Tadej Pogacar takes time in cobbles chaos!
Simon Clarke wins the stage from the breakway as Vingegaard, Roglic, Thomas and O’Connor see their GC ambitions badly bruised from the badlands
Defending Tour de France champion, Tadej Pogacar, took time from his rivals in a chaotic fifth stage, the UAE Emirates rider leaving his major rivals in the distance in the heat and dust of the cobbled roads of northern France.
In a frenzied stage that at times seemed almost deranged, numerous crashes befell the peloton, including one caused by a rogue hay bale. Many, however, were sparked both by a dog fight to win the stage and fears among Pogacar’s rivals of losing more time to the double Tour winner.
The stage over the dreaded cobbled roads, made famous by Paris-Roubaix, was won by Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), one of the five-man breakaway, in a photo finish.
The trio leadership at the Jumbo-Visma team quickly blew apart, race leader Wout van Aert, teammates and overall contenders Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard suffered crashes and mechanical problems that left them stranded behind the main peloton.
Van Aert was one of the early victims with a crash, as Pogacar put the hammer down, Roglic bizzarely hit a safety hay bale on the exit of a roundabout.
There were lots of crashes including Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan. Jack Haig abandoned the race.
There were bound to be losers when the peloton hit the cobbles, with Jumbo-Visma brusied. The Tour de France is far from over, but the team most expected to challenge Pogacar’s defence is looking worse for wear, not yet tackling any major climbs.
Thursday’s sixth stage is the longest of this year’s Tour at 222 km, heading south, before Friday’s first summit finish at Super Planche des Belles Filles, where Pogacar ousted Roglic in 2020.
VIDEO: 2022 Tour de France Stage 5 Highlights
2022 Tour de France Stage 5 Top 10
1 AUS Simon Clarke Israel-Premier Tech 03:13:35
2 NED Taco van der Hoorn Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert + 00
3 NOR Edvald Boasson-Hagen TotalEnergies + 02
4 USA Neilson Powless EF Education-EasyPost + 04
5 DEN Magnus Cort EF Education-EasyPost + 30
6 BEL Jasper Stuyven Trek-Segafredo + 51
7 SLO Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates + 51
8 BEL Jasper Philipsen Alpecin-Deceuninck + 01:04
9 NED Fabio Jakobsen Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team + 01:04
10 ITA Luca Mozzato B&B Hotels-KTM + 01:04
2022 Tour de France GC after Stage 5
01 BEL Wout van Aert Jumbo-Visma 16:17:22
02 USA Neilson Powless EF Education-EasyPost + 13
03 NOR Edvald Boasson-Hagen TotalEnergies + 14
04 SLO Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates + 19
05 BEL Yves Lampaert Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team + 25
06 DEN Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo + 36
07 DEN Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo-Visma + 40
08 GBR Adam Yates INEOS Grenadiers + 48
09 GBR Tom Pidcock INEOS Grenadiers + 49
10 GBR Geraint Thomas INEOS Grenadiers + 50