- The race 2011
- All about the race
The top five of the fifth stage of the 2011 Tour de France is: 1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) THR 2. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) OLO 3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) MOV 4. Tony Gallopin (FRA) COF 5. Geraint Thomas (GBR) SKY
Cavendish was about 10th with 300 meters to go. The sprint had well and truly begun with Hushovd and Gilbert leading the charge to the line but the Max missile never surrendered. The "fastest man in the world" burst into the lead in the final 50 meters and took a fine victory ahead of Gilbert and Rojas.
Nothing could put Mark Cavendish off. He has responded to the early accelerations with panache. He has raced around Gilbert and Hushovd in the last meters of the stage to claim his 16th stage victory at the Tour de France.
Boasson Hagen has started the sprint from about 700m out. He has Feillu right on his wheel but now it’s up to Thor to lead it out for the second surge of sprinting...
The sprint has effectively begun. For now it’s the lead-out specialists Hondo and Martin ahead of the bunch as it goes under the 1km to go sign.
Voeckler is about to be swallowed up by a peloton that’s hungry for a sprint finish.
Voeckler leads by about 150 meters with less than 3km to go. The Frenchman is holding off the whole peloton for the moment...
Roy has been caught by the peloton but Voeckler is insisting with his effort. He leads by just five seconds...
Velits is now at the front of the bunch with Martin right on his wheel. They have the two stage leaders in their sights. Goss is on the wheel of his German team-mate and right behind the Australian is Cavendish.
Burghardt is the perfect domestique - a rider who yesterday’s winner Cadel Evans called "my hero of the day". The German is keeping the rider in second overall out of the wind and out of trouble at the front of the bunch that’s just 15" behind the two escapees with 5km to go.
Rojas is to the left of the yellow jersey and on the right is Gilbert. These three appear to be marking each other in the final 7km of the stage. Lampre has put Bole on the front and he leads two Astana riders ahead of someone from HTC.
While two HTC riders set the pace for the peloton (25" behind the two escapees) we can report that Hushovd is sitting in about 30th position. Right on his wheel is the rider in the green jersey JJ Rojas...
Roy and Voeckler are not giving in but their advantage is now down to 25" with less than 10km to go.
The votes are in and José Ivan Gutierrez of the Movistar team has earned himself the most aggressive rider prize for stage five. He will have a red dossard for tomorrow’s stage.
The peloton is 1’00" behind Roy and Voeckler. There are two types of teams at the front of the bunch: on the left the sprint squads Garmin and HTC, on the right the GC mob of BMC and Saxo Bank... the longest stretch of straight road in the final 10km is about 1,200m... it’s a technical, twisting and turning finale today.
There are now four riders from the HTC team at the head of the peloton: Pate, Bak, Goss and Renshaw. They are about to receive reinforcements for the chase which is necessary as Voeckler and Roy are holding on to their advantage with 15km to go.
As the sprinters teams start trying to position themselves ahead of the teams of GC specialists, the advantage of Roy and Voeckler has grown to 1’08".
With 17km to go, the HTC team has put two riders at the front of the peloton.
The most recent victim of a crash is Velasco (EUS).
The peloton is 1’00" behind Roy and Voeckler with 18km to go. Boonen is over seven minutes behind but he continues to try and finish the stage although he is clearly wounded...
There has been another crash in the peloton. An unidentified Euskaltel rider lies on the right side of the road and is being treated by the race’s medical staff.
The crashes earlier today have caused significant havoc. Gesink, Contador, Leipheimer, Brajkovic, Chavanel were some of the riders who fell. The Slovenian leader of RadioShack has abandoned the Tour because of his injuries. Currently we’re seeing teams of the GC favorites - Leopard-Trek, BMC, Liquigas, and Saxo Bank-Sungard - all at the front of the peloton.
Marcel Sieberg has recently ridden to the front of the bunch and then started looking behind to try and find Gilberto who moved forward on the opposite side of the road. Could it be that Omega Pharma-Lotto is going to try and set things up for yesterday’s birthday boy who finished fifth in the stage many expected him to win?
