Wouter Mol (Join-S De Rijke) beat his breakaway companions to the line to claim stage 5 of the An Post Ras, ahead of Troels Ronning Vinther (Riwal Platform) and Eoin Morton (UCD Fitz Cycling).
The yellow jersey remained on the shoulders of Clemens Fankhauser (Tirol), but, thanks to their presence in the break, Matthew Holmes (Madison Genesis) and Damien Shaw (An Post Chain Reaction) moved up to second and third respectively, two seconds off the race lead. This meant that Aaron Gate (An Post Chain Reaction) dropped down to fifth overall, although still only five seconds off the race lead.
With the stage featuring a number of climbs again, as well as a kick to the finish, the 148 kilometre stage five from Sneem to Clonakilty was it was not one that the overall contenders could sit back and relax on. In fact, the start of the stage saw numerous breaks attempt to go clear, only to be brought back into the fold.
Eddie Dunbar (Ireland) attempted to get clear on a number of occasions, but due to his high position in the overall, he was not allowed much of a lead, and was brought back by the peloton. He did however manage to get over the category two Caha Pass in first place. However, it was German rider Nikodemus Holler (Stradalli Bike Aid) who crested second on that climb who ended up winning two other KOM points to consolidate his lead in the KOM competition.
Eventually a strong lead group of ten riders formed, with six Irish riders in the mix, chasing another stage win for the hosts. Although the group containing the yellow jersey was chasing hard behind, the gap coming into ten kilometre finishing circuit was such that the break looked set to take the stage. As the pressure mounted on the front, the break was reduced to six riders, with the remainder slipping back to the peloton. The six who would contest the finish between them included Wouter Mol (Join-S De Rijke), Troels Ronning Vinter (Riwal Platform), Eoin Morton (UCD Fitz Cycles), Connor Dunne (JLT Condor), Damien Shaw (An Post Chain Reaction), and Matthew Holmes (Madison Genesis). With a number of riders in the break still close to overall leader Fankhauser the peloton was chasing hard behind, but coming to the line the break still had close on half a minute over the chasing peloton. Mol outsprinted his companions for the win, with Shaw and Holmes, both of whom were well up in the overall classification, hanging on for dear life on the way to the line to finish in the same time as the stage winner.
The bunch crossed the line 27 seconds later, with Aaron Gate (An Post Chain Reaction) being the top Kiwi finisher on the stage in tenth place, one place ahead of Regan Gough (New Zealand), with Taylor Gunman (Madison Genesis) in 26th.
The gap of 27 seconds between the break and the bunch meant that Fankhauser had done just enough to retain his race lead. However, it meant that Holmes and Shaw muscled their way up into second and third overall respectively, only two seconds off Fankhauser, with Jai Hindley (Australia) and Gate being pushed down to fourth and fifth respectively, even though they retained their gap to the race leader.
Gate retained the lead in the points competition, two points ahead of his closest competitor.