Giro d'Italia 2013: John Degenkolb takes dramatic stage five victory

John Degenkolb

Giro d'Italia

4-26 May (13 and 20 May are rest days)
Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Germany's John Degenkolb won stage five of the Giro d'Italia after a dramatic accident in the closing stages.

In wet conditions, the peloton gathered for a bunch sprint only for a crash to take out most of the pack.

Mark Cavendish, who would have hoped to have been in contention, ended six minutes off the pace after struggling up a tricky climb 20km from the end.

Italy's Luca Paolini remains in the overall lead, with Sir Bradley Wiggins still 34 seconds behind in sixth.

Wiggins was one of those who appeared to have lost time as a host of riders slipped on the greasy surface just one kilometre from the end of the 203km stage.

But organisers awarded the same time to the breakaway riders and the peloton - which included other race favourites Vincenzo Nibali and Ryder Hesjedal - as Degenkolb and a few others broke free.

That means the places of the top riders in the general classification stays the same, with Wiggins sixth overall and Team Sky colleague Rigoberto Uran 17 seconds behind leader Paolini in second.

Unfortunately for Omega Pharma Quick Step rider Cavendish, he was not part of the main group, the Manxman struggling up a category four climb with 20km to go.

It was a maiden stage victory for 24-year-old Degenkolb, whose team-mate and lead-out man Luka Mezgec crashed out on the final turn, taking several other riders - including 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans - with him.

Bardiani's Marco Canola raced clear, but Degenkolb denied the host country a third successive Italian stage winner, finishing several bike lengths ahead of Angel Vicioso and Paul Maertens.

"My lead-out man crashed and there was just one guy in front," said Degenkolb. "So I went full gas to catch the rider from Bardiani.

"It was a great job by my team today. We controlled the race and had the confidence to lead the chase. It was a great day for Argos-Shimano."

Thursday's sixth stage is another mainly flat one, running 169km from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia.

Stage five standings

1. John Degenkolb (Germany/Argos) 4:37:48"

2. Angel Vicioso (Spain/Katusha) same time

3. Paul Martens (Germany/Blanco)

4. Sergio Henao (Colombia/Team Sky)

5. Matteo Trentin (Italy/Omega Pharma Quick Step)

6. Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia/Colombia)

7. Daniel Oss (Italy/BMC Racing)

8. Jens Keukeleire (Belgium/Orica)

9. Grega Bole (Slovenia/Vacansoleil)

10. Tanel Kangert (Estonia/Astana)

General classification standings:

1. Luca Paolini (Italy / Katusha) 19:56:39"

2. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +17"

3. Benat Intxausti (Spain / Movistar) +26"

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) +31"

5. Ryder Hesjedal (Canada / Garmin) +34"

6. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky)

7. Giampaolo Caruso (Italy / Katusha) +36"

8. Sergio Henao (Colombia / Team Sky) +37"

9. Mauro Santambrogio (Italy / Vini Fantini) +39"

10. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) +42"

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