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Caleb Ewan powers to Giro d'Italia stage win as Mikel Landa crashes out - GETTY IMAGES

Caleb Ewan powers to Giro d’Italia stage win as Mikel Landa crashes out – GETTY IMAGES

  • Ewan wins sprint finish, Nizzolo is runner-up again

  • Pre-race favourite Landa crashes out in frenetic finale

  • Ineos Grenadiers dealt blow as Sivakov crashes hard

Caleb Ewan took victory on stage five of the Giro d’Italia as a crash-strewn finish in Cattolica ended the general classification hopes of Mikel Landa and Pavel Sivakov.

The Australian Ewan took his fourth career Giro stage as he came from behind to outsprint Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani on the line – an 11th career second place in his home grand tour for the winless Nizzolo.

But Bahrain Victorious’ Landa did not finish the stage and left the race in an ambulance after a heavy crash involving Tuesday’s stage winner Joe Dombrowski on the approach to town, crucially outside the three kilometre marker which would have spared those caught up any time losses.

Israel Start-up Nation’s Alessandro De Marchi avoided the spills to retain the pink jersey but called the tight, technical finish to the 177km stage from Modena “a crazy circus”.

“The road was really difficult and technical, even too dangerous in my opinion so in the last 70km there was really a lot of stress and I hope the guys that crashed are fine,” he said.

UAE Team Emirates’ Dombrowski – second overnight – rode in battered and bruised on his 30th birthday, his king of the mountains jersey torn, as he tumbled down the standings, with Louis Vervaeke of Alpecin-Fenix now closest to De Marchi, 42 seconds down.

Sivakov, who had been a potential foil for Egan Bernal for Ineos Grenadiers, also crossed the line in pain after his own incident 15km from the finish.

It was a dramatic climax to a relatively sedate stage, virtually pan flat and ridden in sunshine after Tuesday’s wet and cold day finish in the mountains.

The threat of crosswinds did not materialise to leave the sprinters to contest affairs, and it was Ewan who had the class to come around the two Italians and tick one box in his goal of winning a stage of all three grand tours this season.

“It was a relief,” the Lotto-Soudal rider said. “My goal this year is to win in all three and the first sprint stage didn’t go so good, so there was a lot of pressure on me and all the team to do the job.

“They out-performed themselves, they were so good today and without them I couldn’t have been so fresh at the finish.”

With Dombrowski dropping, Britain’s Hugh Carthy is up to ninth place for EF Education-Nippo with a deficit of one minute 38 seconds, one second ahead of Bernal. Simon Yates sits in 14th place, a further 10 seconds back.

03:45 PM

Landa crashes out of the Giro; Sivakov ships time

It has been confirmed that Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) was taken away by ambulance. That’s his challenge to win a first grand tour over. In a short statement, Bahrain Victorious confirmed their team doctor has gone to hospital with Landa, but they are unable to provide a diagnosis until after he had received a medical check.

Mikel Landa - GETTY IMAGESMikel Landa - GETTY IMAGES

Mikel Landa – GETTY IMAGES

Pavel Sivakov, meanwhile, crossed the line battered and bruised though the Ineos Grenadiers rider lost over 13 minutes and is a doubt to start tomorrow’s mountainous stage. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) was able to complete the stage, crossing the line over eight minutes down on Caleb Ewan to keep hold of his mountains jersey.

What a thoroughly brutal ending to a relatively benign looking stage. It is a cruel sport cycling. One lapse of concentration, or the slightest moment of misfortune, and your race, season, or in the worst case scenario, career, can be gone. Just like that. One really has to feel incredibly sorry for Landa here this afternoon, he looked to be in great form in Tuesday’s stage and was obviously brimming with confidence. If there were no bad luck, he would get no luck at all.

03:37 PM

No sign of Landa

Mikel Landa has not crossed the line and four of his team-mates were just spotted riding slowly towards the finish. No news on whether the Bahrain Victorious team leader – and one of the favourites to win this year’s race – has abandoned.

