Thursday July 5th, 2012

Stage 5Rouen / Saint-Quentin

Start 12h45 GMT 2+

Tension until the very end but Greipel gets a second win

Stage summary05.07.2012Stage 5- Rouen / Saint-Quentin

© 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 and the main victim this time was Tyler Farrar, a former stage winner who landed with a thud and would cross the line covered in blood. But the time he got there, however, André Greipel had already thanked his team-mates and explained that it was

The progress report
The fifth stage of the 2012 Tour de France was a 196.5km race from Rouen to St-Quentin on a flat course on a warm day with the temperature in the mid-20s (Celsius), rising to 30 degrees later in the day. The intermediate sprint was in Breteuil at the 109km mark. There were 195 riders at the sign on. The official start was at 12.46pm.
Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) went on the attack in the opening kilometer and he was quickly joined by three others: Ghyselinck (COF), Simon (SAU) and Urtasun (EUS). The best on GC of the escapees was Ladagnous, 10th overall at the start of the day (8'04” behind Cancellara). The Lotto-Belisol team moved to the front of the bunch after the escapees reached a gain of 4'50” (at 15km). RadioShack-Nissan riders also contributed to the pace but by the 34km mark, the break was ahead by 5'35”. The average speed for the first hour was 39.6km/h. Around the 40km mark, Kittel (ARG) quit the Tour after having suffered stomach complaints since the start in Liège. The maximum gain of the escape was at 52km, when it was 5'40” ahead of the peloton. Orica-GreenEdge, Lotto-Belisol and RadioShack riders all cooperated at the head of the peloton to limit the gains of Ladagnous' quartet.

Chasing points in Breteuil
On the approach to the intermediate sprint, the advantage of the escapees was dropping relatively quickly. Ladagnous led the escape over the line in Breteuil and only in the final kilometer leading to the site of the sprint did the peloton really speed up. Cavendish (SKY) came down the left of the road to get to the front and he was challenged by Goss (OGE) but the world champion won the race for fifth place, beating the Australian by half a wheel. Renshaw (RAB) was seventh and the rider in the green jersey, Sagan (LIQ), was eighth. The average speed for the third hour was 40.5km/h.

Steady chase but the escapees hold on until the very last minute
The leaders slowly but surely lost its advantage on the peloton. With 25km to go, the bunch was at 1'30”; with 20km to go, 1'12”; 15km to go, 1'05... but it was anything but a rudimentary capture. The leaders never stopped working together and they held off the peloton's chase having an advantage of 20” with 3km to go. This was when the lead-out trains of the sprint teams went into a momentary panic as it seemed as though the opportunity to launch their specialists was over. Sky had the weight of number between 5km and 3km to go and Rogers was the rider who got the escapees back to about 15”... but that's when Ghyselinck attacked and he seemed like he might just hold off the bunch but then he ran out of steam and Urtasun took over as the likely successor of the escape. Ultimately he finished 25th but only after being caught in the final 400 meters.
Farrar (GRS) crashed just inside the final 3km and took out a few other rider and hindered the chances of others.
Up ahead the race for the stage victory was on in earnest: Goss was the first of the sprinters to start his run to the line – launching off the wheel of a team-mate with 400m to go – but he too ran out of steam just shy of the line and by then Greipel was at top speed. The German won his second successive stage of the Tour de France.
Cancellara finished 32nd and will keep the yellow jersey for another day.

Stage 5 Rouen / Rouen

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20


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