Copyright: Stiehl Photography

The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders continue to put their mark on this year’s Giro d’Italia. In the bunch sprint on stage 5, both Kristian Sbaragli and Ryan Gibbons (photo) made it into Top10 once again.

With a flat finish in Messina and only 159 km to overcome, today’s stage was always going to be a matter for the sprinters. However, with an undulating start to the day, the teams of the fast riders also had to make sure they didn’t let too big of a group get away. Ultimately, only two riders managed to distance the peloton, which seemed content with situation.

The leading duo spent most of the day at the front with the pack always keeping break on a tight leash. As the riders took on the finishing circuit, it all came back together and the sprinters’ teams now made sure the day ended in the expected bunch sprint. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was in a good position with Sbaragli and Gibbons near the front. Gibbons started his sprint early in order to open up the way for his teammate and at the end, Sbaragli did well to finish sixth, while 22-year-old Gibbons impressed by holding on to seventh place to secure his third Top10 result in his first ever Grand Tour. Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step Floors) won the stage with his teammates Bob Jungels keeping the pink leader’s jersey. Daniel Teklehaimanot is still second in KOM competition, while Sbaragli now sits third in the points classification.

Ryan Gibbons:
“Today, only two guys went up the road so, normally, that would mean that the stage was quite easy. However, the pace was really on all day long and at the end, both the GC riders and the sprinters wanted to be up there at the front. It was definitely not an easy stage. My job today was to sit on Kristian’s [Sbaragli] wheel and then go as early as possible to open up the door for him. I did that but then, in the last 100 meters, I paid the price for that effort. Once again, we were good as a team, always up there, but still not quite where we want to be”.