France’s Arnaud Demare won stage five of the Giro d’Italia in Sicily after a thrilling sprint finish.
Britain’s Mark Cavendish, looking to win his second stage of this year’s Giro, was heavily fancied but fell away with several kilometres to go.
Demare got into position before a tight final corner to take his sixth career Giro stage win.
Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria finished in second and Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo was third in the 172km stage.
Juan Pedro Lopez, who on Tuesday became the first Spaniard since Alberto Contador in 2015 to take the overall leader’s pink jersey, retains his place at the top of the general classification.
He crossed the line in 58th in Messina.
Britain’s Simon Yates remains fourth overall, one minute 42 seconds down and the best placed of the main favourites.
It was a stage to forget for Cavendish and Caleb Ewan, who were both caught out on a climb and left unable to contest the sprint.
“In the end, what can you do?” Cavendish said.
“Of course you’re always disappointed but we knew that was going to happen today. It would have been a bonus if we could sprint, but we have to try. We’ll try again.”
The Giro leaves Sicily and heads for the Italian mainland next, with Thursday’s stage six a 192km ride from Palmi to Scalea. The 21-stage race concludes in Verona on 29 May.
Stage five result:
- Arnaud Demare (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) 4hrs 3mins 56secs
- Fernando Gaviria (Col/UAE Team Emirates) Same time
- Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Israel-Premier Tech) Same time
- Davide Ballerini (Ita/Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Team) Same time
- Biniam Girmay (Eri/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) Same time
- Phil Bauhaus (Ger/Bahrain Victorious) Same time
- Alberto Dainese (Ita/Team DSM) Same time
- Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri/Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) Same time
- Edward Theuns (Bel/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
- Simone Consonni (Ita/Cofidis)
General classification standings
- Juan Pedro Lopez (Esp/Trek-Segafredo) 18hrs 21mins 3secs
- Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +39secs
- Rein Taaramae (Eest/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +58secs
- Simon Yates (GB/Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +1min 42secs
- Mauri Vansevenant (Bel/Quick-Step-Alpha-Vinyl Team) +1min 47secs
- Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 55secs
- Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 58secs
- Pello Bilbao (Esp/Bahrain Victorious) +2mins
- Richie Porte (Aus/Ineos Grenadiers) +2mins 4secs
- Romain Bardet (Fra/Team DSM) +2mins 6secs