The wind is likely to influence the finale today. We can expect a fast final 25km which is on undulating roads that weave along the northern coastline of Brittany. Roy and Voeckler are swapping off even turns at the front and they have a lead of 35".
At the 137km mark, the two leaders are 40" ahead of the bunch that’s being led by Matteo Tosatto of the Saxo Bank team.
Evans has made an appearance at the front of the peloton. He has team-mate Burghardt nearby and it’s clear that the GC riders want to be positioned near the front of the bunch before the race arrives near the coast where a strong wind is blowing. It’s coming off the water (ie. from a north-westerly direction) and, for most of the final 10km, it is a tailwind.
The escapees are building their advantage. Roy is the rider who instigated the attack. He did so by racing ahead on the verge of the road, needing to ride on the grass to get around the other riders. He has Voeckler along with him and the pair are now 50" ahead of the bunch.
The bunch is not being lured into a chase by Roy or Voeckler. Leopard-Trek, Liquigas, Euskaltel and Astana riders are at the front of the bunch that is now 35" behind the two Frenchmen.
The peloton has not reacted to the attack from the two Frenchman who are now 28" ahead.
Roy (FDJ) doesn’t appear to be tired from his efforts in the escape yesterday. He and Voeckler (EUR) have attacked the peloton. They began their move at the 131km mark.
An FDJ rider has attacked the peloton along with one Europcar rider.
The town where Bernard Hinault won his first bike race is Planguenoual, this is at the 135km mark of the fifth stage.
Boonen has received some support from Addy Engels who has dropped behind the peloton to try and help his team-mate rejoin the bunch which is now 36km from the finish with a rider from Liquigas setting the pace at the front.
The peloton is all together with 40km to go - with the notable exception of Tom Boonen (QST) who is still chasing the bunch after his crash at the 102km mark.
An FDJ rider is currently leading the peloton as it makes its way through Yffiniac, the hometown of five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault.
The peloton has caught Gutierrez, Delaplace, Turgot and Valentin with 45km to go.
“I’ve said it a few times in the lead-up to the race that Gilbert is my favorite for the green jersey, along with Rojas who climbs very well," said Robbie McEwen earlier today. He also nominated the current race leader, Thor Hushovd as a chance for the points classification win in 2011 even though the Norwegian has stated often that he’s not interested. "Thor is also a chance because I think the competition now suits them even more than it did before. On a difficult day, you might have three or four up the road but the peloton might splinter and you’ll only have 80 guys in the front group… and most of the sprinters could be dropped so those guys could score big points halfway through the stage. “The pure sprinters like Cavendish is right up against it because he’s hardly scored any points. There’s only been one flat finish and he was fifth.”
Gutierrez, Valentin, Turgot and Delaplace are conceding... their escape is about to end. The peloton has them within sight and only 20" separate the four leaders from the main pack...
At the 114km mark, the Gutierrez quartet is just 30" ahead of the peloton. The Spaniard has been expressing his frustration to Valentin who appears to be shirking his pace setting responsibilities in the lead group...
Gesink is one of many riders who have been caught up in crashes today. He is currently at the back of the peloton along with two team-mates...
The leader of the Rabobank team has a wound on his left knee and elbow. He has recently consulted the race doctor at the rear of the peloton which is now in St-Brieuc. There are about 50km to go in the stage...
After a stint of slow riding following his crash, Boonen is now out of the saddle and sprinting through the cars in the convoy in an attempt to rejoin the peloton. He seems able to use his upper body now but for a moment it seemed like he may have broken a collarbone... the medical report this evening is going to be quite an interesting read.
Lars Boom, the former cyclo-cross world champion who is contesting his second Tour de France, was recently caught up in the fall that involved Tom Boonen. The Dutchman won a stage of the Tour of Bretagne in Fréhel back in 2008 before he truly switched his attention from ’cross to road racing...
“There have been a couple of good stages," said the veteran sprinter Robbie McEwen when making some observations about the 2011 Tour (that he’s not contesting) earlier today. "Yesterday was an interesting final to watch but the thing is, the climbers get plenty of chances at the Tour down in the mountains – they’ve got the Pyrenees and the Alps and a few in between – and now they’re even picking out stages in Brittany to suit the climbers as well… the sprinters are the ones being disadvantaged by that.”
