Sir Bradley Wiggins remains in sixth place in the Giro d’Italia after Germany’s John Degenkolb won the fifth stage following a dramatic crash in the final kilometre.
Degenkolb was one of the favourites for the stage given both his sprinting and climbing ability and he marshalled his Argos-Shimano lead-out train to the front.
It appeared to be a sprint between Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Degenkolb. However, with the peloton ready to pounce, one of Degenkolb’s fellow Argos-Shimano lead-out riders Luka Mezgec skidded into the barriers on a late corner in the wet conditions, taking out a number of racers and holding others up.
The German sprinted for home to win in four hours 37 minutes 48 seconds ahead of Vicioso and Paul Martens (Team Blanco). The breakaway riders and the peloton were awarded the same time by organisers as Degenkolb as Luca Paolini (Katusha) retained the overall lead.
That sees Wiggins stay sixth overall and his team-mate Rigoberto Uran 17 seconds behind leader Paolini. However, Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish was not part of the main group, and he finished in 127th.