Thursday 20 November 2014

Cycling: Wiggins remains off Giro pace after crash drama

Published 09/05/2013 | 05:00

Bradley Wiggins pedals during the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race

Bradley Wiggins remains in sixth place in the Giro d'Italia after Germany's John Degenkolb won the fifth stage following a dramatic crash in the final kilometre.

Degenkolb was one of the favourites for the stage given both his sprinting and climbing ability and he marshalled his Argos-Shimano lead-out train to the front.

It appeared to be a sprint between Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Degenkolb.

However, with the peloton ready for a sprint, one of Degenkolb's fellow Argos-Shimano lead-out riders Luka Mezgec skidded into the barriers on a late corner in the wet conditions, taking out a number of racers and holding others up.

The German sprinted for home to win in four hours 37 minutes 48 seconds ahead of Vicioso and Paul Martens (Team Blanco).

The breakaway riders and the peloton were awarded the same time by organisers as Degenkolb as Luca Paolini (Katusha) retained overall lead in the race.

That sees Wiggins (left) stay sixth overall and his team-mate Rigoberto Uran 17 seconds behind Paolini.

UCI regulations state that a rider who is held up by a crash in the final three kilometres – with the exception of uphill finishes – is credited with the same time as the main bunch.

However, that was not so good news for Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish as he was not part of the main group, and he finished the stage in 127th.

Irish Independent

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