Tour of Normandy: Bunch Sprints Continue on Stage 524. March 2017, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne-Normandie (FRA) — Development Team
The bunch sprints continued at Tour of Normandy with another fast finale on stage 5 sealing victory for Johim Ariesen (Metec - TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel).
It was a tense start to the 159km stage with the peloton setting a fast pace over the first hour as they chased down all early breakaway attempts.
Eventually, an eight-rider breakaway escaped off the front of the front of the main bunch and began to carve out an advantage which had reached 3 minutes after 80km of racing over rolling terrain.
With around 60km remaining, the chase from the peloton began to heat up as the team of race leader, Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo - Vital Concept) looked determined to bring the race down a bunch sprint.
A trio of riders from the original breakaway held on for as long as possible before being reeled in with just 3km to go just as a rear wheel change forced BMC Development Team's Bram Welten out of contention for the stage win.
With two stages remaining Pavel Sivakov leads the Mountains Classification while Pascal Eenkhoorn is the Best Young Rider of the seven-day stage race.
Race Reaction from Inside the Team Car with DS Klaas Lodewyck
“I think we were expected more from today. There was a break with eight riders and we had Steff Cras at the front of the peloton helping to control the race. We did what we had to do there before Fortuneo - Vital Concept came up to the front as the breakaway was brought back. We had everyone up at the front but a little bit of bad luck saw Bram Welten need a wheel change and the pace was so fast that we couldn't get him back into position in time."
"Every day we have been working hard, and we will continue to do so over the next two stages. We have two guys on the podium in terms of the various classifications but the team is also motivated to take a stage win here too."
Tour of Normandy
Stage 5: La Ferté-Macé > Bagnoles-de-l’Orne-Normandie, 159km
Top 3: 1. Johim Ariesen (Metec - TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel) 2. Konrad Gressner (Rad-Net Rose Team) 3. Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 41. Pascal Eenkhoorn 53. Martin Schäppi 59. Pavel Sivakov