Stage 5 of the BinckBank Tour started and finished in Sittard-Geleen and it took the riders on some of the famous Amstel Gold Race’s climbs. The 167,3 kilometer course was therefore a lot hillier than the previous days. Early attacks were quickly neutralized by the peloton, but a group of seven riders managed to go clear thirty kilometers into the race. Allegaert, Bagdonas, Biermans, Hepburn, Reinders, Vakoc and Van Melsen quickly opened a four minutes and thirty second gap to the peloton. The succession of steep hills and an acceleration of Team Sunweb with fifty kilometers to go caused the peloton to split into two groups. Six Lotto Soudal riders worked hard in the first group to catch the breakaway, and the seven escapees were finally reeled in with twenty kilometers remaining. After a great effort, the second peloton was able to close the gap with the first one. Tim Wellens then launched an impressive attack that helped creating a new front group, with among others Sagan, Dumoulin en Boom. A handful of riders tried to go clear in the final kilometers, but Tim Wellens rode superbly to chase them down. However, Wellens couldn’t close the gap that Lars Boom opened with two kilometers to go, and the Dutchman soloed to the victory. Not far behind, Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet had to settle for second and third place. Tim Wellens arrived in eighth position, which saw him climb up to fourth in the general classification. Boom also took the leader’s jersey off the shoulders of Stefan Küng. 

Lotto Soudal put on an impressive team performance, despite the abandon of Tony Gallopin. The Belgian team could count on six riders in the first split and Tim Wellens went several times on the attack.

Tim Wellens: « I felt really good today, and this week in general. It’s been a long time since my legs felt really good. The last days were not really challenging, and today was the first tougher stage for the general classification. When the peloton split we had six riders in the first group and we tried to keep the riders of the second group at a distance. Eventually they closed the gap but they had lost a lot of energy. Then there were many attacks, I tried twice myself but I could never get a decent gap. In the final we were in an elite group of twelve riders, and then sixteen when the group of Andre Greipel also came along. I tried to close the gap with Lars Boom but it was too late. In general, we can be pleased with the performance of our team, and it gives hope for the coming days. I’m now fourth in the GC, I’ve never been in a better position before the final weekend. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s challenging stage, it will be crucial for the overall victory. In my opinion,  Sagan and Dumoulin are the main contenders for the final victory, but I will surely do my best to finish as high as possible in the overall classification of this BinckBank Tour. »

Tiesj Benoot crashed again on his left side, which was already sore from stage 2. However, he was able to remount his bike and finish the stage and he will most probably be on the start line tomorrow. Tony Gallopin was forced to abandon the race due to over-fatigue.