Tour de France: Clarke in shock after conquering cobbles to win stage five

Daniel Lewis
Stats Perform
Simon Clarke (r) celebrates his maiden Tour de France win
Simon Clarke (r) celebrates his maiden Tour de France win

Simon Clarke admitted he surprised even himself after edging out Taco van der Hoorn to win an action-packed stage five of the 2022 Tour de France.

The Israel-Premier Tech rider landed the victory from the breakaway on the cobbles of Arenberg on Wednesday, a day in which the General Classification was shaken up.

Jumbo-Visma endured a day to forget in the north-east of France, with Primoz Roglic crashing late on to see his title hopes dented and Wout Van Aert also losing ground.

While Roglic finished just under three minutes off the pace, race leader Van Aert recovered from an early crash of his own to finish just 13 seconds behind rival Tadej Pogacar.

UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar, seeking a third Tour de France crown, rode clear of the main field to shake up the GC standings.

The day ultimately belonged to Clarke, though, with the Australian beating Van der Hoorn in a photo finish in a dramatic 157-kilometre race from Lille that went the distance.

Five men broke away from the pack and Clarke, who recently contemplated early retirement, dug deep to nudge his wheel over the line for his first Tour de France triumph.

"After the winter I had when I had no team, to then have Israel ring me and say we'll give you a chance, it gives you a reality check to make the most of every chance," Clarke said.

"I still can't believe I got it on the line. Taco was well ahead of me with less than 50m to go, both legs were camping and I just lined up the biggest throw I could possibly do.

"I just had to pray it was enough. I need to watch the replay – I still don't quite believe it!"

Roglic concedes ground on Pogacar

The leading group was reduced to five men with around 26km to go and it was Clarke who saw the job through ahead of Van der Hoorn, with Edvald Boasson Hagen rounding off the podium.

Stage five was a big one in terms of the GC, with defending champion Pogacar making up two minutes on Roglic to underline his status as favourite for another title.

STAGE RESULT 

1. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) 3:13:35
2. Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) +0:02
4. Neilson Powless (EF Education–EasyPost) +0.04
5. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) +0.30


CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:17:22
2. Neilson Powless (EF Education–EasyPost) +0:13
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) +0:14

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 178
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 126
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) 86

King of the Mountains

1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) 11
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 1

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