An expected fight to make the breakaway played out in the first 25 kilometers with multiple attempts, including one from Łukasz Wiśniowski, brought back before eventually, four riders went clear while all of CCC Team’s riders remained in the peloton.
As was the case on stage four, the peloton controlled the breakaway heavily and didn’t allow the quartet to go more than three minutes down the road with both the sprinters and puncheurs eyeing a possible stage win.
The situation remained largely unchanged until the final 65 kilometers, which featured three categorized climbs when the breakaway started to split on the Côte des Trois-Épis and the peloton began to close in.
The last remaining breakaway rider was caught with 22 kilometers to go, by which point many riders had lost contact due to the steep gradients, but Van Avermaet still had Alessandro De Marchi, Simon Geschke and Joey Rosskopf with him in the main group.
Despite riders having lost contact, a relatively large group still remained and with the final climb coming with 19 kilometers still to go, a bunch sprint in Colmar was inevitable.
Van Avermaet maintained a good position in the final ten kilometers through to the last corner, where he was on Sagan’s wheel, and eventually sprinted to fifth place on the fast run into the finish.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I was happy with my legs and my form today. I saw immediately that three teams were controlling the breakaway so they didn’t really have a chance. I thought more of a selection would have been made on the climbs but in the end, we were a big group fighting for the win in a bunch sprint. Against the sprinters, I think I did the best I could. I was especially happy with my positioning at the last roundabout in the finale. I will try again for sure and the rest of the team will too. We will keep fighting every day to try and win a stage.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“I feel the team is focused and tried to do their best. Even today, we had four guys up there including Greg. We know there were strong guys to beat so to have a top five was a good result. Greg was really good today. I feel confident for the next stages. The guys are fighting every day and are present every day, which is a good sign.”
Tour de France
Stage 5 Saint-Dié des Vosges > Colmar (175km)
Top 3: 1. Peter Sagan (Bora hansgrohe), 2. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma), 3. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
CCC Team top 3: 5. Greg Van Avermaet, 30. Joey Rosskopf, 63. Alessandro De Marchi