This is Mark Cavendish’s 11th stage win in the Tour de France, the first of 2010. The top 10 in Montargis is: 1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) THR - 4h30’50" 2. Gerald Ciolek (GER) MRM 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) SKY 4. Jose Joaquim Rojas (ESP) GCE 5. Thor Hushovd (NOR) CTT 6. Sebastien Turgot (FRA) BTL 7. Robbie McEwen (AUS) KAT 8. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) LAM 9. Lloyd Mondory (FRA) ALM 10. Tyler Farrar (USA) GRM
It was a test of patience for the HTC-Columbia lead-out. Renshaw admitted that he went too soon yesterday but today he powered to the front with 400m to go and dropped ’Cav’ off at the 240 mark... from there he bolted into the lead and took the victory he always knew he could achieve.
Mark Cavendish has the perfect lead-out from Renshaw and the HTC-Columbia team have got their win. Cav beat Ciolek and Boasson Hagen.
Three Garmins are at the front of the peloton in the final kilometer... It’s time for the sprint to begin.
Eisel (THR) is now at the front of the bunch. He is the second-last lead-out man for Cavendish. Next up is Renshaw but he cannot be seen behind the Garmin team’s riders...
The Garmin team has taken charge of the front of the peloton with 3km to go. There are four from the US team at the head of the bunch less than 3km from the end of the stage...
Lampre and HTC have been in charge of the peloton but now Garmin are sending five riders up the right side of the road...
Guiterrez has conceded. He has been swamped by the peloton 4km from the finish.
There is now just 10" between the stage leader and the peloton.
The reigning Spanish champion is 5km from the finish. He is 12" ahead of the peloton. Remember, he is a time trial specialist - having won the national TT championship six times in the past.
El Fares (COF) and van de Walle (QST) have been caught by the peloton 5.5km from the finish. Now only Gutierrez remains ahead of the peloton...
Gutierrez is on his own at the front of the stage. He is 10" ahead of El Fares and van de Walle and 18" ahead of the peloton.
With 6.5km to go, Gutierrez has attacked the lead group which was just 20" ahead of the peloton.
There is a 90 degree right-hand turn with around 600m to go in the fifth stage. "I’m looking at it on Google maps now," said Mark Renshaw two hours before the stage when LeTour.fr called him to get his thoughts on stage four. "It looks tight but that sort of finish suits out team well. We probably do a little better when it’s more technical..."
As the leading trio pass under the 10km to go banner, the advantage of the escapees has dwindled to 40".
The peloton is being led by Lampre, HTC-Columbia and Cervelo riders. The early pacesetter for the green jersey’s team is Ignatas Konovolovas from Lithuania. He’s sharing the work with Bole (Lampre) and Grabsch (of HTC-Columbia).
After 170km at the front of the stage, the advantage of Gutierrez’s trio has dropped below a minute. The maximum gain was 7’55" and the Spanish champion was briefly the virtual leader of the Tour but then the peloton picked up the pace and it’s only a matter of time before the sprinters’ teams have their way...
The leaders are within the final 15km of the stage. They have a lead of 1’15".
The points for the final intermediate sprint were won by: 1. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (GCE) 6pts 2. Julien El Fares (COF) 4pts 3. Jurgen van de Walle (QST) 2pts
With 20km to go, the peloton was 1’18" behind the three escapees.
The temperature in the lead car is 35.5 degrees Celsius right now but it has been jumping to 36.5.
The peloton is less than 25km from the finish. The head of the bunch is dominated by riders from Cervelo, Lampre, and HTC-Columbia. The leaders have an advantage of 1’25".
The leaders are less than 25km from the finish. They continue to share the workload... and there has been no hint of an attack at the front.
“These next few days before the first climbing stages in the Alps are good opportunities for Thor to pick up another stage victory and chase the green jersey," said Brett Lancaster of the Cervelo team yesterday. "We’re in a good position now with the green jersey, but the Tour is just starting. A lot can happen. My job is to be there for Thor in the sprints.” Lancaster, Hunt, Lloyd, Hushovd et al have shown themselves at the head of the peloton for the first time today...
