Bradley Wiggins, 6th, ahead of young French climber Thibaut Pinot, keeps the yellow-blue jersey.
1. Christophe Kern
2. Chris Anker Sorensen
3. Thomas Voeckler
4. Joaquim Rodriguez
5. Alexandre Vinokourov
Kern is the winner.
Kern is close to winning.
Sorensen chases Kern at 1km to go.
Kern continues, Dan Martin (Garmin) attacks behind him.
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) enters in action with just less than 3km to go, but Kern insists at the front.
Zaugg gets caught by the chasers with 3km to go. The group is close.
Kern, Rolland (Europcar), Martin (HTC), Garate (Rabobank) and Lopez (Movistar) are in between Zaugg and the yellow-blue jersey group.
The bunch is seriously reduced, with Sky’s Rigoberto Uran dragging the group for Wiggins behind Zaugg.
The rider alone away now is Oliver Zaugg (Leopard).
Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) puts a strong acceleration at the head of the bunch.
McCartney gets caught with 9km to go by a trio formed of Martin (HTC), Rolland (Europcar) and Paterski (Liquigas).
With just under 10km to go, Tony Martin (HTC) is the first rider to attack in the Montée des Gets.
Ag2r-La Mondiale’s team manager Vincent Lavenu told Francetelevisions that Nicolas Roche has no fracture. "It’s a disillusion for him, he wanted to do well at the Dauphiné and it’s game over now", the Frenchman declared.
With 11km to go, the advance of McCartney is 1.36.
FDJ moves up to the first positions of the bunch with William Bonnet and Pierrick Fedrigo escorting young French climber Thibaut Pinot who declared on the start line this morning to Cyclismactu: "GC is over for me since I lost six minutes in the crosswinds. I’d like to win a stage. I’ll try to follow the best climbers as much as I can. I’m here to test myself with the leaders."
Arashiro remains active at the head of the bunch. Four riders from Europcar escort Thomas Voeckler. They’re three minutes behind McCartney with 16km to go. The final climb to Les Gets is 10.7km long.
Cappelle is taken to hospital. Roche is still in the race but he’s affected but doesn’t try to get back in the bunch. The Irishman only wants to reach the finishing line.
Nicolas Roche goes back on his bike after a while but Quick Step’s Andy Cappelle stays on the ground.
Nicolas Roche and a few other riders crash with 20km to go. He seems injured.
With 22km to go, the time gap is 4.40. Five riders from Europcar are positioned at the head of the peloton.
Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro shows up at the head of the peloton, riding hard to bridge the gap to McCartney and favour an attack from Thomas Voeckler in the final climb.
The teams Garmin-Cervélo and Katusha are getting organised to chase behind McCartney. Time gap: 5.55 with 30km to go.
The team Europcar disappeared as quickly as they appeared at the front of the bunch, and it’s now the Garmin-Cervélo team that sets the pace behind alone breakaway rider Jason McCartney who has 6.20 lead with 35km to go.
The Katusha team disappears from the first positions of the bunch, Sky has three riders at the front and Europcar seems to move up with three riders including Thomas Voeckler. The gap is 6.45 with 35km to go.
38.2 kilometres have been covered in the fourth hour of racing. The average speed so far is 42.4km/h.
There are some hesitations in the bunch. The Katusha team seems to not know anymore whether or not they should keep chasing behind McCartney.
With 40km to go, McCartney has 7 minutes lead. Now the teams Sky and Katusha look at each other and there’s no more steady chase.
Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) who didn’t start this morning has undergone a MRI: a muscle tear in his left calf has been confirmed. It requires fifteen days of complete rest, after which he’ll pass another MRI that will determine whether or not he can ride the Tour de France or not. He was a big hope for the French team after finishing fifth at the prologue of the Dauphiné.
With 50km to go, McCartney is 7.50 ahead of the peloton.
The Katusha team, also called Russian Global Cycling Project, has put five Russian riders at the head of the peloton to prepare a thrilling finale for Joaquim Rodriguez: Vladimir Karpets, Sergeï Ivanov, Alexandre Kolobnev, Mikhail Ignatiev and Egor Silin.
Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has given to Velonation an interesting explanation over the time he lost during the time trial on Wednesday: “I’m still a bit bitter about my time trial, but it is my fault I lost focus for a while. Once I was caught by Evans, I had an ego attack, so I went more quickly. I was very disappointed about that, I was thinking I would lose two minutes, but wasn’t thinking about losing three minutes thirty.
“I think one problem was concentration, but I just wasn’t on a good day. Time trialing is not usually my favourite thing and yesterday was not a great day. But anyway…hopefully in the next three days I can concentrate on getting back on some of the time I lost and come back into GC contention.
