Tour of the Alps 2018, Padun wins the final stage! Pinot takes the GC

Mark Padun (Bahrain – Merida) wins the final stage of Tour of the Alps 2018! The Ucrainian joungster, who turned as a pro rider last January, won solo stage 5 of the Alpine stage race. Bahrain – Merida rider attacked with over 3 kilometers remaining, opening a handful of seconds gap that allowed him to take the spoils on the finish line. George Bennett (Lotto Nl – Jumbo), who moved an attack with 1,5 kilometers to go, took once again the second position after the one achieved yesterday. Jan Hirt (Astana) takes the sprint for third over Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani – CSF) and Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data). Today’s victory is the first one in Padun’s career.  Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) takes the general classification. The Frenchman gets the overall success over Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain – Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).

It took almost an hour of racing for the peloton to allow the breakaway to go clear. In facts, with 37 kilometers from the start Francois Bidard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini), Oscar
Rodriguez (Euskadi – Murias), Igor Anton (Dimension Data), Francesco Gavazzi (Androni – Sidermec), Simone Andreetta (Bardiani – CSF), Manuel Senni (Bardiani – CSF), Guy Niv (Israel Cycling Academy) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia) attacked and worked well all together touching 10 minutes of advantage at the bottom of Alpbach up-hill.

The gap started going downwards to 6 minutes on the slopes of today’s first climb. Team Sky was marching with a devilish speed and everything pointed to Chris Froome to take a leading role in the finale. The bunch splitted in two because of the speed set by team Sky but, once the downgrade came to an end, the group was all together again. The race situation started to change once the breakaway hit Olympia climb, the one which characterizes the Worlds’ cirtuit next September.  Igor Anton was the first to drop the lead, followed by Mosca and Gavazzi. With only 1 kilometer to the summit of Olympia climb David De la Cruz (Team Sky) moved an attack and as soon as the road went downwards Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain – merida) went clear too: both chased the leading group of six on the descent.

Oscar Rodriguez attacked straight off the bat of the second ascent to Olympia and only De la Cruz, Bidard and Bagioli could follow the Spaniard. Their try, by the way, had brief life: the group chased the breakaway, which came to an edn with 28 kilometers to go. When the race was close to the uphill summit Oscar Rodriguez attacked in order to get the KOM sprint and, as soon as he got chased, Visconti and Miguel Angel Lopez went clear. Visconti sat in the lead together with the Colombian until Astana leader, once the race went on the Olympia climb for the last time, went solo.

With over 18 kilometers remaining, when the group led by Groupama – FDJ was 30” behind the leader, Thibaut Pinot attacked. The Frenchman was reeled in by a handful of riders at first but, when Domenico Pozzovivo attacked, only the overall leader succeeded in following the Italian. With 15 kilometers to go Pinot and Pozzovivo chased Lopez: a leading group of 3 was heading to the summit. At the back Ciccone, Bennett and Hirt were part of the first chasing group whereas Froome, Elissonde, O’Connor and Padun were part of a third pack. The leaders went down fast on the descent to Innsbruck but as soon as they got into the flat stage of racing leading to the finish line the chasers accomplished an injection in pace that allowed the chasing group to join the leading one with 5 kilometers to go.

George Bennett and Giulio Ciccone have been very active at the front of the race and attempted to move an attack more times but not as decisively as Mark Padun did. The Ukrainian went clear with 3 kilometers remaining: his action was powerful and gave everyone the impression it was the good one. Bennett tried to jump across the gap with 1,5 kilometers to go but Padun’s advantage was enough to Bahrain – Merida’s youngster for achieving a safe win.

Tour of the Alps 2018 stage 5 results

1 PADUN Mark Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 4:16:10
2 BENNETT George Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:05
3 HIRT Jan Astana Pro Team 0:06
4 CICCONE Giulio Bardiani – CSF ,,
5 O’CONNOR Ben Dimension Data ,,
6 PINOT Thibaut Groupama – FDJ 0:09
7 LOPEZ Miguel Angel Astana Pro Team ,,
8 FROOME Christopher Team Sky ,,
9 POZZOVIVO Domenico Bahrain Merida ,,
10 ELISSONDE Kenny Team Sky 0:11

Tour of the Alps 2018 General Classification

1 PINOT Thibaut Groupama – FDJ   18:28:48
2 POZZOVIVO Domenico Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   + 0:15
3 LOPEZ Miguel Angel Astana Pro Team   ,,
4 FROOME Christopher Team Sky   + 0:16
5 BENNETT George Team LottoNL-Jumbo   + 1:00
6 ARU Fabio UAE-Team Emirates   + 1:19
7 O’CONNOR Ben Dimension Data   + 1:33
8 SANCHEZ Luis Leon Astana Pro Team   + 1:35
9 CICCONE Giulio Bardiani – CSF   + 1:42
10 HIRT Jan Astana Pro Team   + 1:48
11 ZEITS Andrey Astana Pro Team   + 3:11
12 PADUN Mark Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   + 3:14
13 HERMANS Ben Israel Cycling Academy   + 4:34
14 BILBAO Pello Astana Pro Team   + 4:51
15 SCHLEGEL Michal CCC Sprandi Polkowice   + 4:52
16 ZOIDL Riccardo Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels   + 5:18
17 BOUWMAN Koen Team LottoNL-Jumbo   + 5:42
18 MASNADA Fausto Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia   + 6:54
19 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi – Murias   + 7:40
20 MEINTJES Louis Dimension Data   + 9:36
21 CUNEGO Damiano Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini   + 10:00
22 CONCI Nicola Italy   + 10:43
23 KUDUS Merhawi Dimension Data   + 10:46
24 SANTAROMITA Ivan Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini   + 11:09
25 ELISSONDE Kenny Team Sky   + 11:29
26 REICHENBACH Sebastien Groupama – FDJ   + 13:50
27 RAVASI Edward UAE-Team Emirates   + 15:11
28 GENIEZ Alexandre AG2R La Mondiale   + 15:35
29 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale   + 15:50
30 VISCONTI Giovanni Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   + 16:03

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