Thursday July 5th, 2012

Stage 5Rouen / Saint-Quentin

Start 12h45 GMT 2+

Key moments

video05.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race

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Summary of the race

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Stage summary05.07.2012 in 17:48Tension until the very end but Greipel gets a second win

© A.S.O.

These stages are meant to run to a script: an escape goes early, they gain a big advantage and then the peloton slowly reels them in and there's a sprint at the end. That's roughly what happened on the flat race from Rouen to St-Quentin but someone forgot to tell Jan Ghyselinck of Cofidis and Pablo Urtasun of Euskadi-Euskaltel; this pair were part of the attack that went clear in the first kilometer. And they were only caught in the final 500 meters! There was another crash in the final 3km...

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video05.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner

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Interview - Stage Winner

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interview05.07.2012 in 18:51Wiggins and Sky again!

The riders of Sky Procycling can consoles themselves about the defeat in the fifth stage, sprint opportunity for Mark Cavendish who was fifth in Saint-Quentin, despite the lingering effects of his crash the previous day; his team has won the team ranking for a fourth time this year. The British squad also retains the overall lead, of course.
There was no change to the overall classification after today's race: RadioShack-Nissan is still four seconds behind, and BMC is six seconds back....

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interview05.07.2012 in 18:45Sagan: «I was only angry»

Peter Sagan was caught up in the crash in the final three kilometers and thus missed out on a chance to sprint...

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interview05.07.2012 in 18:42Ladagnous: This is the second time it happens!

He started today's escape at the first kilometer and was caught inside the final kilometer and Matthieu Ladagnous took home a few lessons from the experience - as well as a red dossard as winner of the 'Fighting Spirit' award.

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interview05.07.2012 in 18:34Cancellara: a dream is not a goal

Tomorrow Fabian Cancellara will spent his 27th day in a yellow jersey at the Tour de France , that's more than any other rider who has not won the overall title. He's happy with his time in the lead but is realistic about his abilities...

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interview05.07.2012 in 16:00Greipel: I just had some power left

He was almost taken out by a rider who crashed right in front of him with three kilometers to go in stage five, but André Greipel survived... and won his second successive stage in the Tour de France of 2012.

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video05.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage

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Analysis of the stage

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video05.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route

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The day's route

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Sporting stakes04.07.2012 in 19:10Every sprint is different

Peter Sagan has won two stages but his success has been achieved at the top of hills. He was asked at the finish of stage four if he believes he's able to win a pure bunch sprint and he waivered, before answering that, “every sprint is different”. He was stranded without his key lead-out man in Rouen as Daniel Oss crashed with 2.6km to go. Perhaps the Italian's presence would have altered the result.
The consensus is that stage five to St-Quentin will be a bunch sprint but nothing...

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Newsflashes

17:35Greipel: One of the hardest sprints I??ve ever done

“I won again a stage in the Tour de France. It was a bit crazy because there was a crash with three kilometers to go. But Greg Henderson brought me back up to the front. It was a hard sprint; one of the hardest I've ever done!”

17:33The top 10 in stage five

The tension was high right until the end. The last minute bid by Ghyselinck very nearly worked. Then Urtasun seemed like he might be able to hold off the sprinters but it was ultimately a day for the sprinters. The top five in St-Quentin is:

1. Andre Greipel (GER) LTB - 196.5km in 4h41'28"

2. Matt Goss (AUS) OGE

3. Juan José Haedo (ARG) STB

4. Mark Cavendish (GBR) SKY

5. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) COF

6. Tom Veelers (NED) ARG

7. Oscar Freire (ESP)...

17:29Greipel once again!

The escapees were only caught in the final 600m. It was an impressive effort from Ghyselinck and then Urtasun but they were swallowed up by the sprinters in the final few hundred meters. Goss appeared to have it covered but he was unable to hold off Greipel who has won his second successive stage!

17:27Ghyselinck on his own at the front

With 1.4km to go, Ghyselinck has attacked the lead group. He is well clear and looks like he's going to win the stage. He has timed it to perfection... or has he?

