Wednesday July 3rd, 2013

Stage 5Cagnes-sur-Mer / Marseille

Start 12h00 GMT 2+

Cavendish's collection continues to grow!

Stage summary03.07.2013Stage 5- Cagnes-sur-Mer / Marseille

The profile was flat, a sprint was expected, and a favourite for the fifth stage was nominated by just around everyone. If you've watched sprints at the Tour de France since 2008, you know who the fastest man in the world is. Mr Cavendish has won multiple stages since his first triumph at the Tour and in five years he's now collected a total of 24... and we can expect this to grow even more judging by the manner in which his Omega Pharma-Quickstep team rode into Marseille. It wasn't entirely smooth sailing, like it will be when the Tour de France yacht race finishes in this seaside city on the same day that the 100th edition of the Tour de France bike races finishes in Paris.
Yes, there was an escape. Yes, that was the talk of the coverage for much of the line stage. But no, the antics of De Gendt, Arashiro, Sicard, Delaplace, Reza and Lutsenko won't be what people remember of the stage. The 'Cav' show has begun again. He is the star of sprinting and no one else can do much about it.The British champion beat his former team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen and last year's green jersey winner Peter Sagan convincingly in Marseille. Cavendish is now second in the points classification with only the Slovakian star ahead of him in the rankings.

The progress report
There were 195 riders at the sign-on for the 228.5km stage from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille with Ted King (CAN) the non-starter as he was outside the time limit in stage four. The official start of the stage was 12.01pm. The itinerary included four categorised climbs: the cote de Chateauneuf (cat-3 at 22km), followed by four cat-4s: col de l'Ange (93km), cote de la Roquebrussanne (154km), cote des Bastides (198km). The intermediate sprint was in Lorgues at 102.5km. The temperature at the start of the stage was 26.5km degrees Celsius.

Six escape: Arashiro becomes virtual leader...
Shortly after the official start, De Gendt (VCD) attacked and five others chased him down. An escape group of six formed and it was composed of the Belgian who was third in the Giro d'Italia last year as well as Arashiro and Reza (EUC), Sicard (EUS), Lutsenko (AST) and Delaplace (SOJ). On the first climb, De Gendt jumped ahead to take two points (followed by Delaplace for second at 22km). The advantage of the escapees grew quickly and at the top of the first climb, the peloton was 12'15” behind. Arashiro was the best placed of the escape group on GC after four stages – 75th, at 3'42” – so he became the virtual leader of the Tour. The average speed for the first hour was 37.6km/h. The maximum advantage of the break was 12'45” at 37km. By the 57km mark, the lead had dropped to 11'30”.
Orica-GreenEdge led the peloton and it was the first team of the 2013 race to opt to wear the yellow helmets as leaders of the team classification. The average speed for the second hour was 39.4km/h. Greipel led Kristoff, Sagan and Cavendish over the intermediate sprint line 9'35” behind the escapees.

Putting the lead-out trains on the rails...
With 100km to go, Argos and Lotto also sent riders forward to help with the pace setting duties that had been conducted by Orica-GreenEdge for most of the stage. Arashiro collected the point for the third climb. The average speed for the third hour was 42.9km/h.
With 53km to go, De Gendt accelerated and only Arashiro and Lutsenko were able to follow. Reza later sprinted across to the lead group but Sicard and Delaplace lost ground. With 20km to go, the leading four had an advantage of just 2'00”. Over the col de la Gineste several riders including Millar (GRS), Goss (OGE) and Thomas (SKY) were dropped but some rejoined the peloton. With 16km to go, there was a crash involving Vande Velde (GRS), Rolland (EUC), Kittel (ARG) and about 15 other riders. They all remounted their bikes and rejoined the peloton that was behind by 1'10” with 15km to go.

Lutsenko makes one last bid
Over the top of the Gineste climb, Lutsenko attacked the lead group that was just 30” ahead of the peloton. Reza was able to respond but Martin (OPQ). With 7km to go, the Kazakhstani and Frenchman led by 14”. Reza was caught by the peloton with 4.5km to go and Lutsenko finally conceded with 4km to go. Omega Pharma-Quickstep was the dominant team but Lotto-Belisol and Cannondale were also very well represented at the front of the bunch.

Omega Pharma-Quickstep deliver Cavendish for another victory
Going under the ‘flamme rouge' there were seven riders from the Omega Pharma-Quickstep at the front of the peloton. The lead-out train was on the rails and steaming towards another triumph... Mark Cavendish came off the wheel of Steegmans at about the same time that there was a big crash about 30 riders back; all the sprint specialists were represented but none of them could come around the British champion who has picked up his 24th Tour de France stage win and his first with the Belgian team.
Simon Gerrans finished 15th in the stage, his team-mate Daryl Impey was just two places ahead of him and thus the order of the top nine on GC didn't change in stage five but Alberto Contador replaced Michael Rogers in 10th place overall. Gerrans will wear the yellow jersey in stage six.

Stage 5 Cagnes-sur-Mer / Marseille

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21

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These five riders have won sprint stages of the 100th Tour de France. Of these five, who do you think will win in Paris?

  • Marcel Kittel14.93%
  • Simon Gerrans1.08%
  • Mark Cavendish54.21%
  • André Greipel5.5%
  • Peter Sagan24.28%
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