Peter Sagan won one more uphill sprint in the first week of the Tour de France after stage 1 to Seraing and stage 3 to Boulogne-sur-Mer in 2012, stage 2 to Cherbourg in 2016 and stage 3 to Longwy in 2017 as he outsprinted Sonny Colbrelli just like in La Roche-sur-Yon on stage 2. Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey.
171 riders started stage 5 in Lorient. 2 non-starters: Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal). Robert Kiserlovski (Katusha-Alpecin) crashed out after only three kilometres of actual racing. A 7-man breakaway was formed at km 5: Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic), Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal), Lilian Calmejane and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis). The BMC team of race leader Greg Van Avermaet was prompt to lead the peloton. A maximum time gap of 4’25’’ was recorded at km 80.
Tom Skujins in the polka dot jersey
Riding his 353rd Tour de France stage, just as many as George Hincapie, with only Joop Zoetemelk having raced for more days at the Tour (365), Chavanel passed first on the line of the intermediate sprint where Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step) outsprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) once again. The Frenchman attacked at the bottom of the first categorised climb, the côte de Kaliforn (km 106). He forged on until Skujins, Calmejane and Edet caught him at km 141, whereas Chris Froome (Sky) had a mechanical and requested a bike change. Gesbert was the first breakaway rider reeled in by the peloton at Châteauneuf-du-Faou (km 121) after he crashed by himself in a ditch. Chavanel lost contact in the hardest climb of the day, the côte de Ménez Quélerc’h. Edet was dropped in the last categorized climb after Locronan where Skujins secured the polka dot jersey.
Philippe Gilbert from far out
Calmejane and Skujins were brought back by the pack in the côte de la chapelle de la Lorette where the bonus point was located. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) sprinted to take three seconds while Van Avermaet got two. Rein Taaramäe (Direct Energie) attacked with 10km to go. He was caught by the peloton led by Team Sky 5.5km before the finish in Quimper. With 800 metres to go, Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step) launched the sprint, followed by Julien Simon (Cofidis), a former winner of the Tour du Finistère at the exact same place (2012). Van Avermaet closed on Gilbert. His action paved the way for another punchy stage victory by Sagan who fended off Colbrelli.