TERRACINA, Italy (AP) — Pascal Ackermann of Germany sprinted to victory at the end of the rain-affected fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday, while Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic kept the overall lead.
It was Ackermann’s second stage win in his first Grand Tour after the 25-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider also took home Sunday’s second leg.
Ackermann edged out Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud Demare in a bunch sprint at the end of the mainly flat but wet 140-kilometer route from Frascati to Terracina.
The rain was so relentless that race organizers decided that times would be taken on the first passage of the finish line in Terracina before the final nine-kilometer loop in order to avoid another crash like the one that marred Tuesday’s fourth stage. That crash split the peloton in half inside the final six kilometers and allowed Roglic to gain precious seconds over his rival.
It also led to 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin abandoning the race a kilometer into Wednesday’s stage as he was in too much pain after injuring his left leg in the crash.
Roglic, who has worn the leader’s pink jersey since winning the opening time trial on Saturday, remained 35 seconds ahead of British cyclist Simon Yates and 39 ahead of home favorite Vincenzo Nibali.
Thursday’s sixth stage is a 238-kilometer route from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo, with an undulating finish.
The Giro finishes in Verona on June 2.
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