This stage was a 175 km (108.7 mi) ride with a category 2 climb being the highest point in the stage. Stage 5 ended in Macon, which gave sprinters an opportunity for a stage win due to the flat ground final 10 km (6.2 mi). Early in the race, a breakaway of 5 riders caused teams Katusha and FDJ to lead the peloton on a chase. No more than a 5 minute lead was allowed by the peloton and the final member of the breakaway group was reeled in with 20 km (12.5 mi) remaining. In these final 20 km, unexpected events took place and shocked the favorites.
Stage 5 was the second sprint finish of the week so teams were prepared to launch their attacks when time came. With less than a kilometer to go, the sprinters began their push to the finish. Phil Bauhaus of Team Sunweb went solo to the finish for a lack of teammates at the front of the peloton. His valiant determination and smart drafting techniques ensured him a win today in stage 5. He beat second place finisher, Arnaud Demare of Team FDJ by a bike length to clench the stage win for Team Sunweb.
Bauhaus told reporters “It feels really good (to have won). I felt that my shape was quite good a few weeks ago and I’m super happy that now everything worked out and that I could take the first victory.” In combination with his strong second stage sprint, this stage win today brought Bauhaus much support from his team. He was quoted saying this stage 5 win is the biggest win of his career so far. The young 22 year-old German rider is sprinting his way into the spot light and attention of bigger-name rivals. Bauhaus now sits in second place of points classifications with 47. Arnaud Demare leads in points with 59.
Be sure to tune in for stage 6 on Friday, June 9th. The riders to watch will be the climbers, as this stage is very mountainous. Zero sprinters are expected to be amongst the top finishers so hopefully they will not lose too much time.