Mitchelton-BikeExchange climb with the leaders on stage five in Italy

Tue 12 Jun 2018

Another tough day in the mountains on stage five of the Giro d’Italia U23 saw Rob Stannard rediscover his climbing legs to place eighth on the stage as Mitchelton-BikeExchange sought to regain some ground.

A rapid, but wet start to the stage saw plenty of attacks although it took until around 60kilometres for a solid breakaway to form with a group of 16 riders going clear and gaining over a minute in the bunch.

Stannard tried to initiate an attack early on, but to no avail and the Chinese outfit were not represented in the larger move. As the race hit the Passo del Tonale with just under 50kilometres remaining the peloton and the break had splintered with Colombian Cristian Munoz now leading solo.

Inevitably the front of the race came back together before splitting again on the final climb with Stannard part of a chasing group of 20 alongside teammates Sam Jenner and Drew Morey.

Inside the final kilometre and the group had reduced dramatically behind the leaders, with Colombian Einer Rubio running out the eventual stage winner and Stannard holding his own for a top ten finish.

Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) now leads the race with Jenner in 22ndand Stannard in 24that three minutes 32seconds.

Sport director James Victor:

“Much better from the guys today, we had three riders up there at the end with Drew, Rob and Sam and we need to keep trying to claw some time back wherever we can over the next stages.”

“It’s possible we can make it back into the top ten overall and we know that both Rob and Sam can time trial, so it will be important for us to get into a good position ahead of the final stage.

“There are opportunities for us to do that and the whole team is riding well over the technical parts of the parcours and we’re confident we can move back up.”

Giro d’Italia U23 stage five results:

1. Einer Rubio (Columbia) 03:36:47

2. Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) +0:05

3. Yuri Natarov (Astana-City) +0:10

8. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:30

General classification after stage five:

1. Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) 17:22:18

2. Alejandro Osorio (Columbia) +0:13

3. Yuriy Natarov (Astana-City) +0:23

22. Sam Jenner (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +2:59

Photos courtesy of Twila Federica Muzzi.