Giro d'Italia: Accident at start of stage five

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An accident that has left a motorcyclist in a critical condition marred stage five of the 2018 Giro d'Italia.

The incident took place shortly before the race began on Wednesday with reports in Italy stating that a car drove through a roadblock in place to enable riders to progress pass through Agrigento.

A helicopter airlifted the motorcyclist, who was working at the Giro d'Italia, to a nearby hospital while the driver was arrested as the start to the race was delayed by 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Italian riders have now won three of the five stages, although the overall race lead remained unchanged.

Enrico Battaglin edged out compatriot Giovanni Viscont to take the stage victory after making his move in the final 200 metres on the uphill finish to the 153km leg that runs from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa.

"The Giro is very important for me every year. I'm extremely happy to be a stage winner again. I want to continue the race this way," Battaglin said.

Portugal's Jose Goncalves finished third with Simon Yates of Britain coming in fifth to retain third place overall, 17 seconds behind leader Rohan Dennis.

"It was a nice day on the bike, on quite a slow pace because of the head wind. I felt a bit of stress every now and then but I am glad to be in the Maglia Rosa," Dennis said.

"We're only on day five, that means sixteen days to go. Stage six will be another story with the Etna. I'm looking forward to see how I'll go up there."

Chris Froome is 55 seconds off the pace but will view a challenging stage six up Mount Etna as an opportunity to claw back some time.

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