17:26Garmin rider causes big fall

There has been another crash and it has caused a big effect in the peloton. We're not sure yet who has been involved nor if it was inside the final 3km...

17:25Four holding off the peloton...

Has the bunch mistimed its chase? Simon is now attacking the lead group which is 25" ahead of the peloton with less than 3km to go in the stage. Now it's Rogers setting the pace but time is running out to catch these four courageous leaders.

17:23Cooke riding through convoy with flat tire

One of the key lead-out men for Goss, Baden Cooke, is riding in the convoy with a flat rear tire. He hasn't been able to get a service so he's doing his best to minimizehis losses... and waiting for a service but he's spent about three kilometers on a flat tire.

17:234km to go

The four escapees are 4km from the finish. They are 25" ahead of the peloton.

17:21Lead down to 45"

There are just 7km to go and the four escapees are still holding off the chase of the peloton which is 45" behind. It's an impressive effort considering they've been at the front of the stage for 189km... but their advantage is now dropping quickly.

17:21Sagan marks Cavendish

Sagan has slotted into position right on the hip of Cavendish. They are inside the final 7km of the stage.

17:19Lampre confident in Petacchi

There are three distinct groups at the front of the peloton: Sky on the left, Lampre in the middle and BMC on the right. The Sky team has two objectives for the final few kilometers of stage five: keep Wiggins out of trouble and position Cavendish for the sprint. Lampre wants to keep Scarponi safe but also lead out Petacchi... and BMC wants to keep Evans safe.

17:17Saint-Quentin and McEwen

The last time the Tour had a stage finish in Saint-Quentin was in 2006 when Robbie McEwen won his second sprint in three days. Two days later he won a stage in Vitre. That was the final year that he claimed the victory in the points classification, a prize he claimed three times during his career. Also in his team at the time was Cadel Evans and, with the presence of the GC rider, the allegiances were split: half the troops were allocated to Robbie, half for Cadel.
McEwen is now a...

17:13Schar lead BMC on the right...

With Sky on the left, BMC is now moving up on the right. Schar is the man at the front of the train that's in place to keep Evans out of trouble.

17:12Five Sky guys ahead of Cavendish...

There is a line of yellow helmets on the left side of the road with five Sky riders leading Cavendish. On the wheel of the world champion is the Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen, the rider who finished ninth in the stage yesterday after his team's designated sprinter got taken out in the late crash.

17:1015km to go

There have been no attacks in the lead group and the four continue to swap off with even turns of pace. They are inside the final 15km with a lead of 1'05".

17:0520km to go

Urtasun has led Ladagnous, Chyselinck and Simon under the 20km to go banner. They are just 1'15" ahead of the bunch that now has Michael Rogers (SKY) at the front. O'Grady's turn at the front - that lasted about 50km - finished in Ham, 22.5km from the finish.

17:02Peloton in Ham

The escapees have the advantage of being able to weave through the twists and turns of the towns and villages on the course with more ease than what the peloton can. Ladagnous and his mates have just ridden through Ham - a town that's on the edge of the Somme and Aisne departments of France.

There are some tight turns but, so far, they've all been negotiated without incident.

16:59Peloton inside final 25km

There is just 1'15" between the leaders and the peloton with 25km to go.

16:56Who will be the first to attack?

With the peloton only 1'25" behind the four escapees, it's about that time when the stage leaders start attacking each other. Auge, the DS of Cofidis, said recently that this will happen with 25km to go. He has Ghyselinck in the escape and the Belgian has been at the back of the lead group in the last few minutes. Could he be the first to go? Let's wait to see.

If the attacks don't start soon, the capture is imminent considering the speed that the peloton is moving at the moment.

16:51Lead less than two minutes...

With 31km to go, the escapees have a lead of just 1'45". We can now see a few GC teams moving forward to make sure their leaders are safe now that the pace is really picking up. The peloton has been led by Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEdge riders for some time but now BMC and Garmin-Sharp also has a presence. And, of course, we can see the yellow helmets of a cluster of Sky riders not far from the front.