03:30 PM

Ewan wins stage five at the Giro

The tiny Australian repaid his team-mates in kind to take his first win at this year’s Giro. The Lotto-Soudal rider came from some way behind and was briefly delayed by a wobbling Tim Merlier, but kept his composure before overhauling Giacomo Nizzolo just shy of the finishing line to secure victory. Elia Viviani took third.

03:29 PM

1km to go

Final right-hander has been navigated. Dead straight finish incoming…

03:29 PM

1.5km to go

Bora-Hansgrohe and Peter Sagan are near the front, as is Elia Viviani, Tim Merlier, Fernando Gaviria, Giacomo Nizzolo and Davide Cimolai.

03:28 PM

2km to go

Back at the front of the race, the breakaway has been caught and it is Lotto-Soudal on the front.

03:27 PM

Landa looks to be in trouble

Oh that is heartbreaking. The Basque who looked in fine form yesterday, has crashed heavily and is losing an awful lot of time. He is receiving treatment but it does not look good for the popular rider.

03:26 PM

4km to go – Landa involved in crash

Another crash, including Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and yesterday’s stage winner and birthday boy Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates).

03:25 PM

5km to go

And here’s what it looks like: The final five kilometres are raced on city roads which as anybody who has spent any time in Italy will know, can often be made up of a mixture of rough asphalt and large paving slabs – that become slippery when wet. There are a two roundabouts and four bends – three left-handers and one right-hander – before they hit the home straight which at 900 metres on asphalt is relatively long.



03:24 PM

6km to go

The road is narrowing soon and the sprinters will need to be on alert on this tight, technical finale.

03:23 PM

7km to go

Jumbo-Visma, riding for Dylan Groenewegen, have moved up towards the front of the speeding bunch. The trio of stage leaders are holding on to their 15sec advantage, but that will be vanishing soon.

03:22 PM

8km to go

A little like Sivakov, my computer crashed at the worst possible time. Another crash in the peloton, but none of the sprinters were involved.

03:17 PM

12km to go

Back at the pointy end of the race, the peloton is tapping along at a decent lick, but are not riding at full gas just yet. The trio of stage leaders are holding on to a 10sec advantage.

03:16 PM

13.5km to go

Sivakov is not really chasing back on and will be losing time on his general classification rivals. Bad news for the Russian and his team. Looks like he may have landed on his race radio in that high-speed fall.

03:15 PM

Crash! Sivakov goes down

Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), who arrived in Italy as co-leader with Egan Bernal, has crashed heavily. Looks like he clipped a branch of a tree somehow. He’s back on the bike, but has a few cuts and looks to be in pain.

03:13 PM

16km to go

Half the peloton goes to the left, the other half opts to navigate the roundabout on the right.

03:11 PM

17km to go

The peloton is looming. The trio’s lead is down to just 5sec as they skirt along the Adriatic coastal road. Lotto-Soudal are drilling the pace on the front of the peloton.

03:10 PM

18km to go

The peloton is filling the entire width of the road as teams and riders jockey for position ahead of the frenetic finale to what has, thus far, been a relatively quiet stage. The leading trio are being hung out to dry, their advantage holding at 15sec.

03:07 PM

20km to go

Alexis Gougeard has bridged over to Davide Gabburo and Simon Pellaud, but the trio’s lead is just 15sec now.

03:06 PM

23km to go

A very tight left-hander forces a number of rider to squeeze their brakes, causing a concertinaing effect in the bunch. Tejay van Garderen (EF Education-Nippo) hits the deck, but he looks ok and is back in the saddle. Hopefully that rain holds off.

03:03 PM

24km to go

Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-Citroën) attacks off the front of the peloton, but there is no response.

03:02 PM

25km to go

Like a large multi-coloured jelly fish, the peloton ebbs along widening and narrowing with each change in direction. The breakaway’s lead drops, slightly, to just 28sec.

02:58 PM

28km to go

The two-man breakaway’s lead is down to 38sec and the dark clouds above Cattolica look ominous. Hopefully for the riders they will not be opening up and spilling their contents on the road before the speeding bunch arrives in town.