With the peloton closing in on the escapees, we could expect one of the leaders to try an attack. Of the three in the lead, van de Walle has spent the most time on the front. He and Gutierrez have both won races in the days leading up to the Tour - the Belgian took the semi-Classic Brussels-Ingooigem on 23 June, and the Spaniard won the national championship on 27 June. They have form, are motivated and now is the time to take advantage of the work they’ve done all day...
There are now two riders from the Lampre team at the front of the peloton. The leaders have 30km to go and have an advantage of 1’45".
With the deficit dropping quickly well before the finish of the stage, the peloton has calmed down a little with its chase of the three escapees. If they catch Gutierrez, El Fares and van de Walle too soon, there’ll be counter-attacks. So, Monfort, Sivtsov and Bole have eased off a little and they are now 1’55" behind the leading trio.
Monfort of the HTC-Columbia team continues to sit at the front of the bunch. He has the support of team-mate Sivtsov and a Lampre rider who came up to offer assistance with 50km to go. There are now about 38km to go in the fifth stage. The peloton is 1’50" behind the three escapees.
The recent newsflash that stated that Jean-Paul van Poppel beat Guido Bontempi in Nemours in incorrect. Those two did win the 22nd stage of the 1988 race, but it started in Nemours (and ended in Paris). Apologies for any confusion caused.
At the 145km mark, the peloton is 1’45" behind the leading trio.
In 1988 the 21st stage of the Tour de France concluded in the town where the peloton is at the moment, Nemours. The winner was Jean-Paul van Poppel and the runner-up Guido Bontempi. The Dutchman and the Italian are in the race today... but behind the wheel of the Cervelo and Astana team cars, respectively.
One Rabobanker has dropped behind the peloton to help Menchov after his recent puncture.
In the last 10 minutes, HTC-Columbia has spent 73 per cent of the time on the front of the peloton; Saxo Bank 21 per cent and Lampre six per cent...
The winner of last year’s Giro d’Italia, Denis Menchov, has recently punctured his rear tire. He has a new wheel from his Rabobank team car and is now racing to rejoin the peloton. With no team-mates dropping back, it’s time for the mechanic to "fix" his brake for a little while so he can get paced back to the peloton.
There are riders from HTC, Saxo, Lampre and Caisse d’Epargne at the head of the peloton. Nestled in behind this mix are all nine riders from the Liquigas squad.
The leaders of the stage are 47km from the finish. They’ve been in the front of the stage for 136km so far but the advantage is now less than two minutes.
The leading trio must be resigned to the fact that their move is not going to succeed, van de Walle continues to do the most work but their advantage has dropped to 2’05" with the peloton at the 137km mark.
The HTC-Columbia and Saxo Bank teams have been in charge of the front of the peloton all day but now one rider from Lampre has come along to contribute to the pacesetting...
Of the three men in the lead of the fifth stage, none has previously won a stage of the Tour. The best result of the trio is Gutierrez’s third place in the prologue from the 2004 Tour (behind Cancellara and Armstrong in Liege).
The three riders in the front of the stage have increased their tempo recently and they are now 2’25" ahead of the peloton. They are in Villecerf and have 58km to go in the 187.5km fifth stage. The move was started by the new Spanish champion Jose Ivan Gutierrez.
The most recent intermediate sprint was the second one of stage five (not the third, as reported in the newsflash with the results - sorry for any confusion caused). The peloton has crossed the line in Ville-Saint-Jacques at the 126.5km mark with a deficit of 2’20" to the three escapees.
Mark Cavendish is currently back with the team car and changing his right shoe. Is an interesting manoeuvre to perform while riding a bike but he’s done it with relative ease...
The points for the final intermediate sprint of stage five have been won by: 1. Julien El Fares (COF) 6pts 2. Jurgen van de Walle (QST) 4pts 3. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (GCE) 2pts
“We should see the same guys as yesterday fighting it out for the win… but perhaps a bit more of Cavendish as he tries to make up for what happened yesterday," John Lelangue recently told LeTour.fr. When pushed to nominate the winner in Montargis, he opted to back yesterday’s winner. "If I must pick a winner, I’d say Petacchi again. He is really strong.”
