Van Aert sprints after a lethargic day to win fifth stage, Bol second

Wout van Aert won the fifth stage of the Tour de France. The Belgian was the fastest in the bunch sprint in Privas and gave Jumbo-Visma the second stage victory of this Tour. Cees Bol was just short and finished second, Sam Bennett finished third.

It’s his second stage victory in the Tour for 28-year-old Van Aert, who is working on his second Tour de France. Last year he won the tenth stage from Saint-Flour to Albi. Moments later he had to leave the Tour after a heavy crash in the time trial.

Before the Tour Van Aert already showed to be in great shape. He took the win in Strade Bianche, Milan Sanremo and won the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Yates takes over yellow

Julian Alaphilippe seemed to keep the lead in the general classification, but got a time penalty by taking a water bottle within twenty kilometers of the finish. This allows Adam Yates to put on the yellow jersey tomorrow.

After the 183km stage had started it was waiting for the first attackers. However, the riders didn’t feel like it today and took it easy except for a tease from Kasper Asgreen and Thomas De Gendt

In the first part of this stage the peloton only started just before the first and only intermediate sprint of the day. Sam Bennett took the full load of twenty points, ahead of Caleb Ewan and his teammate Michael Mørkøv. Groenetruidrager Peter Sagan finished fourth and lost the lead in the points classification

Towards the end of the stage the riders had to deal with two fourth category cols. There the leader of the mountain classification, Benoît Cosnefroy, showed up. He grabbed the only points that could be made today and can put on the polka dot jersey again tomorrow

With eight kilometers to go Ineos pulled the peloton on a ribbon. It wasn’t blowing hard enough to create fans, but a number of riders had to unload at the back. Bauke Mollema was just able to cling to the tail of the peloton.

The finish of the fifth stage was seen as a dangerous one. “In the last kilometre there are some difficulties. A roundabout at 950 metres, one at 250 metres and a number of thresholds. There are also some pendulum bends in between. I wonder why they opted for the last kilometer”, Flemish researcher Steven Verstockt concluded from an analysis of his safety model.

However, the riders had little trouble with the obstacles in the final kilometer and were able to sprint for the victory without any cracks. In the run-up to the sprint Bol was launched by his team Sunweb’s sprint train, but Van Aert proved to have just a bit faster legs and crossed the line first.

Wout Poels was also visibly bothered by his fall in the first stage. The 32-year old Dutchman struggled at the last wheel for a long time, while his own team (Bahrain-McLaren) was in the lead. With 46 kilometres to go he had to let the peloton go for a while, but the battered Limburger was able to catch up a little later.

The jury decided to encourage Poels. He was awarded the prize for the most aggressive rider and tomorrow he can wear the red back number. “I would have preferred massage and care.”