02:53 PM

35km to go

Thomas De Gendt is sat in his usual position in stages like this, dead centre and on the front of the bunch, as the popular Belgian monitors the gap on the breakaway. Team-mate Caleb Ewan, meanwhile, is working his way up the peloton with the assistance of Jasper De Buyst. Is this Ewan’s day, or will man-of-the-moment Tim Merlier add a second stage at this year’s Giro d’Italia to his palmarès? Can Giacomo Nizzolo break his duck, will another Italian Elia Viviani be raising his arms in celebration, or is this Fernando Gaviria’s day? The Dutch fans will be screaming for Dylan Groenewegen, the Slovakians praying that Peter Sagan can win again. But it is going to be a technical finale, so this could be anybody’s stage.

02:44 PM

40km to go

Davide Gabburo takes the three-second time bonus – along with a cash prize of €500 – ahead of Simon Pellaud, but none of the general classification contenders bothered racing for the line. It was Gabburo’s team-mate Filippo Fiorelli who grabbed the final second by beating yet another Bardiani-CSF-Faizane rider, Giovanni Visconti, in a sprint. Perhaps their squad are having their own inter-team competition?

02:37 PM

45km to go

The advantage held by the stage leaders has halved to just 45sec. The pair are not too far from the second intermediate sprint now. Assuming they take first and second spot, then there will be a one-second bonus on offer to the first rider from the peloton. Is anybody going to do a Geraint Thomas? As I’m sure you will recall, at the 2018 Tour de France the Thomas made a habit in the opening few stages of clipping off the front to take a bonus second here and there. The rest, of course, is history and he went on to become the first Welshman to take home the famous yellow jersey.

02:31 PM

50km to go

Alpecin-Fenix have been riding on the front of the peloton, presumably on behalf of their main sprinter Tim Merlier, while Lotto-Soudal are surrounding their poker-faced Aussie Caleb Ewan. A number of the general classification squads are vying for position near the head of the bunch, but it is the sprint teams that are setting the pace.

Stage five - GETTY IMAGESStage five - GETTY IMAGES

Stage five – GETTY IMAGES

02:19 PM

60km to go

The two-man breakaway of Davide Gabburo and Simon Pellaud has gained 1min 20sec on the peloton, but nobody is expecting another surprise win here today – oxymoron of the day – following the last two stages when Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux),

Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) took the wins.

02:08 PM

68.5km to go: Attack!

Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) and Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) have had enough of riding in the peloton and the pair have clipped off the front in a late break.

02:02 PM

75km to go

All quiet out on this long straight road to Cattolica where today’s stage will conclude, most likely, in a bunch gallop. Was just looking at the run-in to the finishing line. There are a few dark clouds overhead – where else? – and so the threat of showers may come to bear which will be bad news for those contesting the sprint.



The final few kilometres (see below) are raced on city roads which as anybody who has spent any time in Italy will know, can often be made up of a mixture of rough asphalt and large paving slabs – that become slippery when wet. There are a two roundabouts and four bends – three left-handers and one right-hander – before they hit the home straight which at 900 metres on asphalt is relatively long.

01:42 PM

90km to go

The entire width of a fairly wide two-lane road is filled and the teams fan out, a number of the general classification riders are up near the front not wanting to get caught out should the wind start causing any damage. This is turning into a very peculiar stage. Other than the obvious stage win up for grabs, there is also another intermediate sprint in today’s stage, in the town of Savignano sul Rubicone in around 45km, but rather than points up for grabs there will be time bonuses on offer – 3sec, 2sec and 1sec for the first three riders.

01:29 PM

100km to go

Amid the confusion of the breakaway being caught, I almost forgot to mention that Filippo Tagliani beat Umberto Marengo in the the intermediate sprint, while Fernando Gaviria won the bunch sprint ahead of Elia Viviani, Tim Merlier, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Giacomo Nizzolo and Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux). Interesting to note that Caleb Ewan didn’t contest for the points. The Australian is widely expected to be planning to quit the race in the second week before turning his attention towards the Tour de France, that small saving of energy may also help him later in the day handing him a slight advantage.

