Stage 5: BinckBank Tour

Boom! Lars explodes out of a selection to solo to victory on stage 5 of the BinckBank Tour and now leads overall

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Stage 5: BinckBank Tour

Bora Hansgrohe Press Release
After three flat road stages, the BinckBank Tour got a lot harder today, with the terrain featuring eighteen challenging climbs and roads that would push the riders’ bike handling skills to the limit.

Photo: @BinckBankTour 

In the lead up to the finale, attack after attack came, with the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, pushing ahead in a small group. While the Slovak rider was clearly aiming for the win, Peter was unable to chase down a late attack on his own, winning the sprint for second. Increasing his points lead and moving to second in the GC.

Like a miniature Spring Classics race, stage 5 gave riders a taste of some of the harder terrain the Netherlands has to offer, with some climbs familiar to those who had ridden the early season one-day races. The stage profile listed no fewer than eighteen hard ascents, and while these weren’t mountains, they were the infamous short, sharp and steep climbs the Classics are known for. Spaced out over the 167.3km route, they would tire out the riders and make contesting what had the potential to be a fast finale difficult. While the race organisers had changed the layout of the flat finish in case of rain, staying in touch to contest it was going to be more of a challenge.

Starting the day in good weather, the pace was fast – until the peloton hit the first climbs of the day. As the road turned skywards the peloton’s pace dropped, and this allowed a group of seven to make the break. Their advantage quickly ramped up to more than four minutes, but with the terrain so changeable, the peloton didn’t want to have to work to reel in too great a lead and worked to cut this back to a more manageable three minutes.

With 50km remaining, there were still some hard climbs to come, making the catch all the more difficult. A few riders back in the main bunch, the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, was riding tempo, but with the pace high and the gap dropping, some splits started to form in the chasing group. Staying up front with his BORA-hansgrohe teammates, the gap came down to 1:20 and was dropping fast.

At the 20km to go mark, it was less than twenty seconds to the now splintering break, where only two riders remained. Attacks and counter-attacks came in the closing kilometres, with Peter jumping ahead himself with less than 10km to go, forming a very strong group on the front. This group posed a huge threat, and the peloton worked hard to try to close the gap, but on a downhill section with 6km to go, Peter went again, spurring the group on and showing how eager he was to take the stage.

The riders in this small group were nervously eyeing each other to see who would go on the attack, but when Lotto-NL Jumbo’s Boom went, Peter was the only one who tried to go with him but was held back when none of the other riders in the group joined him. While Boom took the win, Peter fought it out to take second place, his efforts gaining him more points in the blue jersey contest, and the bonus seconds on the line moving him up to second in the GC.
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Peter Sagan: “It was yet another hard and fast stage at the BinckBank Tour. The squad performed very well and, once again, put in a strong effort in the peloton. I was in the front group when the split took place, together with all the top riders. However, there wasn’t a lot of collaboration in that group and Boom was able to attack, build a gap and win the stage. I took the sprint for second place and the six bonus seconds. I’m satisfied with today’s result and I’m second overall, just two seconds behind the leader, with two more stages to go.”

Lars Boom: “I was behind a fall when the peloton split” he explained post stage. “However, I could return and afterwards I stayed ahead. At two kilometers from the end, I saw a chance to attack. It was the ideal moment and I could stay ahead. I’m glad that I get both victory and leadership. ”

“This victory indeed brings a lot of joy,” he acknowledged. “Spring did not go as expected. I worked hard to reach this level and then it’s great that everything is in place now. The will to win is always great for me. It is therefore beautiful that I can conclude a difficult period of doubts in this way. I’ve finally been able to deliver my team a good win and that’s good. My shape is good, but there are two more difficult stages and are missing Robert Wagner and Tom Leezer two important riders in the team.”

It’s another brutal and hilly day at the BinckBank Tour on Saturday, with 203.7km and fourteen climbs to deal with. With the efforts of the previous five days, the hard climbs and the long distance, the flat finish is one the sprinters will want to contest, but with such a hard day ahead of them, only the strongest will survive to fight for the win.

Greg Van Avermaet: “It was hectic the whole day. I was always pretty well positioned. When Team Sunweb went faster, we had some bad luck with Stefan Küng and we lost a lot of guys there to bring him back. From there on, it was not such a good race for us anymore. I wasn’t in a good position when the group went and then I bridged with Jens Keukeleire (ORICA-SCOTT) and Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors) luckily because that was the moment when we really had to go and the GC could be decided there. So I was happy that I could make it. I had super good legs but I was too far so it was not the perfect moment. I didn’t win, but in the end, I was in the first group so I took some seconds back.”

Stefan Küng: “It was a really crazy parcours, and so it was a fight to stay in position all day. The guys did a great job controlling the race, and we were up there when the bunch split. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire as we crossed the finish line for the last time and some other teams took advantage of that and started riding really hard. Thankfully, I still had some really strong guys, and they brought me back. They did an amazing job. They gave everything and gave me a lot of motivation.”

“We got back around 3km before the race became really nervous, and I tried to move up but I wasn’t in a good position, and I could feel the effort in my legs. We kept fighting though and luckily Greg Van Avermaet was strong and could move to the first group because otherwise it would have all been for nothing. I am disappointed to let the guys down when I couldn’t follow, but once the first ten guys went, there was nowhere to go with riders dropping back.”

1. Lars Boom Team LottoNL-Jumbo
2. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe 0:03
3. Greg Van Avermaet BMC Racing Team
4. Oliver Naesen AG2R La Mondiale
5. Jasper Stuyven Trek – Segafredo
6. Philippe Gilbert Quick-Step Floors
7. Sep Vanmarcke Cannondale-Drapac
8. Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal
9. Danny van Poppel Team Sky
10. Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team

24. Scott Thwaites Dimension Data @ 46 secs
41. Stefan Küng (former race leader) BMC
73. Mark Mcnally Wanty – Groupe Gobert @ 3.03
115. Ben Swift UAE Team Emirates 9:24
121. Alex Dowsett Movistar Team
124. Ian Stannard Team Sky
125. Owain Doull Team Sky
132. Ryan Mullen Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
142. Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Sky
155. Jonathan Dibben Team Sky 15:48

1. Lars Boom Team LottoNL-Jumbo
2. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe 0:02
3. Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb 0:08
4. Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal 0:19
5. Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team 0:27



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