IT was a wet and miserable day in the saddle, but an opportunistic sprint still gave Mark Renshaw's Dimension Data team something to celebrate on stage five of the Giro d'Italia.
The rain bucketed down and the mercury sat in single digits as the Bathurst cyclist and the rest of the peloton made their way from Frascati to Terracina south of Rome.
As the finish line of the 140 kilometre leg loomed, Renshaw and team-mate Ryan Gibbons were negotiating the slippery, treacherous conditions well as they looked to set up Giacomo Nizzolo for the final sprint.
While it did not unfold in favour of Nizzolo, Gibbons found an opening and mustered a sprint to nab sixth place behind Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Renshaw finished with that lead bunch so was given the same time for the stage as Ackermann - three hours, 15 minutes and 44 seconds.
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"Heading into finale we were trying to work for Giacomo, myself and Mark were trying keep him out of trouble, but with the rain and slippery corners it was always going to be a bit of a nightmare," Gibbons said.
"I did a big turn and stopped with about two kays to go and then the lead group was quite small, so I just sort of tagged along at the back.
"Then about 400 metres to go it all bunched up on the left and I saw an opening on the right and thought 'Why not?' My legs were a bit heavy, but I saw a gap and took it and ended up sixth."
Ackermann was delighted to extend his lead in the points classification by snagging the stage win, but admitted it was a tricky finish.
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"It was a crazy finale, it was really difficult in the rain," Ackermann said.
"I'm strong but I was lucky too. I did two sprints: I had to brake with 250 metres and then go again. I'm really happy with today.
"All the stage was scary and sprint was scary because you can't see much. It was cold all day. But I'm 'heavier' than most other guys and so that perhaps helped too."
The next sprint chance for Renshaw is likely to come on stage 10 into Modena.