• Pretty in Pink....Simon Clarke (Getty Images)
After a dream start to the Giro d'Italia, Orica-GreenEDGE's time in the Maglia Rosa has come to an end.
By
Cycling Central

14 May 2015 - 7:25 AM  UPDATED 14 May 2015 - 7:47 AM

Contador leads Aru and Porte after Abetone battle
Alberto Contador took the Giro d’Italia lead as Jan Polanc shook himself loose from his day long breakaway companions to win the 5th stage of the Giro d’Italia.

The Australian team held the race lead since the opening stage, winning the team time trial to put Simon Gerrans into the Maglia Rosa. Stage 2 saw Michael Matthews take the pink jersey from Gerrans, with 24 year old extending his lead with victory in Stage 3. The tough fourth stage saw Simon clarke fight hard to keep the Maglia Rosa within the team with his second place enough to earn a day in pink.

But with Stage 5 the first summit finish of the tour it was always going to be a tough ask for the team to retain the jersey.

Clarke started the 152km stage in pink with team-mate Esteban Chaves 10 seconds down.

The pair put in a huge effort but the steady pace on the 17.3km ascent to the finish line saw Clarke lose contact as Chaves maintained touch the major overall contenders.

When the attacks from the race favourites began, it was enough to snap the elastic to the young Colombian and see Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) take the race lead. Chaves fought on to remain in the top ten overall, 37seconds off the pace in sixth position.

“It is bitter sweet,” Orica-GreenEDGE sport director Matt White. “We cannot fault the ride of our boys one bit.

“They rode exactly how we wanted them to ride and at the end of the day, there was going to be an attack of the best riders in the Giro, the question was when.      

“Every single member of the team did an incredible job today. Clarkey gave it his all to hold onto the jersey and Esteban knew who to follow and he came very very close, but it was the best guys that will podium at this race that went clear.”

Despite having two stage victories and four days in the lead already banked, White believes there is still plenty for the team to target in the remaing two weeks.

“We’ve had an incredible start to the Giro but it’s only just started,” White said.

“We’ve lost the leader’s jersey but there are many many more stages we want to target before Milan.”

Giro d'Italia broadcast details
SBS will broadcast every stage of the Giro d'Italia live. When possible, we will also live stream the race online here at Cycling Central before the television broadcast begins. In addition to morning highlights online, there will be highlights every day at 6pm on SBS 2.