The wet and wild day of racing started with an early five-rider breakaway forming on the two uncategorized climbs that came immediately after the flag was dropped.
However, the peloton was keen to keep tight control of proceedings in the difficult weather conditions and, as a result, the leaders were held on a short leash.
The gap never reached beyond the two-minute mark and eventually, with the category four Sezze climb already covered and less than 25 kilometers to go, the final rider from the breakaway was caught.
The decision was taken to neutralize the final 9.2-kilometer long lap around Terracina and so, it was only after the official clock was stopped as the bell rang, that the battle for position began amongst the sprinters and their teams.
It was subsequently no surprise to see only a small group of select sprinters, including Mareczko, going on to fight for the stage win but despite fewer numbers up front, the fast finish was as hectic as usual.
Mareczko was tucked neatly into the wheel of Francisco Ventoso with just two kilometers remaining while Černý and Łukasz Owsian were also there to help lead him into the sprint.
However, unfortunately, in the chaos that followed in the closing meters of the day, the CCC Team quartet lost contact with one another and Mareczko was blocked behind when the sprint was launched.
Černý, the Czech national road race championships, took up the reigns for the team, putting himself in the mix for a top ten finish before ultimately crossing the line as CCC Team best-placed rider in 12th place behind Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe).
After once again sticking together throughout the whole stage, CCC Team was also able to help navigate Víctor de la Parte, who remains 11th overall on the General Classification, safely across the finish line.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“Even though it was a shorter stage and the time was neutralized at the first passage of the line, it was definitely not easy. The cold and wet weather made it a really difficult day for everyone. The team worked really well together and in the finale, we still had four guys in the first group. However, this type of finish, after a really tough day in the rain, was not the best for me. I am of course disappointed about not being able to sprint for a good result but I want to say thank you to the guys for helping me. There’s still more chances to come so I hope to be able to do something for them soon.”
“It was a really hard race today in cold and wet conditions but, we were able to stay safe all day and help both Víctor and Jakub. With the last lap neutralized and with Víctor safe in group, we focused on trying to help Kuba for the sprint. In the end, he wasn’t feeling so good in the difficult condition so I just tried my luck to jump into the top 15.”
Stage 5: Frascati > Terracina (140km)
Top 3: 1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE – Team Emirates) 3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ)
CCC Team Top 3: 12. Josef Černý 23. Jakub Mareczko 30. Łukasz Owsian