16:4835km to go...: comments from Peiper

The is less than 35km to go in the stage and LeTour.fr has recently spoken with Allan Peiper of the Garmin-Sharp team to get his take on the chase. "The guys in the front are playing games," said the directeur sportif. "They know that if they go too far ahead, we'll chase fast and they'll be caught. And they know if they slow down too much... well, they'll get caught.

"This stage is bound to finish with a bunch sprint but there is a bit of tactics being played out now. We should see...

16:36The average speed of stage five this year...

Today the average speed for the opening hour was 39.6km/h; the average for the second hour was 38.5km/h.... and the average for the third hour: 40.5km/h.

16:35Comparison of average speeds of stage five

The first attack of the day succeeded and there have been four men at the front of the stage since the opening kilometer of the race from Rouen to St-Quentin. Here is a comparison of the average speeds for the opening hours of stage five at the Tour in the three previous editions:
2011: 1st hour – 43.2km/h; 2nd hour – 46.8km/h
2010: 1st hour – 41.2km/h; 2nd hour – 38.3km/h
2009: 1st hour – 41.6km/h; 2nd hour – 38.4km/h
All were flat stages.

16:2750km to go...

The escapees are now inside the final 50km of the 196.5km stage. They have a lead of just 2'15".

16:22O'Grady, Popovych and four Lotto-Belisol lead peloton

O'Grady, the rider who will contest his sixth Olympic Games just after the Tour, is at the front of the peloton at the moment. He leads the winner of the youth classification at the Tour in 2005, Yaroslav Popovych (RNT). Behind this pair are four riders from the Lotto-Belisol team and then Johan Vansummeren (GRS).

It is the first time we've seen a Garmin rider near the head of the bunch for some time but perhaps the idea is to start working on the lead-out duties for Tyler Farrar.

16:19Sanchez collects drinks without raising a hand

Rabobank's mechanic has been loading up Luis Sanchez's jersey with bottles for his team-mates. The Spaniard has an injured hand so he's not risking anything and, instead of taking the bottles from the team car in the usual manner the rider is improvising...

16:16Augé's plan looks in doubt...

The peloton is now just 2'15" behind the four escapees. If Ghyselinck is going to wait until 25km to go before he starts considering how to hold off the sprinters, as his DS has said is the plan, then it's likely to be too late.At the current rate the capture is going to happen well before then...

16:12Augé of Cofidis: They??ll go full-gas at the last moment

The directeur sportif of the Cofidis team, Stéphane Augé has recently given his take on how the stage will go from here. The team has Jan Ghyselinck in the move today and Augé explained how he imagines the stage will be played out: “For now they must give about 70 per cent of themselves,” said Augé of the move that involves Ghyselinck, as well as Simon (SAU), Ladagnous (FDJ) and Urtasun (EUS). “It is useless to give more because we can see that we are very far from the finish, and...

16:11Marzano also punctures

There have been two punctures for Lampre in less than two minutes. The second to get a flat is Marco Marzano.

16:10Puncture for Petacchi

The sprinter who won the green jersey in the 2010 Tour, Alessandro Petacchi (LAM) has just pulled to the right of the road to get a new wheel from his team car after having a flat tire.

16:00Bright sunshine again...

It's been a day of mixed weather but the sun is shining again and, so far, the peloton hasn't really had to endure wet roads. Okay, they've copped a few spots of rain but it was hardly enough to make them wet. And, while we're on the weather, we can report that it's now clear in Saint-Quentin after a storm earlier today.

15:57Average for the 3rd hour...

The average speed for the third hour of stage five is 40.5km/h. The average for the first two hours combined is 39.53km/h. The escapees are still pushing on with their move and they are now 3'20" ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by the usual suspects... ie. Orica, Lotto, and RadioShack.

15:43Advantage grows again...

At the intermediate sprint, the peloton was 2'45" behind the escapees but Ladagnous and his mates are now 3'10" ahead.

Rain has started to fall but the road is not yet wet and it only looks like being a little shower.

