The bad luck of the best Froome in five years

The fifth stage of the Tour of Rwanda was about to bring about the resurrection of Chris Froome after the British starred in one of his exhibitions of yesteryear but he was finally left without a prize after the British suffered two punctures and a fall that prevented Froome from achieving his first victory since winning the Giro d’Italia in 2018. The victory went to the South African Callum Ormiston who prevailed over a group that included Mikel Iturria, Mikel Bizkarra, Unai Iribar and Asier Etxeberria, from Euskaltel-Euskadi, after a hard attack in the final kilometres, but all the leading role of the stage went to Chris Froome who was left without a prize despite his effort.

The riders faced the fifth stage of the Tour of Rwanda this Thursday on a 195.5 route between Rusizi and Rubavu, with 4,100 meters of positive elevation gain and three first-category ports and three second-category ones. The day began with a frenetic rhythm, with multiple attacks in a flying squad that barely left any room for breakaways in the middle of roads packed with people. At kilometer 64, a group of 18 riders managed to open a slight gap with the peloton, although they were caught by the leader’s group before the big moment of the day happened.

At kilometer 89, and with more than 100 kilometers to go, Chris Froome launched an attack that allowed him to leave alone in the lead of career in an attack that recalled the one he did at the Colle delle Finestre in the 2018 Giro d’Italia that allowed him to get the pink jersey.

A Froome who showed his best version going up and down, recalling at times that mythical descent that the British made in Peyresourde in the 2016 Tour. A skill in the descent that allowed Froome to extend his advantage to almost two minutes over the chasing group to reach a lead of four minutes with 90 kilometers from the finish line. It seemed that, finally, Froome was going to end a five-year winless streak since winning the 2018 Giro and after coming up short on the Alpe d’Huez stage of the Tour last year.

However, Froome’s fatigue saw the lead drop to 3:15 with 65 kilometers to go. and the field reduced the lead to 1:30 as leader Thomas Beonnet relented with the group of favourites. With 45 kilometers to go Mikel Iturria jumped from the leading group in search of Froome, who saw his exhibition cut short after suffering a puncture, so Iturria was left alone in the head of the race with a 45-second advantage.

A counterattack in the peloton made Ormiston, Tolio and Bizkarra remained at the head of the race, leaving Froome with no options who ended up paying for his efforts and who lost three minutes with the lead of the race due to a crash. A final stretch of the stage in which the South African Callum Ormiston managed to release Bizkarra to achieve his first victory as a professional in a day that will be remembered for the exhibition without a prize from Froome.

Classification of the fifth stage of the Tour of Rwanda

1. Callum Ormiston (RSA/South Africa) 4:59:51

2. Walter Calzoni (ITA/Q36.5) at 0:06

3. Metkel Eyob (ERI/Terengganu) mt


6. Mikel Iturria (ESP/Euskaltel-Euskadi) mt

8. Victor de Parte (ESP/TotalEnergies) mt

10. Mikel Bizkarra (ESP/Euskaltel-Euskadi) mt

General classification of the Tour of Rwanda after the fifth stage

1. William Junior Lecerf (BEL/Soudal Quick-Step Devo) 19:40:50

2. Anatoliy Budyak (UCR/Terengganu) at 0:02

3. Matteo Vercher (FRA/TotalEnergies) at 0:03

4. Victor de Parte (ESP/TotalEnergies) at 0:07


9. Mikel Bizkarra (ESP/Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 0:11

12. Mikel Iturria (ESP/Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 0:21

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