Evans safe in slippery stage, Goss on ground

Road,ITA,Giro,d'Italia,Evans,BMC,Degenkolb
Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans is a hit with the Italian fans (Sirotti Images)

Australia's Cadel Evans avoided a pile-up near the end of a rain-soaked fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia to remain inside the overall top 10, but Orica-GreenEDGE sprinter Matt Goss was not so lucky.

We come here together without much time spent together, and for some of the guys it is their first time in a Grand Tour looking after a GC guy, so we started out a bit green. We are improving though, so no need to stress.

The 2011 Tour de France winner sits 10th overall, 42 seconds down on race leader Luca Paolini (Katusha).

Most of the main peloton, including Evans, Paolini and Sky's Bradley Wiggins, were held up by several crashes on a dangerous left-hand corner inside the final 1.5km of the stage.

Luckily Evans and the rest of that peloton benefited from race rules allowing anyone caught up or delayed by crashes inside the final 3km to be given the same time as the winner, Argos-Shimano's John Degenkolb.

Australian Matthew Goss was one rider who was not so lucky, hitting the deck and suffering abrasions, leaving him unable to sprint for victory.

Assistant director of Evans's BMC team said the closing kilometres of the race were going according to plan until the crash.

"We knew the last 800m were really hard, so we had all the guys near Cadel to keep him toward the front," Fabio Baldato said.

"The plan wasn't necessarily to go for the win but to keep Cadel in the top 10 and make sure no time was lost due to a split at the finish."

What was meant to be a run-of-the-mill day at the Italian Grand Tour fell victim to the weather.

"So that was a calm day at the Giro?!" wrote Evans on his website.

"Without the downpours it might have been ... A flatter stage along the coast with the wind on backs that went a bit quicker than expected, and couple of storms throughout the day made things a bit more challenging.

"The final 20km were not hard but enough to make a selection amongst the sprinters which made things interesting (and unpredictable) in the final. A recent storm at finish line made things even more unpredictable.

"While Steve (Morabito), Danilo (Wyss) and Daniel (Oss) kept out of trouble in the final kilometres I went on side of caution for the sprint, into the second-last corner I heard many "piano's" from the peloton...more than a few went down on the 90 degree left-hander, so close to the front it's difficult to avoid.

"I managed to stop in time and stay out of trouble, for the others I'm yet to find out."

For Evans, the early stages of the race are about not losing any time and helping the team find its feet.

"Not much of a result for me, but getting through that mess unscathed is already satisfying.

"I saw a big improvement amongst the (BMC) boys with each finding and filling their roles," Evans wrote after Stage 4.

"We come here together without much time spent together, and for some of the guys it is their first time in a Grand Tour looking after a GC guy, so we started out a bit green. We are improving though, so no need to stress."

SBS will broadcast daily highlights at 6:00pm, plus show eight key stages live on SBS TWO and online right here at Cycling Central.

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