After only recently returning to the peloton after having a flat rear tire, Bert Grabsch is now being serviced for a front tire...
“Different riders have been assigned to look after Cadel at certain times in the stage," said John Lelangue of Team BMC, "and yesterday Brent Brookwalter did a great job in protecting him in the lead-up to the sprint in Reims. I expect we’ll see another bunch sprint today and our job will be the same: keep Cadel safe."
Sivtsov is now getting some assistance from another HTC-Columbia rider at the front of the peloton. Maxime Monfort has turned up and the pace has increased significantly. The bunch is now just 2’20" behind the three escapees.
“Cadel finished the stage up near the sprinters yesterday,” said BMC manager, John Lelangue when contacted by LeTour.fr recently. “He finished 16th and I’m happy with what I’ve seen of him all through the early days of this Tour. He’s in really good shape and the reason he was up there yesterday was just so that he didn’t get in any trouble if there was a crash."
The average for the third hour in stage five is 41.3km/h. The average for the first three hours: 40.3km/h.
Robbie McEwen hasn’t won a stage of the Tour since Canterbury, England in the 2007 edition. He was fourth yesterday and is now ranked third in the green jersey competition. When the Tour last concluded in Montargis he beat Boonen and Hushovd. O’Grady was fourth, another compatriot - Allan Davis - was sixth and Baden Cooke was eighth. This year there were a record 11 Aussies at the start but Adam Hansen has abandoned after a crash in stage one.
At the 110km mark, the peloton is 3’30" behind the three escapees.
Bert Grabsch has just punctured his rear tire. He has a new wheel and is racing to rejoin the peloton. Perhaps now is the time to tune in to HTC-Columbia’s live streaming to see what wattage is required to chase down the peloton...
The last time that a stage of the Tour concluded in Montargis was in 2005. The winner of the bike race was Robbie McEwen but earlier in the day, the announcement of which city would host the 2012 Olympics was made in Singapore. The race organisers beamed the announcement on the large screens on the finish line - as Paris was also a candidate - and then Jacques Rogge declared the winner to be... "London".
Of the three men in the lead, the Belgian is spending the most time at the front. The percentage breakdown of time spent in the wind for the latest 10 minutes of racing is:
Jurgen van de Walle: 48%
Julien El Fares: 28%
Jose Ivan Gutierrez: 24%
Gutierrez, El Fares and van de Walle are now in the feedzone at the 99.5km mark. They are 4’00" ahead of the peloton.
The temperature is 35 degrees in the Seine-et-Marne department - hot and not a breath of wind!
Sivstov continues to set the pace of the peloton. He is sharing the workload with O’Grady. Behind this pair are riders from Saxo Bank and behind them the Liquigas team is lined up.
In 1999, when Jose Ivan Gutierrez won the time trial world championship in the under-23 category, he beat Michael Rogers by less than one-second. Six years later, the pair finished the other way around: the Australian won the elite title and the Spaniard finished second, beaten by 24 seconds. Third place in the 2005 TT world championships was some guy by the name of Cancellara...
Gutierrez, El Fares and van de Walle are at the 87km mark. They have 100km to go before the finish. The maximum gain of the escape was 7’55" at 28km and that has been reduced to 3’45" thanks to the efforts of O’Grady (SAX) and Sivtsov (THR).
O’Grady and Sivtsov continue to lead the peloton which is 3’50" behind the escapees at the 79km mark.
The average speed for the second hour of stage five is 38.3km/h. The average speed for the first two hours is 39.8km/h.
De drie vluchters leveren tijd in. Het peloton volgt op 4’03’’.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez is flying the national colors of Spain today. The rider who instigated the escape a day after Spain qualified for the final of the football World Cup, he has gone on the attack. He has won the time trial national championships in 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009. And on the Sunday before the Tour, he won the road race (only two days after finishing second in the TT).
