Australia’s Kaden Groves won a chaotic raid-sodden stage five of the Giro d’Italia featuring numerous crashes, including one caused by a dog.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish finished fourth after skidding across the line on his backside following a collision metres from the finish.

World champion Remco Evenepoel crashed twice, the first after a dog wandered on to the road in front of him.

A crash hampered Andreas Leknessund but he was able to retain the overall lead.

Remco Evenepoel on the pavement after he was involved in a crash caused by a dog wandering onto the road
Remco Evenepoel ended up on the pavement following the crash caused by a dog running across the path of his Soudal-Quick Step teammate Davide Ballerini

Heavy rain made conditions treacherous and meant much of the 171km ride from Atripalda to Salerno was at a steady pace, though that did not prevent a number of pile-ups.

The first crash after 19km had nothing to do with the rain, however, with a dog running across Davide Ballerini’s path, causing him and Soudal-Quick Step team-mate Evenepoel to come off their bikes.

World champion Evenepoel, who led the race up until Tuesday’s fourth stage to Lago Laceno, was attended to by the race doctor before being helped back on to his bike and giving a thumbs up to the television cameras as he and Ballerini resumed riding.

There were then three crashes in the final 10km as the riders geared up for the mass sprint finish, with eventual winner Groves among those to fall on the final bend with 7km to go.

Race leader Leknessund of Norway and Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic were among those held up by the crash.

Belgian Evenepoel then went down for a second time with 2km remaining, looking visibility frustrated as he got back onto his bike and angrily gesticulating to the driver of his team car, appearing to suggest a rider may have cut across his path.

Then, as the riders pushed for the line Cavendish collided with Italian Andrea Vendrame, who smacked into the advertising hoardings, while Cavendish fell and skidded over the line.

Italy’s Jonathan Milan finished second ahead of Denmark’s Mads Petersen, with Alberto Dainese,another Italian, in third.

“It’s a dream to win,” said Groves, who had two third-place finishes in the opening four stages.

“Everything was going well but then I crashed at the roundabout with seven kilometres to go. Luckily I put my chain back on fast enough and the group came back together but it wasn’t very clean, we all got lost.

“The guys did a good job earlier and then luckily I was good enough to be in position and had the legs to lead out and win.”

Stage five

1. Kaden Groves (Aus/Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4hrs 30mins 19secs

2. Jonathan Milan (Ita/Bahrain Victorious) Same time

3. Mads Petersen (Den/Trek-Segafredo)

4. Mark Cavendish (Gbr/Astana)

5. Nicolas Dalla Valle (Ita/Team corratec-Selle Italia)

6. Mirco Maestri (Ita/Eolo-Kometa)

7. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita/Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizane)

8. Andrea Vendrame (Ita/AG2R Citroen)

9. Michael Matthews (Aus/Jayco-Alula)

10. Niccolo Bonifacio (Ita/Intermarche-Circus-Wanty)

General classification

1. Andreas Leknessund (Nor/Team DSM) 19hrs 6mins 3secs

2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel/Soudal-Quick Step) +28secs

3. Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Fra/AG2R-Citroen) +30secs

4. Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +1mins

5. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 12secs

6. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 26secs

7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Neutral/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

8. Toms Skujins (Lat-Trek-Segafredo) +1min 29secs

9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 30secs

10. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita/Eolo-Kometa +1 min 39secs