Wout Van Aert rode away from all sprint contenders to claim victory in first-ever Tour de France Stage finish in Privas
By Chuck Gibson (Interview quotes provided by Le Tour de France)
INTERNATIONAL (September 2, 2020) – A furious pace in the final miles of Tour de France Stage 5 leading to the first-ever stage finish in Privas created a surprise winner today.
Wout Van Aert provided great support for his teammate Primoz Roglic on Tuesday, but took advantage of opportunity to sprint to the stage win today. Teams pressed hard and fast in the final miles riding near 40 mph with about four miles to go on a 114 mile over four hour ride. They maintained speeds close to 30 mph even into the final mile. The fast pace threw the sprint teams out of rhythm and opened the door for Van Aert to claim Stage 5 victory in Privas.
In another odd turn of events, overall race leader Julian Alaphillipe lost the Yellow Jersey due to a 20 second penalty handed down after the finish. The Yellow Jersey (Overall Race Lead) passed over to Adam Yates after it was ruled Alaphillipe had taken a water bottle in the last 20 km – which is not allowed.
“I didn’t understand at first that I was the new Yellow Jersey,” said Yates.” I’d gone back to the bus, I had a shower and I was ready to go back to the hotel, but someone called to say that I had to go to the podium. . . I would have liked to take the Yellow Jersey in a different way, but now that we have it we’ll defend it. We’ll take it stage by stage. Tomorrow, on the Mont Aigoual, it will be one hell of a battle”.
With the 20 second penalty Alaphillipe falls from 1st to 16th overall trailing the leader by 16 seconds and sheds the Yellow Jersey after holding onto it since winning Stage 2. Yates has a 3 second lead over Primoz Roglic and will now start Stage 6 with the Yellow Jersey on his back.
A noteworthy ride was turned in by American Sepp Kuss from Colorado who fought his way back to the main group of riders after crashing late in the stage today. He currently leads all American riders, but has fallen to 42nd in the overall standings trailing by 7’-39” including a 20 second time penalty. Tomorrow Stage 6 will take riders 191 km (about 119 miles) from LeTeil to Mount Aigoual.
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