Belgian Wout van Aert won the fifth stage of the Tour de France, a 183km ride from Gap that featured no breakaway, an almost unprecedented scenario in normal racing conditions in the modern era on Wednesday. France’s Julian Alaphilippe lost the competition’s overall lead after a 20-second penalty, handing it to UK’s Adam Yates.
Dutchman Cees Bol was second and Sam Bennett took third place to become the first Irishman to wear the green jersey for the points classification since Sean Kelly in 1990.
Alaphilippe was first reported as having retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey after staying tucked in the peloton the whole day. But it has since been announced that he has lost the Tour de France’s overall lead after being handed a 20-second penalty at the end of Wednesday’s stage.
Alaphilippe snatched a bottle 17km from the line, but the rules state that feeding is illegal within 20km of the finish.
Adam Yates is the new overall leader in the updated Tour de France rankings.
Thursday’s sixth stage is a 191km middle-mountain trek from Le Teil to the Mont Aigoual.
News of Alaphilippe’s time penalty took some of the shine off Bennett’s celebrations in green.
“It’s a bit disappointing,” he said. “We only heard about it obviously after the finish. It’s a bit of the high and lows today. We thought we’d have yellow and green but unfortunately, we don’t have it now.
“I’m honoured to wear (green) at least once and I’m really happy that happened today. It’s hard to go for stages and the green jersey – today I was so focused on the green I almost forgot to really, really try to win.
“I’ve never had such mixed feelings in my career. I’m really happy to have green but sad to have lost the stage. But I did everything I could. In the last two kilometres I didn’t have the legs to sprint, but I’m pretty happy with my performance in the end.”
Yates follows Tom Simpson, Sean Yates (no relation), Chris Boardman, David Millar, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas in pulling on the yellow jersey.
The 28-year-old, who will join Team Ineos next season, came to the Tour insisting he would focus only on stage wins after an illness hurt his preparations to have another tilt at the general classification.