TERRACINA – German Pascal Ackermann won a sprint finish in the pouring rain for the Giro d’Italia fifth stage on Wednesday, claiming his second victory in this year’s race.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider finished just ahead of Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team Emirates.
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic, riding for Jumbo-Visma, holds a 35-second overall race lead after the 140km stage, in which the final nine kilometres were neutralised because of poor weather conditions.
France’s Arnaud Demare was third after the sprint on a rain-sodden road.
Ackermann, 25, is competing in his first Giro, but has now claimed five wins this season.
Belgian Louis Vervaeke had led a long breakaway after the race started in Frascati, to the south-east of Rome, before being caught 23km from the line.
Former Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin pulled out just after the start of the stage because of a knee injury sustained in a mass fall during the previous stage.
The Sunweb rider signed in and began the fifth stage, which got under way in driving rain, but once he started pedalling the Dutch rider decided he could not continue.
Dumoulin, who won in 2017 and was second last year behind Britain’s Chris Froome, had earlier insisted he would tough out the race.
The 28-year-old was in 56th position, 4min 30sec behind race Roglic.
Thursday’s sixth stage covers 238km from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo.AFP