hungry for more. This gives me and the whole team a confidence boost for the stages to come.”

With a pan-flat stage between Modena and Cattolica, a second opportunity for the sprinters was written in the stars. After a day of straight roads, a rather tricky and technical final followed at the end of stage five of the Giro d’Italia. Caleb Ewan was kept at the front of the peloton by his Lotto Soudal teammates and stayed out of trouble in a finale which saw some riders hit the deck.

Caleb Ewan: “The final twenty kilometres were quite technical with a lot of roundabouts and narrow roads. But my teammates really did a great job and always kept me in the best position possible. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to start the sprint so fresh. We knew we had to be in front and both Jasper and Roger guided me perfectly through the many corners. That way, I could save a lot of energy towards the final sprint, which ensured that I could launch my sprint, still feeling quite fresh. Such technical finals really suit me.”

In the sprint, Caleb Ewan seemed to get boxed in for a moment, but eventually the Australian made his way out and launched a powerful acceleration to take glory and his fourth stage win at the Giro.

“As he showed his fast legs during the first sprint stage, I went for Tim Merlier’s wheel in the run-up to the sprint. For a moment, I was afraid to get boxed in, but luckily I could find a small gap and was able to launch my sprint. I felt there was still a lot of power in the legs and I think that I showed that I was the fastest today”, concludes Caleb Ewan.

GC leader Alessandro de Marchi's Israel Start-Up Nation team posted this update:

Israel Start-Up Nation and Alessandro De Marchi had no problems keeping the pink leader’s jersey on the flat stage 5 of Giro d’Italia. Davide Cimolai finished in 10th place on the day.

Alessandro de Marchi

Alessandro De Marchi about to start stage five in the Maglia Rosa. Sirotti photo

Today’s stage was a historic day for ISN, riding in the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour for the first time in the history of the team.

With a flat profile without a single KOM sprint, stage 5 was always going to be a day for the sprinters. Therefore, De Marchi also had plenty of time to enjoy his pink dream coming true with a relatively easy start to the stage.

Towards the end, the bunch became more stressed which resulted in a few bad crashes on the final kilometers. Luckily, the ISN guys stayed out of the trouble, keeping De Marchi and team leader Dan Martin safe towards the end. In the final sprint, Cimolai got in the mix but ended up being boxed in and had to settle for 10th place.

Looking at the general classification, De Marchi now enjoys a 42-second lead over second-place ahead of tomorrow’s difficult mountain stage to Ascoli Piceno (San Giacomo).

Alessandro De Marchi: “Today was a very emotional day for me. It was beautiful to ride in the peloton in the pink jersey and I got to enjoy an easy day for the first part of the stage. Towards the end, it got more hectic but we managed to stay out of trouble and finish the stage safely. Now, we look forward to tomorrow and see what we can do.”

Joe Dombrowski's UAE Team Emirates posted this report:

After the glorious stage win yesterday from Joe Dombrowski, today was a day of high-tension in the sprint which saw Fernando Gaviria edge closer to the win with 5th place while Dombrowski was entangled in a crash in what was a dramatic finish to Stage 5 of the Giro D’Italia.

Joe Dombrowski

Joe Dombrowski wins stage four. Sirotti photo

With 4.5km to go Dombrowski was involved in a collision with several other riders including Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) while approaching a traffic calming as the pace increased on the run-in to the line. Though Landa was forced out of the race, thankfully the American managed the re-mount his bike and finish the stage. Shortly after crossing the line, Dombrowski was taken to hospital afterwards as a precaution to be examined for any further injury.

The stage honours went to Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) with Gaviria sprinting to 5th place, several bike lengths behind.

Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start Up Nation) remains the race leader while Davide Formolo is the highest place UAE rider in 12th place at 1’44’’.

Dombrowski remains the leader of the mountains classification and will continue to wear the blue jersey.

Tomorrow Stage 6 takes the riders from Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno (160km) for the second summit finish of this years race where the climbers and puncheurs will dispute the stage.

Here's the stage five report from Dylan Groenewegen's Jumbo-Visma team:

Dylan Groenewegen didn’t get to sprint in the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma had to come from too far in the hectic final of the stage to compete for the victory. He eventually finished in eighth place.

The stage to Cattolica was far from easy. The peloton was nervous all day. Not only because of the technical nature of the final, but also because of the chance of wind. After everything had come back together in the final kilometres, Groenewegen was brought forward by Van Emden, Affini and Dekker. The lead-out was disrupted by several crashes, after which Groenewegen wasn’t able to do his sprint.

“I made a few mistakes in the final”, Groenewegen said. “That’s why I was trailing behind. My form is good and I am getting more and more rhythm. Those mistakes will disappear and then I will go for it again.”

“We lost each other in the last kilometres”, David Dekker added. “The final was very hectic and dangerous with many roundabouts, sharp turns and lots of crashes. As a result we were too scattered to be able to do a good lead-out. That is mainly due to a lack of experience. It is the first time for Edoardo and me, on the one hand, and Dylan and Jos, on the other, that we ride together.”

Sports director Arthur van Dongen concurred. “We knew in advance that it was going to be a hectic and dangerous day. It was nervous all day and it was a matter of always paying attention. Due to Landa’s crash, the guys lost each other and Dylan lost his position. However, we have to be realistic too. It’s their first time riding with Dylan. We have a lot of faith in Dylan and his lead-out and there are more opportunities to come in this race.”

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