15:38Results of intermediate sprint

The full result of the intermediate sprint in stage five is:

1. Ladagnous (FDJ) 20pts

2. Urtasun (EUS) 17pts

3. Simon (SAU) 15pts

4. Ghyselinck (COF) 13pts

5. Cavendish (SKY) 11pts - at 2'45"

6. Goss (OGE) 10pts

7. Renshaw (RAB) 9pts

8. Sagan (LIQ) 8pts

9. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 7pts

10. Van Hummel (VCD) 6pts

11. Hutarovich (FDJ) 5pts

12. Petacchi (LAM) 4pts

13. Gretsch (ARG) 3pts

14. Impey (OGE)...

15:36Cavendish claims 5th place

Goss challenged Cavendish in the sprint and there wasn't much in it but the world champion held off the surge from the rider who finished second in the world championships last year...

15:35FDJ also in the lead-out

Orica is leading the peloton but there are also riders from Sky coming up the left side of the road as well as FDJ troops on the left.

15:33Leaders over the sprint line...

The first four places for the intermediate sprint have been decided. The order over the line was:

1. Ladagnous (FDJ) 20pts

2. Urtasun (EUS) 17pts

3. Simon (SAU) 15pts

4. Ghyselinck (COF) 13pts

(Full results to follow when the peloton reaches the 109km mark.)

15:31Peloton 5km from the intermediate sprint

The leaders know that the peloton is going to speed up as it approaches the sprint. Ghyselinck and his three mates at the front of the stage have picked up the pace. They are 2km from the sprint as the peloton reaches the 5km to go sign... the difference between the leaders and the chasers is 2'50".

15:24Pace of the peloton due to pick up...

The intermediate sprint of the fifth stage is just 10km away for the peloton that is now 2'55" behind the four escapees. Going on tradition we'll soon see Orica-GreenEdge's lead-out train form at the front of the bunch. And, going on how these sprints have been ridden on the opening days of the 99th Tour, Cavendish will follow Goss and then we'll see Sagan and Petacchi and Hutarovich doing what they can to gain a few extra points for the green jersey competition.

15:19Peloton through the feedzone

As the bunch passes through the feedzone, it is 3'05" behind the four escapees.

15:18Intermediate sprint coming up soon...

The intermediate sprint for stage five is in Breteuil (at the 109km mark). The feedzone is at the 96km mark, not the 100km as was mentioned in a recent newsflash... apologies for any confusion caused.

15:16Lead down to 3'25"

With the advantage of the escapees dropping quickly, Voigt (RNT) - who has been helping with the pacesetting at the head of the peloton - has recently had a brief discussion with two other chasers, O'Grady (OGE) and Hansen (LTB). Could it be that the speed of the chase is too fast too soon?

15:14Leaders near the feedzone...

Ladagnous' quartet at the front of the stage are about to enter the feedzone in Viefvillers (at the 100km mark).

15:11On the attack for 100km

The stage leaders - Ghyselinck (COF), Simon (SAU), Urtasun (EUS) and Ladagnous (FDJ) - have been at the front of the race for 100km now. Their maximum advantage was 5'40" at the 52km mark. They are now 4'05" ahead of the peloton that is being led by riders from Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto-Belisol.

15:08Eisel consults race doctor

Bernhard Eisel, who is racing today with five stitches in his eyebrow on a wound that he sustained in the crash near the end of yesterday's stage, has recently dropped back to the race doctor's car. He needs some treatment for an abraison on his left hip. He is bandaged up on his left arm but his team DS, Sean Yates, told LeTour.fr earlier today that the Austrian isn't complaining about his injuries... "he's tough, and a true professional," said Yates. We'll see Bernie doing his usual job...

15:01Two other birthdays in the convoy today...

There are two drecteurs sportif also celebrating their birthdays today: Yvon Ledanois of the Movistar team is 43, and Valeria PIva of Katusha is 54.

14:58Gilbert's 30th birthday today

The winner of the opening stage of the 2011 Tour, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) celebrates his 30th birthday today.

14:53Rain stops falling in St-Quentin...

There was a storm at the site of the finish today but the rain has stopped for now. Despite the conditions in St-Quentin, the peloton has not had a drop of rain and it's currently riding along in bright sunshine. There are five minutes between the Ladagnous group and the bunch that is led by O'Grady (OGE) and Hansen (LTB).

