Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Giro rider celebrates stage 'win' a lap too early

Silvan Dillier Silvan Dillier
Elaine Woods | 13 May, 2017, 09:48

On Wednesday's stage five of the Giro d'Italia, Slovenian rider Luka Pibernik of the Bahrain-Merida team was racing solo just ahead of the peloton when he approached the finish line, thinking he'd won.

The win comes after two disappointing losses for the six-time Tour Down Under stage victor, including an opening stage shocker to Austrian Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and another one less than 24 hours later when he lost his pedal during a bump with Gaviria behind stage 2 victor André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) of Germany.

Bob Jungels of Quick Step Floors keeps the overall lead on another day when there was no change at the top of the General Classification.

Postlberger, who claimed victory in the opening stage in Olbia, Sardinia with an audacious attack that stunned the peloton in the final kilometre, said: "I wanted to attack in the uphill section, but after 200 kilometres of a breakaway, I didn't know how my legs would be".

Ewan also won a stage in the Spanish Vuelta two years ago.

Thomas' fellow Briton Adam Yates is a further four seconds behind, along with defending champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and 2014 victor Nairo Quintana of Colombia. "Everyday I didn't get a win, I felt the pressure build so to finally get the victory it feels pretty good".

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"It's not a disappointment for our team to not win with Fernando Gaviria today, because he did a great sprint and the team helped him", Jungels said.

It was only a matter of time before the fast-paced peleton absorbed the breakaway duo, who sat up as the race headed down into Messina for the final 14.5kms.

At 224km, Friday's seventh stage from Castrovillari to Alberobello is the longest of the race.

Team Sky quickly chased down Koren to protect Geraint Thomas' position, then it was whittled down to only a handful of riders contesting the final sprint.

Jungels should face more of a test over the next two stages. "But Luka [Mezgec] did a great leadout, so it was ideal".

Saturday's eighth stage, a 189-km ride between Molfetta and Peschici, is again likely to favour the sprint specialists.

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