One of the traditional pre-Tour semi Classics in Belgium is the Brussels-Ingooigem one-day race. This year it was contested on 23 June, the Wednesday before the Belgian national championships. The winner was Jurgen van de Walle who is one of the trio in the lead of stage five. He beat Aroud van Groen of Holland, Greg Van Avermaet and the rider who would win the Belgian championship a few days later, Stijn Devolder.
Julien El Fares is one of the riders 4’35" ahead of the peloton. The French Cofidis recruit is making his Tour debut this year. At the end of July last year, he won the overall title of the Tour de la Région Wallonne beating two Russians, Pavel Brutt and Alexandr Kolobnev. And last September he contested his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España in which he finished 49th overall.
The rider who is currently the virtual leader of the Tour, Jose Ivan Gutierrez, was the under-23 TT world champion in 1999. This is his seventh start in the Tour de France. He was third in the prologue of the 2004 edition (behind Cancellara and Armstrong) and his other top-10 stage finishes are sixth in the final time trial of 2007 and eighth in stage seven last year.
The three escapees have a lead of 4’45" as the peloton passes the 60km mark of today’s 187.5km stage.
It is common for riders of the winning team at the Tour de France to offer gifts to his colleagues after the victory. This morning Alberto Contador visited the RadioShack team bus to give a watch to team-mates from last year. Lance Armstrong was at the sign-on when Contador arrived so he missed the gesture, but Johan Bruyneel was there and he gratefully accepted the gift from the rider who he directed to victory in both the 2007 and 2009 Tours.
Prince Albert of Monaco is following the Tour today. While he watches on, one of several Australian professionals who live in Monaco is contributing to the pace setting at the head of the peloton which, at the last check, was 5’00" behind Gutierrez, El Fares and van de Walle.
Sivtsov has been joined by Saxo Bank’s Stuart O’Grady at the front of the peloton.
The manager of the Bouygues Telecom team, Jean-Rene Bernaudeau turns 54 today. Last year, one of his gifts was a stage win by the current French champion Thomas Voeckler in Perpignan.
One of the Astana team, Paolo Tirralongo, is celebrating his 33rd birthday today. This is the Italian’s third Tour de France. He finished 70th in 2006 and 49th in 2008. After five days of racing in 2010, he is ranked 131st overall.
At the 47km mark, the work by Sivstov is taking effect: the peloton is now just 5’00" behind the three escapees.
The HTC-Columbia team is now at the front of the bunch and trying to limit the gains of the three escapees. Once again it’s Kanstantsin Sivtsov doing the work. The Belorussian did a lot of work in the chase during yesterday’s stage but he’s back at the front tapping out the tempo.
The maximum gain of the escape today is 7’55" as the peloton passed the 28km mark.
There has been issues with Radio Tour early today. The previous flash stated that the escapees had a lead of 10’50", this is wrong. It is, in fact, 6’50". Apologies for the error.
The escapees have achieved the largest gain of an attack in this year’s race. Gutierrez started it all at the 6km mark. He was joined by El Fares and van de Walle. This trio is 10’50" ahead as the peloton crest the second climb of the stage (at 38.5km).
The points at the top of the cote de Mecrigners were won by: 1. van de Walle (QST) 3pts 2. Gutierrez (GCE) 2pts 3. El Fares (COF) 1pt
The average speed for the first hour of stage five is 41.2km/h.
"I got my chance in the first stage when he crashed. I missed the chance there in Brussels and it’s a bit frustrating for me. Saying that, I’m still happy to finish second because Petacchi is a class sprinter. But I don’t know what would have happened if I won a stage on the day that Cav crashed… “Petacchi got the jump on me and that’s why he won, I gave him two lengths when he went early and that cost me."
"We saw in the first stage that I finished second to Petacchi in a hard sprint and if I think about the sprints I’ve done with Mark in training, I realize that he’s got a special gift. I know that he’s a good 10km/h quicker than me. I don’t see him losing speed overnight. “We have never even discussed letting me have a go at the win," said Renshaw, who was second in the stage to Brussels. "The plan is still to win with Mark and we’ll keep doing that..."