14:50Henderson on the requirements of a lead-out...

Henderson explained how things work in the lead-out after stage four and the 35-year-old New Zealander said that the influence from the team's directeurs sportif is minimal at the crucial moment. “They don't talk inside the last couple of kilometers,” said Henderson about the discussion on the radio. “The last words are with about three or four kilometers to go and it's just, ‘Good luck, we have faith in you'.
“I have to shout, I have to give instructions so I can't have...

14:49The average speed for the 2nd hour: 38.5km/h

The average speed for the second hour in stage five is slowly down on what it was in the opening hour. The leaders covered 38.5km in the second hour. The average for the first two hours combined is 39.0km/h.

14:45Henderson: Even Petacchi complimented me...

All the signs are that today is likely to end in a bunch sprint. Okay, there are four men up the road but the sprinters' teams are already working at the front of the bunch and trying to time the capture perfectly. Greg Henderson was the last rider in the lead-out sequence for Lotto-Belisol before André Greipel launched his winning move at the end of yesterday's stage. Here is what the New Zealander had to say after the victory in Rouen:
“Even Alessandro Petacchi came up to me...

14:40Maximum gain of the escape: 5'40" at 52km

The four escapees are now 122km from the finish of the stage. They escaped in the first kilometer and have had a maximum gain of 5'40" at 52km. Now there are riders from Lotto, Orica and RadioShack at the front of the peloton that's 5'10" behind.

14:38Vande Velde pre-Tour Q&A (part 02)

LeTour.fr asked Christian Vande Velde before the Tour how his body is changing over the years. He did his first Tour in 1999 and he's finished as high as fifth (2008). How is he physically now, compared to when he made his debut?
“From 1999 to here is a big stretch but I'm a thousand times fitter and mentally stronger than I was in 1999. Of course there are some nagging little things that I have to look after a bit more now than back then but once in a while I feel a little like a...

14:32Vande Velde: pre-Tour comments

LeTour.fr caught up with Christian Vande Velde before the Grand Départ this year and asked what the 36-year-old expected from the race. Here's the quick Q

14:18Goss: a lot of bike riders are in contention for the sprints.

“There are a lot of strong sprinters here this year and it's not just Cavendish that we've got to watch. There's also Petacchi, Greipel and a whole list of bike riders from teams that have got good lead-out trains,” said Goss before the Tour this year. He had also mentioned Kittel but the German never really stood a chance of showing his form before he had to abandon his debut Tour today.
“In the past, with HTC, there was one big lead-out train and everyone was working around...

14:05Number of retirees after stage five in recent history

There are four men already out of the Tour of 2012. Three have broken bones (collabone for Rojas, tibia for Sivtsov, hip for Tjallingii) and one has suffered stomach ailments since the start (Kittel).

At the end of the Tours of 2007 to 2011, here is a reminder of the number of retirees after five stages:

- 2011: three abandons after stage five

- 2010: nine abandons

- 2009: two abandons

- 2008: three abandons

- 2007: five abandons

13:58Lotto-Belisol sharing the chasing duties

The team of the yellow jersey, RadioShack, has one rider sharing the pace setting duties of the peloton with men from Greipel's Lotto-Belisol squad. The latest time check has the escapees 5'05" at the 45km mark.

13:56Four teams with eight riders...

Contrary to the previous newsflash, there are in fact four teams with only eight riders. The retirees thus far are:

- Kanstantsin Sivtsov (SKY)

- José Rojas (MOV)

- Maarten Tjallingii (RAB)

- Marcel Kittel (ARG)

13:53Kittel quits the Tour

There are now 194 riders left in the Tour de France of 2012. Marcel Kittel has had stomach problems since the start of the race and he's just abandoned his first Tour around the 40km mark. The Argos-Shimano team is one of three with just eight men.

13:49Average speed for opening hour...

The leaders have covered 39.6km in the first hour of racing today. They are currently 5'35" ahead of the peloton which continues to be led by riders from Lotto-Belisol.

