Aussie Rules OK. Jai Hindley solos to stage win and yellow jersey.
Laruns, Wednesday, July 5th –After Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Bradley McGee, Robbie McEwen, Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans and Rohan Dennis, Jai Hindley (BORA – hansgrohe) became the eighth Australian in the yellow jersey as he soloed to victory in Laruns after making a smart move in a numerous breakaway from far out on his Tour de France debut! Jonas Vingegaard bettered arch-rival Tadej Pogačar in the first Pyrenean stage.
Stage 5 of the Tour de France was a day of drama in the Pyrenees, as the race exploded on the first mountain test of the 2023 edition. The 178km stage from Pau to Laruns featured four categorized climbs, including the hors categorie Col de Soudet and the first category Col de Marie Blanque, before a fast descent to the finish.
The stage was won by Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), who attacked from a large breakaway group on the Col de Soudet and soloed to victory in Laruns, taking the yellow jersey from Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) in the process. Hindley, who finished second in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, showed his climbing prowess and endurance as he held off a chasing group of four riders, led by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who sprinted to second place ahead of Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula).
But the biggest story of the day was the battle between the main GC contenders on the Col de Marie Blanque, where Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) launched a devastating attack that dropped Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), the defending champion and pre-race favourite. Vingegaard, who won the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, showed no fear as he accelerated away from Pogačar and a select group of riders, including Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quickstep), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich).
Vingegaard quickly opened up a gap of over a minute on Pogačar, who seemed to struggle with the heat and the steep gradients of the climb. The Slovenian was isolated from his UAE Team Emirates teammates, who had lost contact earlier in the stage, and had no allies to help him chase down Vingegaard. He was eventually joined by Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), but they could not make any significant dent in Vingegaard’s advantage.
Vingegaard crossed the summit of the Col de Marie Blanque with 1:07 over Pogačar’s group and maintained his lead on the descent to Laruns, where he finished 1:09 behind Hindley and moved up to second place overall, 47 seconds behind the new leader. Pogačar crossed the line in 14th place, 2:16 behind Hindley, and dropped to third place overall, 1:41 behind Hindley and 54 seconds behind Vingegaard.
The stage reshuffled the GC standings, with Hindley leading Vingegaard by 47 seconds and Pogačar by 1:41. Simon Yates moved up to fourth place at 2:02, followed by Lafay at 2:08 and Van Aert at 2:12. Alaphilippe climbed to seventh place at 2:23, while Uran slipped to eighth at 2:25. Bernal remained in ninth place at 2:29, while Bardet rounded out the top ten at 2:32.
Stage 5 Results and GC
The Tour de France continues on Thursday with another mountain stage in the Pyrenees, featuring the legendary climbs of the Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. The stage could see more fireworks among the GC contenders, as Vingegaard will try to defend his position and Pogacar will try to bounce back from his setback.