Tadej Pogacar takes fifth stage victory and reigns supreme at the Tour of Italy

Tadej Pogacar (UAE) won the 16th high mountain stage of the Giro on Tuesday May 21. Despite a start delayed by very difficult weather conditions making the course dangerous, the Slovenian, imperturbable, attacked and caught the escapees two kilometers before the end of the race, a time led by Julian Alaphilippe.

The riders initially refused to set off in the morning from Livigno. In question ? Snowfall and freezing cold on the first ascent, that of Giogo di Santa Maria. The legendary Stelvio pass, with its 2,758 meters, had already been removed from the route due to the risk of avalanche.

“I don’t understand the situation,” the pink jersey reacted to Eurosport in the morning, tense and confused. What I see is that the weather is terrible. I think going downhill would be very dangerous. Shortening the step would be good. It’s not a good idea to go up there. If they want us to run, I will. »

A first coronation is almost no longer in doubt

The organizers finally gave in – the riders threatened to strike – and postponed the start to Lasa. Amputated by almost 90 kilometers, the stage only included the ascent of Passo Pinei (1,442 meters) and Monte Pana (1,628 meters). Neither the deluge of rain, nor the cold, nor the morning confusion disturbed Tadej Pogacar, who had fun counting his stage victories – five – on his fingers on the finish line.

The Slovenian also gave his pink jersey (and his glasses) to his runner-up of the day, Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF Faizanè), whom he overtook 1.3 kilometers from the finish line. Daniel Felipe Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe) completed the podium and is now 2nd in the general classification, 7:18 behind the Slovenian.

With this new victory, the UAE leader increases its lead over its main rivals. A first coronation on Italian roads is almost no longer in doubt. The British Geraint Thomas, by crashing in the last wall, was the big loser of the day. He loses one place and is in third place in the ranking, 7:40 minutes behind Pogacar.

Attacking 90 kilometers from the finish, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe led the race for a long time before being caught on the final climb, 2,000 meters from the finish. Two French riders nevertheless finished in the top 10 of this daunting stage: Ewen Costiou took 9th place (Arkéa – B