Giro d’Italia: Kaden Groves points to 'help from motos' as breakaway survives on sprint stage

Australian points to breakaway's advantages and Alpecin-Deceuninck's positioning in finale rather than lack of work as sprint teams fail to catch leaders

Clock16:33, Wednesday 8th May 2024
Alpecin-Deceunink lead the bunch on stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia

© Getty Images

Alpecin-Deceunink lead the bunch on stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia

Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has blamed his team’s failure to secure a result on stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia on a lack of energy in the finale, as well as possible advantages for the breakaway after a group of four held on to the line.

Part of an early breakaway, Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) won in Lucca to deny the sprinters on a flat finish, after the lead-out trains failed to bring back the leaders.

From the outside, fingers will be pointing at Alpecin-Deceuninck for their lack of – or at least late – contribution to the chase, seemingly wanting Jonathan Milan’s Lidl-Trek team to do the bulk of the work, but Groves had other explanations for the failure to catch the breakaway.

“I don’t know, the break was just incredibly fast, and I’m guessing a bit of help from the motos. But these stages happen every now and then,” he said to Eurosport after the stage.

“It was a super strong breakaway, and probably the tailwind had a lot to do with it as well.”

Read more: Giro d'Italia stage 5: Benjamin Thomas takes a dramatic win from the breakaway

In support of Groves, Alpecin-Deceuninck lit up the stage early on, pacing hard on the 15km Passo del Bracco and succeeding in putting a lot of sprint rivals into difficulty, but eased off in the latter part of the stage, and then hesitated to contribute to the chase, with the peloton ultimately losing that battle.

The Australian then lost touch with his team in the final 4km, and ultimately finished 15th as the sprinters battled for minor placings behind Thomas.

“We used a lot of energy early, I think that cost us a bit in the end, trying to bring back the break,” Groves said.

Reflecting on the day, Groves seemed more focused on his failure to sprint to a top-10 finish in the end, rather than the fact that the sprint was never for the win anyway, as the peloton failed to close the gap to the leaders.

After looking so organised early in the day, the Alpecin lead-out fell apart in the run-in, and so even if the break had been absorbed in the last few kilometres, a good result perhaps wasn’t on the cards for the 25-year-old, who is still waiting for a win in 2024.

“I think today the bridge at three and a half kilometres really decided the position coming in, and I was too far back, and that cost me basically,” he said.

Despite the lack of result in the finale, Groves was positive about the team’s ride, and the chance to try again on the next sprint stage.

“We had a plan and we executed the early part really well, and unfortunately got a little bit lost in the final, but the breakaway took the win anyway, so I’m happy to stay upright in those finishes anyway.”

For everything you need to know about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, from the history of the race to this year's route and start list, be sure to check out our dedicated race hub.

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