“I have looked at times, and think it is going to be difficult to come back to top five, even thought I was secretly hoping I can make it,” he said. “I would be happy if I was around eighth at the end of the race… I am sixteenth now with a fair bit of time lost from the time trial. I’d be happy if I could make up those eight places…after slipping back, it would be a good ride to be able to get back there.
“But more importantly, I’d like to to be able to ride top 5 on one of those three mountain stages…I think that is more important than GC. If I am top ten on the climbs every day and try to get into the top five result on one of them, I think I would be over the moon. That’s my goal now.”
The advantage of McCartney decreases rapidly. It’s eight minutes at km 143, as two Katusha riders set the pace of the bunch with the Sky team of race leader Bradley Wiggins behind them.
Effectively, after km 135, the team noticed at the front of the peloton to put the speed higher is Katusha.
Asked "who will do something to prevent McCartney from winning the stage?", Saxo Bank-SunGard’s directeur sportif Bradley McGee tells letour.fr: "The only thing that can happen is that [Joaquim] Rodriguez wants to win the stage and Katusha rides behind."
At km 135, the bunch begins to speed up as a maximum lead is recorded: 12.30.
Thierry Bricaud, the directeur sportif of FDJ, told letour.fr: "For now, everyone in the bunch is waiting but there’s a chance of movement in the next ten kilometers."
35.4 kilometres have been covered in the third hour of racing. The average speed after three hours is 43.8km/h.
McCartney’s lead keeps going up: 12.05.
McCartney is exactly ten minutes ahead of the bunch at km 120.
McCartney has an advantage of 8.25 at km 115.
Result of the king of the mountain price at the côte du Mont des Princes, km 109:
1. Jason McCartney, 10 points
2. Leonardo Duque, 9 points
3. Mickaël Buffaz, 8 points
4. Maxime Bouet, 7 points
5. Mikel Landa, 6 points
6. Geraint Thomas, 5 points
McCartney has an advantage of 4.20 at km 108.
As the bunch slowed down significantly, the group of the sprinters including green jersey wearer John Degenkolb managed to reach the main back.
The two Haedo brothers (Saxo Bank-SunGard) have pulled out at the feed zone.
In the overall ranking, Jason McCartney stands at 23 minutes, so the leaders can let him go for a while.
McCartney (RadioShack) has an advantage of 2.40 over the lead at km 100. The bunch is riding slowly in the feed zone.
Jason McCartney (RadioShack) attacks at km 96 and quickly takes an advantage of 25 seconds, as the peloton finally looks like slowing down.
50.2 kilometres have been covered in the second hour of racing, for an average speed of 48.1km/h! This is damn fast...
Sean Yates, the directeur sportif of race leader Bradley Wiggins, said on the official website of Team Sky about today’s stage: “It would be great if it was straightforward again. The finish is not that hard and I don’t see any of the GC contenders making any massive moves so we’ll be looking to hang on to the jersey again. I think this race will come down to a battle up the Montée de la Toussuire on Sunday and if Bradley still has a minute on his rivals he’ll be in a good position. He has a strong team around him that work brilliantly as a unit, and it’ll take a lot to put us under threat.”
Joly (Saur-Sojasun), Paterski (Liquigas), Urtasun (Euskaltel), Ignatyev (Katusha) and Veuchelen (Vacansoleil) are in the lead at km 93 but the bunch reacts and chases hard.
The bunch is all together again at km 86 after a new attempt to break away by Rémy Di Gregorio (Astana).
At km 74.5, Pierre Rolland (Europcar) is caught by the bunch after a solo attempt. The bunch keeps riding very fast. Offensives are expected to have more chance to succeed once the riders will enter the valley at Artemare, km 80.
Young French climber Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has attacked in the côte de Corlier and he tried again in the false flat sections following the km 50, but the bunch is still together, cruising at a high speed.
About fifteen riders who got dropped in the côte de Corlier are still chasing at the back. Among them: former Dauphiné stage winners Nicolas Vogondy (last year in Risoul) and Fabian Wegmann (at Bourgoin-Jallieu in 2006), and some sprinters, Farrar, Haedo, Degenkolb...
The peloton has covered 45.9 kilometres in the first hour of racing. That includes the seven kilometres of climbing in the côte de Corlier, but no downhill as the summit was at km 45.5.
Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) knows the finale of today’s stage very well, as he lives in the area and his family hails from Les Gets. In the newspaper Le Dauphiné, he compares this race with stage 1 to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse: 10km at 4.8%. “It’s not very hard”, Coppel acknowledged. “But on Monday it was also not hard and the bunch split into pieces, so it might be the same again…”
Result of the first king of the mountain price at côte de Corlier, km 45.5:
1. Leonardo Duque, 10 points
2. Egoi Martinez, 9 points
3. Pierre Rolland, 8 points
4. Mauro Finetto, 7 points
5. Juan Manuel Garate, 6 points
6. Przemyslaw Niemec, 5 points
Despite many attacks, the bunch is compact at km 50.
The riders are in the côte de Carlier. Some sprinters like Tyler Farrar and JJ Haedo are off the back, as a grupetto is in formation ahead of them.
Ivan Basso has explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I don’t hide that it’s hard for me at the moment. My crash on the Etna has touched me, physically, but it has also disturbed my training plans. I’m lacking one week of work. I can’t say that I’ll be ok for the Tour de France but I’ll do everything I can to use the remaining time. There’s still some left: the first climb of the Tour de France is only in 32 days.” The Italian has three important days for improving his condition at the Dauphiné.
Here’s the explanation for Brice Feillu and Blel Kadri to have pulled out of the Dauphiné today before the start. The Leopard has a sore knee and the rider from Ag2r-La Mondiale has a muscular lesion at a calf. They both hope to recover on time for the Tour de France.
Cadel Evans posted a nostalgic message on his personal website last night about Les Gets, where today’s stage finishes. “I think that was the location of my first ever race in France sometime ago. August 1996 I think, as a mountain biker experiencing my first real ‘Euro mud’, it was filthy, that much I remember…” Fifteen years ago, the Australian didn’t see himself as a future road rider. Now he’s second on GC at the Dauphiné and eyes a new attempt to winning the Tour de France.
The bunch is compact at km 30, where Ivan Basso is noted at the back of the peloton.
Here’s the explanation for the abandon of Vladimir Gusev: due to pain in his diaphragm, he couldn’t breathe properly despite having a good pre-Tour de France condition. He’ll undergo medical examination as soon as possible.
At Le Genoud, km 25, the bunch keeps riding too fast for anybody to break away.
Local rider Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis) attacks just as planned at km 20 with Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel) but they quickly get caught by the bunch. The speed remains high.
Russian time trial champion Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) pulls out of the race at km 14.
King of the mountains Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) tries to break away for scoring points in the coming climbs but the bunch is back together at km 13.5.
The two riders racing on home soil today en route to Les Gets are Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis). "The breakaway is my goal", Buffaz told newspaper Le Dauphiné. "Going away with Maxime, I’d like to but it’s not easy. It’s up to me to find the right move. I’m enough far down on GC."
Yellow-blue, green, polka dot and white jerseys to be seen today:
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is riding with the yellow-blue jersey for the second day in a row. As yesterday’s stage was without any influence on the general classification, the Englishman still has 1.11 lead over Cadel Evans (BMC), 1.21 over Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) and 1.56 over Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).
- John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) wears the green jersey, as he leads the points classification with 58 points. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) follows with 47, Wiggins with 40 and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) with 38. Today’s race is not considered a mountain stage, so the points awarded on the finishing line are 25 to the winner, 22, 20, etc.
- Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) has the polka dot jersey with 20 points, which is a bit more than Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) who has 16, Brice Feillu (Leopard-Trek), 14, and Jérémy Roy (FDJ), 13.
- Rui Costa (Movistar) leads the ranking of the young riders with 13 seconds advantage over Geraint Thomas (Sky), 34 over Ben Hermans (RadioShack) and 40 over Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun).
- Sky leads the teams’ classification. Ag2r-La Mondiale is second at 4.49, RadioShack is third at 5.23, HTC-Highroad is fourth at 5.26.
The bunch is all together at km 5.
There are three climbs on the menu today:
Km 45.5: côte de Corlier, cat. 2 (6.4km at 5.3%)
- Km 109: côte du Mont-des-Princes, cat. 2 (5.5km at 7%)
- Km 210: montée des Gets, cat. 2 (10.7km at 4.8%)
The peloton doesn’t give any freedom to the first three attackers: Gatis Smukulis (HTC-Highroad), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Joost Posthuma (Leopard-Trek).
The start proper has been given at 11.30. It’s very active from the gun.
It’s 20°C at the Birds’ Park with a cloudy sky. Everyone has enjoyed the spectacle of the birds in Villars-les-Dombes where 300 000 visitors come every year. It’s the first time for the start of a bike race there.
170 starters. 2 non starters: Brice Feillu (Leopard-Trek) and Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
Stage 5 is about the start from the Park of the Birds in Villars-les-Dombes. It’s a long stage (210km) with three category 2 climbs, including the uphill finish to Les Gets.