CATTOLICA, Italy (AP) — Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan won a crash-marred fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday and Alessandro De Marchi kept hold of the leader’s pink jersey.
Ewan’s victory in a sprint finish was overshadowed by several crashes in the final 15 kilometers. The most serious involved one of the favorites, Mikel Landa, who was taken away in an ambulance.
The incident occurred after American cyclist Joseph Dombrowski hit a race marshal signaling an obstacle in the middle of the road, causing a crash.
Dombrowski, who had been second overall after winning the previous stage, was able to continue but finished more than eight minutes behind Ewan. The consequences were more serious for Landa, who received swift treatment before being taken to hospital.
Pavel Sivakov’s hopes of overall victory are also in tatters after he was involved in another crash. The Ineos Grenadiers rider managed to get up and change bicycles but had no chance of catching the high-speed peloton.
Ewan was also involved in a late tangle with Tim Merlier but managed to stay upright and edge ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo in the final 50 meters of the flat and straight 177-kilometer (110-mile) route from Modena to Cattolica on the Adriatic coast.
It was an 11th second-place finish in the Giro for Nizzolo, who has never won a Grand Tour stage. Elia Viviani was third.
De Marchi remained 42 seconds ahead of Louis Vervaeke, who moved into second. Nelson Oliveira is third, 48 seconds behind De Marchi.
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