Jai Hindley wins Tour de France stage five to take yellow jersey

By Sports Desk July 05, 2023 575

Jai Hindley won stage five of the Tour de France in Laruns to take the yellow jersey from Adam Yates and Jonas Vingegaard rode clear of rival Tadej Pogacar as an early trip to the Pyrenees ripped up the general classification.

Hindley, winner of last year’s Giro d’Italia, marked himself out as a major contender with a breakaway victory but surely more important was the sight of defending champion Vingegaard leaving behind two-time winner Pogacar on the final climb to make his case as the favourite to be in yellow come Paris.

Having gone clear from the last of his fellow escapees on the final climb of the Col de Marie Blanque, Hindley soloed into Laruns to take the win by 32 seconds, with Vingegaard coming home at the back of a four-strong group that was second on the road.

With bonus seconds applied, Hindley now leads overall by 47 seconds from Vingegaard with Giulio Ciccone in third, 63 seconds back.

The Australian may be making his Tour de France debut, but given Hindley has twice stood on the podium of the Giro it was a huge surprise to see how easily he got into the break.

“I’m a bit lost for words to be honest,” the Bora-Hansgrohe rider said. “I can’t believe it. I was pretty surprised to find myself in that group. I just sort of slipped into it. I was sort of having fun, then looked back and there was no group behind so I thought, ‘I guess we’re in for a bike race’.

“The gap grew out initially and I was just trying to maybe get a bit of a buffer on the GC guys and then I started to think about the stage win.”

Pogacar, utterly unable to respond when Vingegaard launched his own move on the Marie Blanque, lost more than a minute to Vingegaard and slipped to sixth, one minute and 40 seconds off yellow. Adam Yates is now fifth and his twin brother Simon seventh.

The first real mountain battle of the Tour turned into a fascinating tactical battle as Hindley slipped into a strong breakaway that got clear during a frantic start to the 163km stage out of Pau.

Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates were unable to shut it down and got no help from any of their rivals, watching the advantage balloon to four minutes as they climbed the hors categorie Col de Soudet midway through the stage.

Hindley would have been hoping to gain a bigger lead given the time gaps that had been seen, but when Vingegaard made a late dig of his own he quickly distanced Pogacar and kept himself within reach of the yellow jersey.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 05 July 2023 11:59
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