Quimper, France • Peter Sagan had the yellow jersey holder to thank for his victory on Stage Five of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
Chris Froome may just additionally thank his Team Sky colleagues for conserving him out of risk — and serving to triumph over a mechanical downside — within the race’s first hilly stage.
Greg Van Avermaet mistimed his dash and Sagan, the three-time reigning global champion with the Bora-Hansgrohe staff, took benefit to assert his 2d victory on this yr’s match.
“I don’t know if he did it on purpose or if he wanted to drop everybody but I have to say thanks,” Sagan mentioned.
Van Avermaet nonetheless larger his total lead over BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen to 2 seconds through gaining valuable time in an intermediate bonus dash.
After a transfer from Philippe Gilbert, Van Avermaet sped up out of the overall flip with 300 meters (yards) to head however couldn’t deal with his tempo.
“I tried to win the stage but it was pretty complicated,” Van Avermaet mentioned. “Phil went early and he’s still pretty close on GC (general classification) so I couldn’t let him go. I think I went too early in the sprint. I thought the corner was closer to the finish than it really was.”
In a repeat of Stage 2, Sagan held off Sonny Colbrelli within the dash, with Gilbert completing 3rd.
Sagan clocked just about 5 hours over the undulating leg via Brittany, which contained 5 classified climbs over a 204.Five-kilometer (127-mile) path from Lorient to Quimper, and resembled a single-day vintage.
Gilbert, a former global champion, moved as much as 3rd total, 3 seconds off the tempo.
Froome, the four-time champion who trails Van Avermaet through 57 seconds in 15th spot, completed in the primary pack with the opposite favorites.
There was once a nervy second for the British rider when he needed to prevent because of a mechanical factor with 70 kilometers closing.
Teammate Michal Kwiatkowski tried to mend the issue however Froome was once later compelled to prevent once more and alter his motorbike.
Kwiatkowski and two different teammates then briefly escorted Froome again to the peloton.
Froome and Sky have been additionally on the entrance within the finale, ceding the result in the stage hunters most effective within the ultimate kilometer.
“Everyone knew that was going to be a tricky finish today, a very undulating day — never really flat — just up and down,” Froome mentioned. “A pleasant day to have in the back of us.
“It’s the type of stage the place one thing may also be incorrect and also you briefly to find your self dropping 30-40 seconds if you happen to get stuck out of place. It was once an afternoon to stick up entrance and in reality keep on it.”
Seven riders broke away 8 kilometers into the stage. The workforce established a lead of about 4 mins as they wound alongside the Atlantic coast via picturesque cities like Riec-sur-Belon — which is legendary for its oysters — and Pont-Aven — which impressed artists like Paul Gauguin .
While Brittany is normally wet and windy, this time it was once sunny and racing prerequisites have been easiest. Fans waving the black-and-white striped flag of the area swarmed the climbs.
Sylvain Chavanel, the 39-year-old using in a file 18th Tour, introduced a solo assault from the breakaway with 100 kilometers closing however didn’t get a ways.
French rider Elie Gesbert, some other member of the breakaway, crashed on a brief descent, finishing up in a ditch and showing to scrape his face alongside a stone wall. But he were given again on his motorbike and persevered.
Lilian Calmejane and Tom Skujins, the ultimate closing individuals of the breakaway, have been stuck through the primary pack with 10 kilometers to head.
The Tour stays in Brittany for Stage 6 on Thursday, some other hilly leg of 181 kilometers (112 miles) from Brest to Mur-De-Bretagne Guerledan, together with two climbs of the fast however steep Mur-de-Bretagne.
“We always see a bit of action there,” Froome mentioned. “I sometimes prefer those stages to the fast, flat stages.”