Clarke holds off Van der Hoorn in millimeter sprint Tour; Van Aert limits Jumbo-Visma damage after drama day

Simon Clarke has won the incredibly tumultuous cobblestone stage in the Tour de France to Arenberg from the early flight by just holding off Taco van der Hoorn. Everything happened behind it, from big falls (Roglic) to flat tires (Vingeegaard) and from a shit day (Van der Poel) to fall and subsequent sacrifice (Van Aert).

The fans had been looking forward to this for days, weeks, months: the cobblestone stage in the Tour de France 2022. Just before two, the men were ready in the center of Lille, for a trip over eleven strips and 19.5 kilometers of cobblestones.

He had announced it in advance and lived up to his words: Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) chose the attack in this mini-Paris-Roubaix. The Dutchman made the first move and got Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) and Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), the main attacker of this Tour, with him.

The peloton did not immediately give in: a chasing group arose, including Jasper Philipsen and Rigoberto Urán, who were expertly recaptured. In the end, three riders managed to make the crossing: Neilson Powless (also from EF), Alexis Gougeard (B&B) and Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech).

Van Aert falls and feels at the knee

There was a lot of nervousness in the peloton, which led to a crash of yellow jersey Wout van Aert. The Jumbo-Visma rider fell together with teammate Steven Kruijswijk at the exit of a roundabout, and immediately grabbed his shoulder and knee. However, Van Aert was able to continue on his way, just like Peter Sagan, who slid down moments later.

Van Aert thus drove in the background when entering the next cobblestone sections, where some of the leaders (Aleksandr Vlasov and Ben O’Connor, who would be the biggest victim) had to deal with bad luck. At the front they did not want to wait, the first attempts came from the Danes Mads Pedersen and Kasper Asgreen at roughly sixty kilometers from the finish.

Mathieu van der Poel also responded to this, but could already be found at the back of the large group on the following strips. The Dutchman said before the start of the ride that he is not feeling well and that was reflected in the race. Other shadow favorites for this stage such as Alexander Kristoff (fall after puncture) and Florian Sénéchal (puncture) were unlucky.

Catastrophic bad luck for Jumbo-Visma

The seventh sector (of the end, so) started with a crash by George Bennett, after which INEOS Grenadiers with Roubaix winner Dylan van Baarle opened the throttle. Ranking men like G.Thomas, Pogacar and Vlasov were at the forefront, but the real reduction was not forthcoming for a while. However, things went too fast for men like Van der Poel and Jakobsen, while Vingegaard had to set foot on the ground with bad luck.

Laporte gave him his bike, but Vingegaard was unable to get on the bike of the eight-inch Frenchman and had to change gear again. Suddenly the Dane from Jumbo-Visma was almost two minutes behind.

In the front, Politt and his associates pounded ahead of their leaders, but there was another dire breakdown for Jumbo-Visma. Caleb Ewan slammed into a straw bale and took Roglic in his fall, as did Geraint Thomas. Romain Bardet, Matej Mohoric, Jack Haig and Brandon McNulty. Ewan lay there for a long time, while Roglic – just like the now waiting Van Aert – had to take his place behind his hard chasing teammates.

Pogacar, the cycling wonder from Slovenia

Pogacar, like the other competitors, got this to his ears and gave good throttle on the subsequent cobbled sections. Arkéa Samsic (Quintana), Groupama-FDJ (Gaudu) and BORA-hansgrohe (Vlasov) joined forces, while Van Aert on his own ensured that Vingegaard and co still caught up. with and co. we also mean the three leaders of INEOS Grenadiers, who also missed the battle.

In all the hectic pace you would almost forget that there was a leading group, which with twenty kilometers to go still had one minute ahead of the first group. That was the moment that Jasper Stuyven placed his attack in the background. One man followed in his footsteps: one Tadej P, but the five remaining leaders also went too fast for these two toppers.

Due to the hard work of Van Aert, Laporte and a lot of INEOS figures, Vingegaard was able to return to a group including Gaudu, so that the majority of the classification men only saw Pogacar finish. Roglic did have to deal with an extra pandoor, with which he was the biggest victim with O’Connor.

Fight on all fronts

On the last cobbled section of the day, the leading group, who had almost one minute left, was allowed to fight it out. Powless, a climber by trade, set the first charge. With that he outperformed his teammate Cort, so that we moved with four to the last two kilometers. In it it was Powless who went first, was caught off guard by Boasson Hagen and in the end it was Van der Hoorn who did it. A photo finish with Clarke had to offer a solution.

In the peloton, Van Aert also took matters into his own hands in this last section, to keep the gap with Pogacar as small as possible. In the end, the Slovenian was not able to grab too much pre-gift and that was entirely due to the hard work of the yellow jersey Van Aert. Pogacar and Stuyven eventually crossed the line with just under half a minute.

Roglic crossed the line more than three minutes after the winner, O’Connor even later and Haig even had to leave the round on behalf of Bahrain Victorious.

Result stage 5 Tour de France 2022

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