Boonen is racing again but he appears to be in a lot of pain. He is holding his right collarbone and grimacing as he rides alongside the Quickstep team car.
Just as Boonen remounts his bike and starts to ride again we can report that the four escapees are pushing on and have increased their advantage on the peloton to 1’30"...
Boonen’s crash was at the 102km mark. He is still on the ground and is currently being treated by the race’s medical staff.
There has been another crash in the peloton. This time the riders involved are Boonen, Steegmans and Boom.
This morning LeTour.fr contacted the winner of 12 Tour stages in the past, Robbie McEwen to ask what his thoughts are on the race so far. “There has become what I believe is a worrying trend for sprinters at the Tour along with every other race this year – the Giro, Tour de Suisse and a number of others – where there are less and less flat stages for sprinters," said the Australian who is not racing the Tour this year. "I suppose the organisers are trying to make the races more exciting and make every single day as spectacular as possible with technical and difficult finishes. But I get the impression that pure sprinters are being penalized by this approach.”
The rider who finished fourth in the recent Giro d’Italia has been dropped earlier today and now John Gadret has just had a rear flat tire fixed by his team mechanic.
The four escapees are at the 98km mark. They have been on the attack for 94km and continue to share the workload up front. The route now essentially hugs the northern Brittany coastline and the wind is blowing from behind. Right now, five Leopard Trek riders are moving up the right side of the road at the same time that Evans returns to the peloton after a brief consultation with those in his team car.
The peloton is at the 97km mark and is 55" behind Gutierrez, Valentin, Turgot and Delaplace.
Christophe Kern (EUR) is the third rider to quit the 2011 Tour. He is the recently crowned French TT champion but he has just stopped...
Saxo Bank-SunGard riders have been able to bring their leader Alberto Contador to the front of the pack. He is riding with a torn jersey (on the left shoulder) but there doesn’t appear to be much blood...
There is a battle for positioning going on at the head of the peloton. Garmin has been in command for most of the stage but there are now three light blue jerseys from the Astana team at the front of the pack that’s speeding along in the fifth stage just 40" behind the four escapees.
In an earlier newsflash it was said that Cadel Evans was the first Australian to lead the Vuelta a España. This is not true as that honor went to Bradley McGee - who was the first Australian to have led all three Grand Tours. Apologies for the error in reporting.
After his recent dramatic crash Nicki Sorensen is back on a bike and racing again. He’s attempting to rejoin the peloton that is now 1’15" behind the four escapees.
The second hour has been raced at an rapid average speed of 46.8km/h. The average for the first two hours is 45.0km/h.
There has been another crash in the peloton. Nicki Sorensen was caught in a crash. He has slid along the right side of the road but is standing again...
The Garmin team is now the one that’s assumed position at the front of the peloton.
The peloton is strung out in a long line because of the rapid pace but Contador and Gesink have both been able to rejoin the main bunch that appears to have been led by riders from the Leopard-Trek team of late...
The Contador group is about to get to the back of the peloton. There was quite a split after the spate of crashes which claimed the leader of the RadioShack team, Brajkovic (who is now in the ambulance and on his way to hospital to get some head injuries treated).
The Leopard-Trek team as now at the front of the peloton that is... ah, not exactly waiting around for Contador and Gesink to catch up.
Alberto Contador has just signaled to cameras that he’s okay. He is racing to rejoin the peloton with the support of several Saxo Bank team-mates. Right on his wheel are Boom and Gesink from the Rabobank team.
One of the leaders of the RadioShack team, Janez Brajkovic has abandoned the Tour de France. He crashed at the 71km mark.
The Contador crash was around the 72km mark. While Brajkovic and Gesink fell about 1km earlier.
1. Turgot (EUR) 20pts 2. Valentin (COF) 17pts 3. Gutierrez (MOV) 15pts 4. Delaplace (SAU) 13pts 5. Bozic (VCD) 11pts 6. Boonen (QST) 10pts 7. Duque (COF) 9pts 8. Feillu (VCD) 8pts 9. Rojas (MOV) 7pts 10. Gilbert (OLO) 6pts 11. Delage (FDJ) 5pts 12. Isaichev (KAT) 4pts 13. Cavendish (THR) 3pts 14. Ventoso (MOV) 2pts 15. Petacchi (LAM) 1pts
Contador is racing again after getting a new bike.
