BinckBank Tour (st. 5)
German youngster on the attack into decisive, 16-rider split en route to Sittard's finish; Jasha now 5th overall at BinckBank Tour after stage five
Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar Team) came into the 2017 BinckBank Tour with an aim of fighting "for a top-10 GC finish", and started Friday to build on that goal with a fine performance at the first stage of the 'hills trio' in the race, a 167km loop around Sittard, in Dutch Limburg, with 18 little 'bergs' through the roads of the Amstel Gold Race.
After joining Gorka Izagirre into a 30-rider front split created by Sunweb at the climb of Windraak, 40km from the end, the German youngster again made the right move as he entered a 16-man group formed at the final ascent of the stage, from which he briefly attacked to go solo. Sütterlin ended up in 10th place, inside that selected group and 3" behind Lars Boom (TLJ), who attacked into the final 2km to win the stage.
The big selection inside the GC sees Jasha jumping onto 5th overall, 27" down on Boom (TLJ) and now only behind Peter Sagan (BOH; 2nd, +2"), Tom Dumoulin (SUN; 3rd, +8") and Tim Wellens (LTS; 4th, +19"). The man from Freiburg will be tackling a very hard route for him on Saturday, with the 'côtes' of Saint-Roch and Moines before Houffalize's finish (204km), a day before the 'mini Tour of Flanders' showdown that already saw him shining bright in 2016.
The day also had a negative side as Winner Anacona had to abandon due to stomach problems -on the day of his 29th birthday- and Rory Sutherland crashed into a pile-up just outside the final 60km. The Aussie rider, in obvious pain after the tumble, got back on his bike quickly and completed the stage.