Photography by BrakeThrough Media, Jered & Ashley Gruber, Cor Vos
Belgian Greg Van Avermaet was the last man standing after a daylong breakaway on stage 5 of the Tour de France, soloing to victory in Le Lioran Wednesday and pulling on the coveted maillot jaune as a reward for his efforts.
Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) rode away from compatriot Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) on the penultimate climb, the steep ascent of the Col du Perthus, with 17km remaining, winning the stage by over two minutes.
The win came as redemption for the BMC rider, who began the season by winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tirreno-Adriatico, but suffered heartache when he broke his collarbone during the Tour of Flanders, a season goal where he took the start as a pre-race favorite.
“It feels great,” Van Avermaet said of his double — the win and taking the maillot jaune. “I never dreamed about yellow. I was happy with my stage win last year, so to win and take yellow, it’s once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m going to enjoy it as long as possible.”
Read the full stage 5 race report, highlight video and results here.