Contador has been caught up in a crash. He has taken his helmet off but he appears to be okay.
It took about a minute for Brajkovic to move but he is now sitting up. His helmet has been removed and just now he’s stood up. Dirk De Mol is by his side and waiting to see if he is prepared to continue.
There has been another fall in the peloton. Brajkovic (RSH) appears to be in a bad state and he is being tended to by the race’s medical staff. He’s now started to move while two Rabobank riders stand waiting for spare bikes.
Cavendish has lashed out with a gesture to show his frustration at the antics of a Quickstep rider. It seems that Boonen believed he could go from the left to right of the road as he contested the sprint...
The peloton is now strung out in one long line as HTC and Movistar riders increase the tempo on the approach to the intermediate sprint. Gilbert is speeding up the left side of the road with the support of an Omega Pharma team-mate and BMC is also well represented. There is less than 1km to go for the peloton...
Turgot (EUR) has easily led Valentin (COF), Gutierrez (MOV) and Delaplace (SAU) over the line for the intermediate sprint at the 70km mark.
The Sky mechanics have tended to the problems caused by the crash on Wiggins’ bike. The British champion is back on the white, blue and red Pinarello that he started the stage on.
The peloton has eased off the pace momentarily, long enough to allow the crash victims to rejoin the main bunch that is now 5’55" behind the four escapees.
There is a significant sized group that’s now 1’00" behind the peloton. In that second group are Leipheimer (RSH), Wiggins and several other Sky riders including Geraint Thomas, Chavanel (QST)...
A couple of crashes could be the catalyst to prompt the Liquigas team to the front of the peloton. It has been led by Garmin for much of the day and Navardauskas is still on the front but just behind are riders from Basso’s squad.
There has been another crash which has involved both Levi Leipheimer (RSH) and Samuel Dumoulin (COF). They are both on their bikes and racing again.
LeTour.fr recently caught up with the former professional Michael Boogerd who is doing some commentary for Dutch television at the Tour this year. We asked for his appraisal of what could happen at the finish today. "It will be a sprint," he said but then warned, "it is difficult though. It’s a complicated run to the line with lots of turns a few hill and a bit of wind. "It will be hard for Cavendish and I think it’s more suited to someone like Hushovd, Boasson Hagen or Farrar. "With a tailwind it will be very fast and because of the nature of the road, there’s a chance of a crash but," he winced, "I really hope this isn’t the case. A headwind would make things more safe because it slows things down a little but the cross winds are the most dangerous. Today it should be okay because it really is blowing from behind for the final."
The French champion unzipped his jersey and is checking his collarbone after the recent fall. Wiggins was also involved and he’s racing back to the peloton with the support of three Sky team-mates. Chavanel has just joined this group and he appears to be moving well.
Wiggins (SKY) has also been affected by the crash but he calmly waited for a new bike and is now racing again.
There has been a big crash in the peloton involving Ten Dam and another Rabobank rider. Also involved are Christian Knees and Sylvain Chavanel...
With his current advantage over the peloton of 5’35", Sebastien Turgot (EUR) is the virtual leader of the Tour. He started the stage ranked 72nd, 3’12" behind Thor Hushovd in the general classification.
Gutierrez has already been in an escape during the 2011 Tour. He was part of a five-man break in stage three. The Spaniard is the most experienced of the four in the lead today and he’s just worked his way down the paceline telling the others how he thinks they should ride the stage. Valentin (COF), Turgot (EUR) and Delaplace (SAU) all nodded as he spoke... so we could assume that they’ve struck an accord to cooperate in this escape today.
The Garmin-Cervélo team has led the peloton over the climb 5’25" behind the four escapees.
There are now six riders with climbing points: Evans (BMC) with two and then Gilbert (OLO), Delage (FDJ), Hoogerland (VCD), Contador (SBS) and Delaplace (SAU) with one each...
