Wout van Aert took Jumbo-Visma’s second consecutive win of the Tour de France 2020 after sprinting to victory on stage five.
The Belgian beat Cees Bol to the line after a long lead-out from Team Sunweb. Van Aert, sitting on Bol’s wheel, was able to power past him and beat him to the line at the finish in Privas with a powerful effort.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) finished third and took over the green jersey of the points classification from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who finished fourth.
Provisional results put Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) out of the race lead with Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) taking yellow and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) moving up to second place. Alaphilippe was handed a 20-second penalty by commissaires which has left him 16th place after today’s stage.
The stage victory is Jumbo-Visma’s second of the race after Roglič win on the race’s summit finish on Tuesday. Today’s win is Van Aert’s second career Tour stage win after he won a bunch sprint in the 2019 edition.
How it happened
After the first summit finish of the Tour de France 2020 on stage four, the peloton faced a much gentler day on a rolling 183km stage from Gap to Privas. Despite two category four climbs in the final third of the route and a slightly uphill finish, the stage look set for a bunch finish and a chance at victory for the sprinters.
The riders rolled out of Gap at a pedestrian pace, with one single early attack from Danish champion Kasper Asgreen ending very quickly. The bunch then stayed together as the riders looked to try and recover for the tougher stages ahead.
A brief flurry of action after 35km saw Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) take maximum points at the intermediate sprint, putting the Irishman in the virtual green jersey.
Then for a long time, nothing happened.
The pace began to ramp up within the final 40km, with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) suffering a minor spill and losing contact with the main bunch. The American chased for a good 10km before being able to join the rear of the peloton.
In the final 15km teams were massing at the front to keep their leaders safe, but a headwind stopped the bunch from becoming too stretched out until Ineos put the hammer down with around 8km to go.
The sprint teams then took over the lead after the 3km mark, with Sunweb pulling hard on the front of the bunch.
They led the group more or less entirely through the twists and turns of the final few kilometres, with Wout van Aert sat on the wheel of their sprinter Cees Bol. Green jersey wearer Peter Sagan sat just behind Van Aert as they rode through the final kilometre.
After a perfect lead-out by his Sunweb team-mates, Bol launched his sprint inside the final 200m on the left side of the road, with Van Aert then responding to the right.
There was little Bol could do though to stop Van Aert coming past him though, taking the victory by half a bike length.
The Tour de France rolls on with stage six on Thursday, a 191km stage with a summit finish to Mont Aigoual.
Tour de France 2020, stage five: Gap to Privas (183km)
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, in 4-21-22
2. Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels – Vital Concept
8. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
9. Clément Venturini (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
10. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation, all same time
General classification after stage five
1. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, in 22-28-30
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 3s
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 7s
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 9s
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 13s
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, all at same time
16. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, at 20s