Simon Yates showed that he is on great form for the Giro d’Italia next month after wrapping up a comfortable overall win at the Tour of the Alps, as Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the final stage 5.
Team BikeExchange squad maintained a watchful eye on his rivals, effectively eliminating any attempts to dethrone Yates, who had led the general classification since his victory on stage 2.
“It’s really fantastic. The team did a great job today and really controlled the start and rode all day. In the final, they were fantastic again,” said Yates.
“Short day and there weren’t so many attacks from the GC but it was still a hard day and a lot of stress in the peloton. With the fast decent to the finish, it was always nervous. I feel good and now I just have to look after myself and try not to get sick and we’ll take it from there.”
— Team BikeExchange (@GreenEDGEteam) April 23, 2021
Großschartner solos into Riva del Garda
Großschartner made his stage-winning move with an attack from a breakaway, which had contained Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), on the final climb with about 18 kilometers to go.
The Austrian rider left his companions in his wake, building up an advantage of over 30 seconds by the time he reached the line. Chasers Nicolas Roche (Team DSM) and Alessandro de Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) held off the baying peloton to finish second and third respectively.
“It always feels good to win a race. It was planned since we messed up a bit on the second stage. I said, ‘I don’t care I’ll try every day’ and I was second already on the third stage. I was super happy today that I could take this victory for the team,” said Großschartner.
“Every pro cyclist knows that it’s very difficult to win a race when 160 guys fight for the victory. It’s always something special and I’m really happy.”
What a showdown in Riva del @GardaTrentino. It's Felix Großscartner the winner of the fifth and final stage
— Tour of The Alps (@Tourof_TheAlps) April 23, 2021
A day for the breakaway
With little interest from the group of favourites to hunt the stage win, the final day of the Tour of the Alps was an opportunity for the breakaway to ride for glory.
An early move of 15 riders quickly became seven as the race entered a finishing loop that contained two ascents of the second category Lago di Tenno. Großschartner saw his chance on the second of those climbs, blowing apart what had remained of the breakaway group.
Behind in the peloton, a handful of speculative attacks from general classification contenders were quickly dealt with by Team BikeExchange. The Australian team set a strong pace for Yates, who looked comfortable in his yellow jersey.
Großschartner flew down the technical descent of the Lago di Tenno, nearly going off course on one tight bend. There was no opportunity to let up with Roche and De Marchi hot on his tail, having been dropped on the climb.
Nevertheless, Großschartner held on to become the first Austrian stage winner at the Tour of the Alps.
Tour of the Alps Stage 5 Results
- Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), 3:03:38
- Nicolas Roche (Team DSM), at 00:34
- Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), at s.t.
- Gianni Moscon (Ineos-Grenadier), at 00:40
- Alejandro Osorio (Caja Rural-Seguros), at s.t.
- Romain Bardet (Team DSM), at s.t.
- Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech). at s.t.
- Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo), at s.t.
- Mark Padun (Bahrain-Victorious), at s.t.
- Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.
- Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), 18:36:06
- Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious), at 00:58
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), at 01:06
- Jefferson Cepeda (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), at 02:25
- Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), at 02:37
- Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadier), at 02:44
- Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), at 02:54
- Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo), at 03:12
- Romain Bardet (Team DSM), at s.t.
- Nicholas Schultz (Team BikeExchange), at 03:36