No matter who wins the point for the climb today, it won’t alter the fact that Cadel Evans will still lead the climbing classification at the end of the day... unless, of course, the Australian who has twice as many points as are offer at the cote de Gurunhuel doesn’t finish. The four escapees are inside the final kilometer of this climb where huge crowds have assembled to watch the peloton pass.
The average speed for the opening hour of stage five is 43.2km/h.
Gutierrez leads the escapees as they make their way up the cote de Gurunhuel. There is one point on offer at the top of this 2.3km long ascent that has an average gradient of 5.1 per cent.
The peloton continues to be led by a number of Garmin riders. The four escapees are now five minutes in front of the rest of the field.
The advantage of the escape group is currently 4’30". Gutierrez, Delaplace, Valentin and Turgot are around the 37km mark. They began their move in the fourth kilometer.
On the first day of May this year the Tour de Bretagne concluded in Loudeac. The rider who finished eighth overall was Anthony Delaplace who is in the escape today. Loudeac is one of the closest towns to the site of yesterday’s stage finish.
The youngest rider in the race, Anthony Delaplace, is one of the four who are four minutes ahead of the peloton. He won the second stage of the Tour de l’Avenir last September in Cusset.
The mechanics are being kept busy early today, there have been a number of punctures - recently for Taaramae and Cavendish - and just now Cancellara has dropped behind the peloton to have his saddle adjusted by the Leopard-Trek mechanic.
Cadel Evans has been a pioneer of cycling in Australian for many years. He was the first Australian to win the MTB World Cup (which he did twice), the first Australian to lead the Giro d’Italia (2002), the first Australian to lead the Vuelta (2008), the first Australian to win a long time trial at the Tour de France (2007), the first Australian to win the world championships (2009), and now he’s the first Australian to lead the climbing classification at the Tour de France.
The rider who has sustained more punctures than any other in the 2011 Tour is Rein Taaramae. He has had at least one flat tire per day in the last two stages. He has just copped another flat rear tire which has just been serviced by his Cofidis team mechanic. He’s now racing again along with the assistance of two team-mates.
The rider with the 219 dossard (ie. the last number in the 2011 Tour) is Yannick Talabardon. Today is the Frenchman’s 30th birthday. This is his first Tour de France.
The former rider who finished second in the 1959 Tour de France - behind Federico Bahamontes and ahead of Jacques Anquetil - celebrates his 78th birthday today. Henri Anglade was a professional from 1956 to 1967.
Sebastien Turgot is the tattooed Frenchman in the escape group today. He made his debut in the Tour de France last year (with the Bbox team) and mixed it up in the sprints in the first week. He earned sixth place on three successive days - stages four, five and six - and ended up seventh in the points classification.
The peloton is now 2’50" behind the four escapees (at the 15km mark). There are six riders from the Garmin team at the front of the peloton and further down the line two former team-mates - Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins - are riding alongside each other and having a friendly chat...
Anthony Delaplace (SAU) is one of the riders in the escape today. His quartet is 3’00" ahead of the peloton. The Frenchman is the youngest in the Tour de France in 2011. He was born on 11 September 1989.
Gutierrez is a rider who often puts himself in an escape group. He’s done so in one stage this year already and is again on the attack today. In the past, he’s achieved the top 10 placings in Tour stages thanks to his aggressive ways, but his best result in the race was his third place in the prologue of the 2004 edition - when only Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong finished ahead of him.
Of the four men in the lead, none have previously won a stage of the Tour de France. The most experienced is José Ivan Gutierrez (MOV). This is his eighth Tour de France...
Of the four men in the lead of stage five, the best in the general classification after four stages is Sebastien Turgot (EUR). He began the day ranked 72nd, 3’12" behind Hushovd. At the 9km mark, his quartet has a lead of 1’45".
The escape group broke free of the peloton at the 4km mark. They are now 1’25" ahead after about eight kilometers of racing.
The peloton is content with the selection of four and now Garmin is at the front of the peloton policing anyone else who wants to be part of The Escape today. There are a few riders testing their legs but it’s time for the yellow jersey and many others to answer nature’s call so expect the next time check to be a significant advantage for Gutierrez’s group.