“Mark is trying to channel some of the bad energy that he’s been getting and turn it into a positive result," said HTC-Columbia team-mate, Mark Renshaw. "The media is still writing about him losing, not Petacchi winning. Because of the successful year he had in 2009, to back it up he would really have to win seven stages or it would be ‘bad’ Tour de France. But that’s pretty unrealistic. “He’s still in excellent shape, there’s no doubt about it. I still believe he’s the quickest sprinter here."
“I’m sharing a room with ’Cav’ the Tour," Renshaw explained to LeTour.fr this morning, "and the mood last night was okay; we put the loss behind us pretty quickly. We had a chat about it on the bus after the stage – which is probably not the best time to talk about things some times – but the mood at dinner was positive. Everybody knows that there are plenty more chances and that’s the important thing."
The peloton is yet to arrive at the site of the first intermediate sprint. It is 1,000m from the line in Vauchamps (27.5km) with a deficit of 7’45" to Gutierrez’s trio...
The points at the first intermediate sprint (27.5km) were won by: 1. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (GCE) 6pts 2. Julien El Fares (COF) 4pts 3. Jurgen van de Walle (QST) 2pts
“Cav just had a bit of a bad day," said Renshaw. "Maybe the stages beforehand caught up with him. I think I hit the front a bit early, which is my fault. I probably could have kept him off the front a little longer. It was a bit of a hard sprint – with a bit of a false-flat uphill and a headwind – so it was definitely better to come from behind like Petacchi did. “Obviously Cav is pretty disappointed but I don’t think we did anything wrong it’s just that there were better guys, that’s all."
Gutierrez is the virtual leader of the Tour de France. He is on the attack with El Fares and van de Walle and this trio is now 5’50" ahead of the peloton at the 21km mark.
“I was happy with my ride yesterday,” said Mark Renshaw of the HTC-Columbia team when contacted by LeTour.fr this morning. “I’m pretty happy with how I’m going actually. Obviously it didn’t go to plan for a few reasons but the main thing is that we come back and try and fight back straight away. “A lot of people are saying a lot of things but in the end Petacchi had the best legs. He started his sprint first, from a long way out, and no one got close to coming over him." (More to follow...)
The points for the first climb of the fifth stage were won by: 1. Julien El Fares (COF) 3pts 2. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (GCE) 2pts 3. Jurgen van de Walle (QST) 1pt
With the peloton at the 14km mark, it is 3’10" behind Gutierrez’s trio.
The riders who are now 2’30" ahead of the peloton are:
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (ESP) GCE
Julien El Fares (FRA) COF
Jurgen van de Walle (BEL) QST
The escape began at the 6km mark with Jose Ivan Gutierrez the first rider to go on the attack.
Of the three men in the lead of the stage, the highest ranked in general classification is Jose Ivan Gutierrez of the Caisse d’Epargne team. He started the stage in 50th place, 3’24" behind Cancellara.
With the peloton at the 9.5km mark the three escapees have a lead of 1’00". There are now several riders in the peloton answering nature’s call so we can expect to see this advantage grow significantly in the next few minutes.
There has been a quiet period on Radio Tour because of technical problems early today but we can report that three riders have escaped the peloton and have a lead of 30". The riders involved are van de Walle (MRM), Gutierrez (GCE) and El Fares (COF). The peloton is at the 6km mark.
As part of a new initiative from cycling’s governing body, the UCI, another three bikes were scanned following the stage yesterday to ensure that there are no performance-enhancing devices inside the frames. The riders who presented their bikes to officials in Reims were Alessandro Petacchi (LAM), Christophe Kern (COF) and Benoit Vaugrenard (FDJ). No engines were found.
The seven time champion of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong (RSH) was fine 100 Swiss francs yesterday after not attending the sign-on in Cambrai. This is relatively common during the course of the race and, in fact, six riders were given the same penalty at the start of yesterday’s stage.
On the menu today are two cat-4 climbs – the cote de Orgais-l’Abbaye (18.5km) and cote de Mecrignes (36.5km) – and three intermediate sprints: in Vauchamps (27.5km), Ville-St-Jacques (126.5km) and Prefontaines (169.5km).
