Jai Hindley crossed the line alone to win stage five of the Tour de France on Wednesday to take the overall leader’s yellow jersey as defending champion Jonas Vingegaard won a battle with Tadej Pogacar.
Hindley’s feat however was overshadowed by Vingegaard’s show of class as the Dane pulled off a major coup on the final mountain to carve a 53-second advantage over Pogacar in the overall standings.
The anticipated duel between the pair has been the main focus on the Tour so far, but now Hindley, the 2022 Giro d’Italia winner, has stolen some of that thunder.
After joining an early escape as the peloton left Pau, the gateway to the Pyrenees, at frantic speed, Hindley eventually shook off his breakaway rivals on the final Col de Marie Blanque climb.
At the village of Laruns the 27-year-old raised his arms to the sky and finished 32 seconds ahead of Giulio Ciccone and Felix Gall with Vingegaard fifth at 34sec.
“I’m here for the overall win and the aim was to put as much time as possible into the others,” said Hindley. “It has been a dream since I was six years old but I never thought I’d find myself in the yellow jersey.”
“It was chaotic behind with different teams riding with various aims. I got the win and the lead so I’m delighted, it’s going to be a crazy bike race.”
Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma stunned the UAE when Wout Van Aert dropped back from an early break and led Vingegaard uphill with an impressive 500m pull.
Sepp Kuss then took the relay until he too peeled away before Vingegaard broke free and put the hammer down over the remaining 15km to the finish line.
Vingegaard expressed surprise at how Pogacar struggled.
“On paper this didn’t look like it was going to be a good day for me, but on the last climb I knew I had the legs,” said the defending champion. “I was surprised Pogacar didn’t manage to follow, even if I was doing it to test him.”
💪 A solo win for Jai Hindley + the Yellow Jersey! Relive last kilometer of Stage 5 👀
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 5, 2023