The four men in the lead of stage five are:
Sebastien Turgot (FRA) Europcar
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (ESP) Movistar
Tristan Valentin (FRA) Cofidis
Anthony Delaplace (FRA) Saur-Sojasun
The early move has been caught and now it’s time for a fresh batch of riders to try their luck. There are now four men at the front of the stage: one each from Saur, Europcar, Movistar and Cofidis.
The three early escapees are still just ahead of the bunch. FDJ, Cofidis and Europcar riders have since joined the lead group but it doesn’t look likely that this move will succeed.
Three men have gained a lead on the peloton with their immediate attack. Riders from Vacansoleil, Eusktaltel and Saur-Sojasun are now trying gain an advantage on the peloton but Katusha and Cofidis are also trying to put someone in the early move.
The peloton has arrived at the zero kilometer mark and there has been an immediate attack. The start time was at 1.49pm. There are 197 riders in the race.
There is a high cloud cover in Carhaix for the start of the fifth stage of the 98th Tour but the rain is abating the moment. The temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius and some riders, like yesterday’s stage winner Cadel Evans, are opting for long sleeve jerseys early today.
Only one rider has worn the white jersey in the 2011 Tour de France. The Welshman Geraint Thomas – who was 29th in stage four – is still in the lead of the youth classification. He is on equal time with team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen with Tejay van Garderen in third. The change in the top order of this category after stage four is that Robert Gesink is now fourth (after his 17th place at the Mûr-de-Bretagne) and Goss has dropped from fourth to 25th.
Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd, Geraint Thomas and Jose Joaquin Rojas are the front of the peloton as it starts to roll through the neutral zone at the start of the fifth stage. Racing is expected to begin in about 10 minutes.
Today is the first time since his Tour debut in 2005 that Cadel Evans has led the climbing classification. He wore the polka-dot jersey in stage three but didn’t have a point in this category (rather he got the honor of wearing the prize jersey because of his second place in stage one). With his win on the Mûr-de-Bretagne, however, he collected two points and thus has twice as many points than the four others who earned something for this classification – Gilbert (OLO), Delage (FDJ), Hoogerland (VCD) and Contador (SBS).
Cadel Evans (BMC) wore the green jersey in the team time trial but he didn’t lead the points classification… but Philippe Gilbert couldn’t wear both the yellow and green jerseys in stage two. With his victory in stage four, however, Evans has moved up to second in this category with a tally of 80 points, just two shy of the Spanish leader Jose Rojas (MOV). Rojas and Gilbert were the only two riders to score points at both the intermediate sprint and the stage finish. Gilbert will be back in the Belgian national champion’s colors for the first time since stage one.
The Mûr-de-Bretagne finished had an impact on the top order of the general classification even if Thor Hushovd (GRM) retained the yellow jersey after stage four. The winner, Cadel Evans (BMC) moved up front third overall to second, still just one second behind… while David Millar (GRM) dropped from second to fourth after finishing 22nd in the stage. Other beneficiaries from the fourth stage were Frank Schleck (LEO) who is now ranked on GC (up from seventh after stage three), and Andreas Klöden (RSH) who is fourth overall, moving up from 19th. Andy Schleck dropped one place – from eight to ninth – after losing eight seconds in the finale of stage four.
After racing stage two in the yellow jersey, stage three in the green jersey and stage four in the polka-dot jersey the rider who led all three classifications thanks to his win on day one, Philippe Gilbert (OLO) is back in the national champion’s colors again. As the peloton makes its way through the neutral zone, we’ll review the four prize jersey classifications on LeTour.fr.
The intermediate sprint which offers points for the green jersey for the first 15 riders over the line is in Goudelin at the 70km mark.
The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, the riders have signed on, the lead vehicles are in place and the fifth stage of the Tour de France is about to get underway. This is a 164.5km journey from Carhaix to Cap Fréhel on the north coastline of Brittany that includes one categorized climb - the cote de Gurunhuel (cat-4) at the 45.5km mark. The start time is 1.40pm and there’s a 4.5km neutral zone before the flag will fall to signal the official start of the race - this is expected to be at around 1.50pm. Live coverage of the stage will commence shortly on LeTour.fr. Settle in for what promises to be an exciting day of racing.