Robert Gesink of the Rabobank team crashed inside the final three kilometers of stage four. He finished 179th in the stage, crossing the finish line 2’08” behind Petacchi. As the incident occurred where it did, the race jury has awarded him the same time as the stage winner. The leader of the Dutch squad is currently ranked 43rd overall, 3’16” behind Cancellara.
The fifth stage of the 2010 Tour de France began at 12.53pm.
The peloton is still making its way through the neutral zone in Epernay. There has been a crash before the start of racing, with Vasil Kiryienka (GCE) tumbling down. He has remounted his bike and is riding again.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi rider who was the winner of the ‘Fighting Spirit’ in 2007, Amets Txurruka, crashed heavily during stage four. The 27-year-old has ridden the Tour three times before this year but today he was the non-starter. He lost a lot of skin on his right elbow in the crash and was treated in hospital last night for numerous other injuries. There are now 188 riders in the race.
Sebastien Piquet, the voice of Radio Tour, has just reported in to LeTour.fr to tell us that the temperature as the peloton makes its way through the neutral zone is 33 degrees Celsius. "There is no wind at all," said Piquet who sits in the passenger seat of the car that also carries the director of competition, Jean-Francois Pescheux and the chief commissaire.
While Garmin-Transitions was the winner of the team prize in stage four, the general classification of this category is led by Saxo Bank. The riders from the Danish squad will wear yellow ’dossards’ in the fifth stage denoting this status. They are 11" ahead of Garmin-Transitions after five days of racing the 2010 edition.
Garmin-Transitions’ sprint specialist Tyler Farrar is suffering because of the injuries he sustained in a crash in stage two. He’s unable to sprint out of the saddle because his arm is badly injured but his team earned a consolation during his ‘recuperation’: it won the team prize in stage four. Julian Dean was second, Robbie Hunter fifth and Farrar 23rd meaning Garmin was the best in the stage to Reims. Second in the sprint finish was Sky and then BMC.
Gerraint Thomas has earned Team Sky its first prize jersey in the Tour de France. He overtook Tony Martin (THR) in the youth classification with his sensational ride in the third stage (when he finished second). The Welshman is second overall and first in the race for the white jersey. He leads the two-time winner of this category, Andy Schleck (SAX) by 46” while Roman Kreuziger (LIQ) is third at 2’10”.
Jérôme Pineau (QST) still leads the climbers’ classification because of the 12 points he collected in the stage to Spa on Monday. There was only a minor change to the top order of this category yesterday with Iban Mayoz (FOT) collecting three points on the only hill of the stage to Reims. He is now ranked seventh in the race for the polka-dot jersey.
With his second stage victory, Alessandro Petacchi (LAM) moved up from seventh in the points classification to second. He collected 35 points for each victory (the first in Brussels, the second in Reims) and now 10 points shy of last year’s green jersey winner Thor Hushovd (CTT). The three time green jersey winner, Robbie McEwen (KAT) is in third place with 62 points and the runner-up in stage three, Gerraint Thomas (SKY) is fourth with 56pts.
There was no change to the top order of the general classification after the fourth stage. Fabian Cancellara (SAX) finished 26th in Reims and, like the first 163 riders, was awarded the same time as the stage winner, Alessandro Petacchi (LAM). The Swiss prologue winner has a lead of 23” over the leader of the youth classification Gerraint Thomas (SKY), and 39” over the world champion Evans (BMC). Hesjedal (GRM) is fourth overall, at 46”. Last year’s winner, Alberto Contador is 9th (at 1’40").
As we await the start of racing in stage five, LeTour.fr will review the leaders of the various prize classifications in the race after four stages (and a prologue).
There are 9.8km of neutral before the peloton arrives at the site of the official start. This is expected to be at around 12.50pm.
The fifth stage of the 2010 Tour de France is scheduled to start at 12.30pm. It is a 187.5km journey from Epernay to Montargis and the conditions are hot with temperatures already over 30 degrees Celsius. The sun is shining brightly and it’s expected to get hotter yet. The stage features two cat-four climbs in the first 36.5km and three intermediate sprints (at 27.5km, 126.5km and 169.5km). Live coverage will commence shortly.