13:48Storm in St-Quentin...

There is thunder, lightning and rain at the site of the finish fo the fifth stage. It doesn't seem as though it will clear up either... but for the moment it's still dry where the peloton is riding.

13:45Peiper: Farrar is still upbeat...

“I remember this finish from 2005 when Robbie [McEwen] won,” said Allan Peiper when LeTour.fr spoke with him earlier today. “It's a little rise and the riders can't see the finish until about 350 meters to go.”
The Garmin-Sharp team has a sprinter in the form of Tyler Farrar but both he and Robbie Hunter (as well as Johan Vansummeren) were caught up in the crash near the end of stage four. “There's hardly a part of Tyler's body that hasn't been affected by injuries but he's...

13:42Advantage grows again...

At the 32km mark, the peloton is 5'30" behind the four escapees in stage five. This is the maximum gain of Ladagnous' quartet so far today.

13:4026 days in yellow for Cancellara

If Fabian Cancellara keeps the yellow jersey after today's stage, he will spend his 27th day in the lead of the Tour tomorrow (since he first won the prologue, in 2004). He will overtake Rene Vietto's collection and become the rider with the biggest collection of Tour leader's jersey for someone who hasn't won the overall title. The men who have worn the yellow jersey for more than 26 days in the history of the race are:
Merckx (BEL), Armstrong (USA), Hinault (FRA), Indurain (ESP),...

13:35Martin and Sanchez assume position at rear of peloton

Since their crash in the opening stage, Tony Martin of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team, and Luis Leon Sanchez from Rabobank have ridden almost all of the stage at the back of the peloton. Martin has a broken scaphoid in his left hand but he's racing with a cast constructed by the team's medical team.

Sanchez also has an injured wrist but the pair have never seemed ready to abandon the Tour despite their injuries.

13:32Rain starts to fall in St-Quentin

It was overcast but dry at the start today but rain is now falling at the site of the finish, in St-Quentin. For the moment, however, it's clear skies over the peloton and no sign of rain.

13:17Maximum advantage already reached?

The peloton was 4'50" behind at the 15km mark but Lotto-Belisol is already at the front of the bunch and limiting the gains of Ladagnous' quartet which is 4'45" ahead at 16km.

13:13Yates: Obviously Cav was frustrated...

In our interview with Sean Yates this morning, LeTour.fr ask: what about Cavendish's attitude, is that also a bit bruised or his trying to be upbeat about it? “I think his morale is okay," said Yates. "We shall see how he gets through the day and hopefully the hand will be okay. If it's not then obviously it's going to be a little tricky. First and foremost we've got to see that he's okay on the bike. At the moment he looks okay but we won't really know until he's riding properly in a race...

13:11Eisel required five stitches to his face

When he spoke with LeTour.fr this morning, Sean Yates confirmed that no special treatments were necessary for Cavendish's injuries but Eisel needed extra attention. “Bernie had five stitches on his face near his eyebrow; his sunglasses cut into his face so he's been patched up.

“They've both received the usual massage and they're the usual, professional riders we're used to working with,” said the directeur sportif with the Sky team.

13:10Yates comments on Cavendish...

LeTour.fr contacted Sean Yates of the Sky team today and asked if he could give a quick appraisal of the conditions of their fallen sprinters Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel. “Cav is not too bad actually,” said Yates about the winner of stage two who crashed with 2.6km to go in stage four. “He's pretty banged up and his mashed up his hand a bit, just above the thumb and near the forefinger. We'll see how he is when he gets on the bike. I don't think anything is broken but it is a...

13:0911km: advantage grows to 4'30"

The peloton is 4'30" behind the four that escaped in the first kilometer.

13:07No former stage winners in escape group

Of the four who are 3'15" ahead of the peloton at the 8km mark, none have previoulsy won a stage of the Tour.

Urtasun (EUS) is doing the race for the second time after making his debut in 2011 (finishing 149th).

Ladagnous (FDJ) has done the Tour twice before this year: 2007 and 2010.

Simon (SAU) and Ghyselinck (COF) are riding the Tour for the first time this year.