01:20 PM

106km to go

Quite remarkably, Umberto Marengo and Filippo Tagliani have been caught by the peloton. Ineos Grenadiers have moved to the front of the bunch. Are teams sensing that crosswinds are imminent? As mentioned, it’s a ridiculously flat profile today and so if they do start blowing especially hard then they can cause irreparable damage to a riders’ general classification ambitions. That said, with the road being fairly straight the opportunities to cause any splits are limited.

Filippo Tagliani (right) and Umberto Marengo – Giro d'Italia 2021, stage five – live updates - GETTY IMAGESFilippo Tagliani (right) and Umberto Marengo – Giro d'Italia 2021, stage five – live updates - GETTY IMAGES

Filippo Tagliani (right) and Umberto Marengo – Giro d’Italia 2021, stage five – live updates – GETTY IMAGES

01:14 PM

108km to go

Umberto Marengo and Filippo Tagliani’s advantage has plummeted to below one minute after a number of the sprinters’ teams moved to the front of the peloton. There’s an intermediate sprint incoming and so some of those in the bunch will be keen on challenging for points in the race for the maglia ciclamino, but once through this key point in the stage I’m almost certain the peloton will knock off the pace.

01:11 PM

Bernal all smiles after decent day in the rain

Egan Bernal - GETTY IMAGESEgan Bernal - GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal – GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal - GETTY IMAGESEgan Bernal - GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal – GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal –  - GETTY IMAGESEgan Bernal –  - GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal – – GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal – - GETTY IMAGESEgan Bernal – - GETTY IMAGES

Egan Bernal – – GETTY IMAGES

Vincenzo Nibali and Egan Bernal - GETTY IMAGESVincenzo Nibali and Egan Bernal - GETTY IMAGES

Vincenzo Nibali and Egan Bernal – GETTY IMAGES

12:54 PM

120km to go

The breakaway’s advantage has increased slightly to 5min 22sec, but nobody in the peloton appears too concerned about the just yet. It’s all smiles and chin-wagging back in the bunch as riders catch up with their colleagues from rival teams – there were very few opportunities from smalltalk during Tuesday’s brutal stage. Even those that are hoping to go head-to-head with each other for the stage win later on today are having a chat – Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and Belgium’s latest sprint star Tim Merlier were just spotted riding shoulder-to-shoulder looking relaxed shooting the breeze.

Giro d'Italia 2021, stage five – live updatesGiro d'Italia 2021, stage five – live updates

Giro d’Italia 2021, stage five – live updates

12:36 PM

Ciao Lorenzo!

Local lad Lorenzo Fortunato just rolled off the front of the bunch as he passed through his local neighbourhood in Bologna.

Lorenzo FortunatoLorenzo Fortunato

Lorenzo Fortunato

The second-year professional who rides for Eolo-Kometa had his fan club lining the road ready to welcome him. Nice touch.

12:30 PM

As it stands . . .

Afternoon all. It will surprise few to learn that a two-man breakaway is leading the stage after Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) and Filippo Tagliani (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) attacked from the flag. There was very little resistance from the peloton which appeared happy enough to allow them their day in the sun.

Following yesterday’s rotten weather, it is perfect riding conditions this afternoon – it was 21°C at the start in Modena and is forecast to drop slightly to 19°C at the finish in Cattolica. There may be one fly in the ointment, however, as there is talk of some showers near the finish which may impact on what we are expecting to be a frenetic finale.

Alessandro De Marchi has his Israel Start-up Nation team-mates  - GETTY IMAGESAlessandro De Marchi has his Israel Start-up Nation team-mates  - GETTY IMAGES

Alessandro De Marchi has his Israel Start-up Nation team-mates – GETTY IMAGES

The Italian pairing of Marengo and Tagliani lead the peloton by 4min 40sec having completed 43km, meaning they are still 134km from the end of the stage. Race leader Alessandro De Marchi has his Israel Start-up Nation team-mates sat on the front of the peloton giving the Italian the opportunity to show off his first ever maglia rosa.

