Rider for Israeli team snags Tour de France stage win, in first

Simon Clarke of Israel Premier Tech has won stage five of the Tour de France in a photo finish after a 157 kilometer run from Lille to Arenberg featuring 20 kilometers of cobbled mining roads.

The victory marks the first time the Israel-based team has won a stage of the world famous race.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert of Jumbo has retained his overall leader’s yellow jersey despite a nasty fall, but his teammate Primoz Roglic lost around two minutes to defending champion and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

The 35-year-old Australian Clarke used a bike throw on the line in a razor thin victory over Taco van der Hoorn after Native American Neilson Powless launched a sprint in a bid for the yellow jersey but fell just short.

A bike throw involves a rider moving his arms as far ahead as possible while moving his rear end backward, using physics to thrust the bike forward slightly.

“What a year,” says an emotional Clarke, who got a last-minute contract with the IPT team in December after leaving EF. “I’m ever the optimist.”

“I just told myself not to panic even when the sprint started almost one kilometer out,” he says about the finale.

“I sat back in the slipstream, waited and waited and went for the line at the last second,” he says.

Thursday’s sixth stage starts in the Belgian town of Binche and returns to France in the Ardennes forest for what should be a splintered finale with two short steep climbs.

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