BORA-hansgrohe’s Jai Hindley stole a march on his GC rivals on Stage 5, sustaining a powerful solo attack for almost 20 km to take both the yellow jersey and the first mountain stage of the 2023 Tour de France.
It was the Australian’s first stage win in his debut Tour de France, after winning the Giro d’Italia last year. Hindley snatched the yellow jersey from UAE’s Adam Yates, on what was a poor day for UAE.
The Tour is won and lost in the mountains, and today’s action-packed stage fulfilled that prophecy as the headlines weren’t limited to the yellow jersey exchange.
An impressive attack by in-form Jonas Vingegaard broke Tadej Pogačar, taking over a minute out of the pre-race favorite. Vingegaard now sits 2nd in the General Classification with a 53-second lead over his Slovenian rival.
Vingegaard, supported by his Jumbo-Visma teammate Sepp Kuss, attacked the group of GC favorites, with Pogačar managing to stay on his wheel.
But the young Dane showed his strength with blistering acceleration, distancing himself from Pogačar who was unable to match Vingegaard’s speed.
A Tustle For Time-Gaps
The stage was littered with exciting breakaways with Wout Van Aert, Jai Hindley, Giulio Ciccone, and Felix Gall among around 30 others forming the first serious gap to the peloton with over 130 km to go.
This big group was slowly whittled down over the course of the race as many riders attempted to break away in smaller groups.
Van Aert and Campenaerts sustained a small gap which was eventually brought back by Ciccone and Gall near the summit of the hors catégorie Col du Soudet, and Austrian rider Gall took the bonus seconds for crossing the summit first.
The two riders had just 30 seconds or so on the pursuivants, however, and the front group grew in size as a few riders, Hindley included, caught up.
With just 1.5 km of the final climb of today’s stage to go, Hindley produced a decisive attack to drop Gall and Ciccone and sustained the gap until the end of the stage, finishing 32 seconds clear of 2nd-placed Ciccone.
General Classification Chaos
In a stage that was hectic enough as a stand-alone race, the General Classification has been royally shaken-up as Jai Hindley soars into yellow with his impressive show.
However, Vingegaard’s unmatched attack took over a minute out of Hindley’s solo breakaway, and a minute out of rival Tadej Pogačar, leaving serious question marks over the Slovenian’s ability to respond in the rest of the Tour.
This was the first round in what will likely be an ongoing battle between the two riders, and the defending champion asserted his ascendency in what was a fantastic display.
However, today’s stage proved that this supposed two-horse race might not be as straightforward as it seems.
With Jai Hindley leading the standings by 47 seconds, the former Giro champion has positioned himself as a serious contender for the title.
Though the Australian certainly benefitted from Jumbo-Visma and UAE-Emirates seemingly left distracted by each other – and was reeled in rapidly by Vingegaard’s late surge – Hindley’s pace and racecraft showed his rivals may underestimate him at their peril.
Undoubtedly he’ll be marked far more closely throughout the rest of the Tour and denied the freedom that allowed him to ghost into a breakaway with two teammates in support, but his challenge adds an intriguing dimension to the yellow jersey battle.
It ended up being a mixed day for Vingegaard. Although he has a commanding lead over Pogačar, multiple potential threats to the General Classification have made themselves known, with both Jai Hindley and Giulio Ciccone showing their strength.
“I enjoyed myself out there today”
“The guys on the radio were just screaming at me to ride it to the line but I couldn’t really hear them.” Jai Hindley said in an interview with ITV4.
“I wanted to come here and be competitive and have some form of success … and I’ve just won a stage of the Tour de France.”
Jonas Vingegaard reflected on his thought process as he attacked Pogačar: “On the final climb, I felt good so I said to Sepp [Kuss] that he should go to the front and start pushing. He did that and then I attacked.”
On what was among the most damaging Tour de France rides in his career, Tadej Pogačar seemed somewhat unphased by the GC reshuffle:
“It was not so difficult today but Jonas just went so fast on the climb, I lost my legs a little bit on the last 500 meters of the climb but overall I feel good.”
Tour De France 2023: Stage 5 Results
1. Jai Hindley (Bora – Hansgrohe/AUS): 3 Hours, 57 Minutes, 07 Seconds
2. Giulio Ciccone (Lidl – Trek/ITA): +32 secs
3. Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën/AUT): +32 secs
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora – Hansgrohe/GER): +32 secs
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo – Visma/DEN): +34 secs
6. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl – Trek/DEN): +1 min 38 secs
7. Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers/COL): +1 min 38 secs
8. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates/SLO): +1 min 38 secs
9. David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ/FRA): +1 min 38 secs
10. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers/ESP): +1 min 38 secs
Tour de France 2023 General Classification Standings After Stage 5
1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe/AUS): 22 Hours, 15 Minutes, 12 Seconds
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma/DEN): +47 secs
3. Giulio Ciccone (Lidl – Trek/ITA): +1 min 3 secs
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora – Hansgrohe/GER): +1 min 8 secs
5. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates/GB): +1 min 34 secs
6. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates/SLO): +1 min 40 secs
7. Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula/GB): +1 min 40 secs
8. Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl – Trek/DEN): +1 min 56 secs
9. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers/ESP): +1 min 56 secs
10. David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ/FRA): +1 min 56 secs