07:45 AM


Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage four at the Giro d’Italia, the 177-kilometre run from Modena to Cattolica.

Following yesterday’s brutal stage in the Apennines that saw yet another surprise winner when breakaway rider Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) landed his first victory on European soil, today’s panflat course should offer the riders some welcome respite. A day of riding in the rain across a series of tough climbs will affect some riders more than others, but with the forecast looking fairly bleak as it often can be in May the coping with the conditions can be as key to winning the Giro d’Italia as arriving in Italy in top form.

One rider that copes well in the bad conditions and has regained some of his top form following a turbulent couple of years is Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-up Nation) who today will wear the maglia rosa, the leader’s pink jersey, for the first time in his long career. Let’s have a glance at the main classification podiums . . .

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) retained the maglia ciclamino, the cyclamen jersey, as leader in the points classification after the big breakaway scooped up the majority of the points yesterday meaning there was no change in the top five of that particular competition.

Having scooped up 18 points atop Colle Passerino en route to winning yesterday’s stage, Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) became the leader in the mountains classification and so will celebrate his 30th birthday today wearing the maglia azzurra, the blue jersey. Providing the American completes the stage, then he will hold that overnight as there are no categorised climbs today. The birthday boy will be getting a trip to the podium. Ain’t that just swell!

Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) became the outright leader in the youth classification after finishing seventh on Tuesday. Although I cannot 100 per cent confirm this, I think he may be the first Hungarian to wear a leader’s jersey at a grand tour – the 22-year-old from Csomor will be dressed in the maglia bianca, the white jersey.

And so, what’s on the menu today? After setting off from Modena at a slightly later time than usual – 12.20pm (BST) – the peloton heads down the ancient Roman Via Aemilia, almost straight as an arrow, towards the intriguingly named town of Cattolica.

Stage five mapStage five map

Stage five map

Whether or not the stage was dreamt up while dining on a plate of borlenghi – a type of flatbread from Modena – is unknown, but its profile certainly looks as panflat. Despite riding past Imola where there are plenty of short testing climbs, today’s stage features just over 600 metres of elevation and not a single categorised climb.

Stage five profileStage five profile

Stage five profile

If you have read this far, then you will have probably worked out what type of rider the stage suits: a sprinter. But which one?

With a sample size of just one it is difficult to really say any one fastman is head and shoulders above another at this year’s Giro d’Italia, however having won on Sunday confidence must be coursing through the veins of Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix). The Belgian did, though, appear to struggle in in the medium mountains so it will be interesting to see how he has recovered.

It was interesting to note that Lotto-Soudal did not have a single rider in yesterday’s 25-man breakaway – including Thomas De Gendt, their specialist and good friend of Alessandro De Marchi – which immediately got me thinking that the team management have earmarked today’s stage for their little pocket rocket Caleb Ewan. Ewan has a tendency to start his grand tours slowly, often taking a few stages to get his legs really firing and so I really believe today could be his day. The Australian and his lead-out man Roger Kluge finished yesterday’s stage 180th and 179th, while De Gendt was 177th out of 183. If there is a headwind at the finish in the coastal town of Cattolica – which Ewan and his team will be praying for – then that would make him my favourite. If not, then it will be a close call.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Emirates) has shown some surprisingly good form good form thus far and has been there or thereabouts, while the same could be said of Elia Viviani (Cofidis). Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) looked a little nervous to me in the sprint finish on Sunday, though I may be over-analysing things.

European and Italian road champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) has more runners-up spots at the Giro d’Italia than any other rider in its 104 editions, so the 32-year-old will be desperate to consign that statistic to the green litter zone, but will today be his day? Anyway, that’s enough speculation from me for the moment.

Back at 1.30pm (BST) when today’s live coverage will begin in earnest. Ciao, for now.