12:58Advantage up to 2'05"

The advantage of the four escapees who attacked in the first kilometer has grown to 2'05" and it's likely to increase in the next little while as a number of riders in the peloton are stopping to answer the call of nature.

12:54Position of escapees on GC

The best of the four in the lead of stage five in the general classification after four stages is Matthieu Ladagnous. His group of four is 1'05" ahead as the peloton reaches the 2km mark. Here is a summary of the position of the four on GC before today's stage:

Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) FDJ-BigMat - 108th overall, at 8'04"

Jan Ghyselinck (BEL) Cofidis - 147th overall, at 11'38"

Julien Simon (FRA) Saur-Sojasun - 161st overall, at 12'45"

Pablo Urtasun (ESP)...

12:50Four lead by 35"

The riders who are trying to establish the first escape of stage five are:

Urtasun (EUS)

Ghyselinck (COF)

Simon (SAU)

Ladagnous (FDJ) - who was the man who instigated the move.

12:48Three go on the attack

In the first kilometer of the 5th stage there are three men trying to establish an escape group. But the peloton has reacted to the move and they've all been caught before the second kilometer.

12:47Racing in stage five!

The fifth stage of the 2012 Tour de France - from Rouen to St-Quentin - has begun. The start time was 12.46pm and there are 195 riders still in the race with no one retiring overnight.

12:41Prize classification review: part 05 ?? the yellow helmet crew

The fall involving Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel less than two kilometers from the finish of stage four paved the way for Lotto-Belisol take over Sky Procycling in the team rankings. By setting up André Greipel for the win, the Belgian team earned the victory for the stage in the team prize with Greg Henderson (11th) and Jurgen Roelandts (12th).
No differences were recorded between the 22 competing teams in the general rankings at the end of the sprint of Rouen, but the curiosity...

12:39Prize classification review: part 04 ?? white jersey

Once again Tejay van Garderen (BMC) will wear the white jersey in the Tour de France. He is one second ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) and 12” seconds clear of Rein Taaramae (COF) in the youth classification.

12:32Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

There are four riders with two points each in the climbing classification but they are all well behind the main aggressor of the opening days of the 2012 Tour, Michael Morkov (STB) who will wear the polka-dot jersey for the fourth day in a row.
The Danish rider will go directly from Paris to London after the Tour to compete as a team pursuit rider at the Olympics.
The men who also have points in this category are: Basso (LIQ), Sagan (LIQ), Delaplace (SAU) and Moncoutie (COF) –...

12:31Rolling in the neutral zone

The peloton is making its way to the site of the official start on the outskirts of Rouen. All the riders are currently rolling through the 6.8km neutral zone before stage five begins.

12:30Prize classification review: part 02 ?? green jersey

Peter Sagan (LIQ) has won two stages already and finished sixth and fifth on the two days when other sprinters have won. The Slovakian will wear the green jersey of the Tour de France for the fifth day in his short career. He leads the points classification by 55 points with an impressive haul of 147 points already. Matt Goss (OGE) has moved up to second in this category (with 92 points) while the winner of yesterday's stage, André Greipel (LTB) is in third place with 87 points.
Last...

12:24Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

Once again, Fabian Cancellara will start a stage of the Tour de France dressed in yellow. Although 823.4km have been raced in the 99th edition of this event, there has been no change to the top five since the 6.4km prologue on Saturday. The Swiss rider still has a lead of seven seconds on Bradley Wiggins (SKY) and Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ), with Tejay van Garderen (BMC) in fourth at 10” and Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) ranked fifth at 11”.
The defending champion, Cadel Evans (BMC) is...

12:20Welcome to the live coverage of stage five of Le Tour 2012

The 196.5km fifth stage of the Tour de France will begin soon. The weather is mild and dry at the moment. The temperature in Rouen is 23 degrees (Celsius) and there's little wind early today. The finish is in St-Quentin.

The neutral zone today is 6.8km long and the official start is expected to be at about 12.45pm. The peloton will start rolling at 12.30pm.

Live coverage of the stage will commence shortly.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 5

Classifications after the stage 5

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