Wednesday July 9th, 2014

Stage 5Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Start 14h00 (Local time)

Inside the race

Analysis09.07.2014Stage 5- Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Nibali, the man to beat

His show of strength in both key stages of the first week of the Tour de France impressed his rivals and turned yellow-jersey holder Vincenzo Nibali into the man to beat for the rest of the race.

“He's clever, he saved strength all season to be fit for the Tour and he reaches top form on D Day,” said Trek Factory team director Alain Gallopin.

The Frenchman saw his rider Fabian Cancellara, a three times Paris-Roubaix winner, dropped by Nibali on the cobbles, a feat that says a lot about the Italian's current condition.

“Two years ago, we had Tour for time trial specialists, last year we had a Tour for climbers. This year will be a Tour for an all-rounder,” added Gallopin, always an expert analyst of the race.

Winner in Sheffield of a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege, third in Arenberg of a small Paris-Roubaix, the Astana team leader is in splendid shape and already bore two deadly blows. He can also count on crucial support from team-mate Jakob Fuglsang, second in the day's stage and overall, two seconds behind his Sicilian leader.

Despite the bitter disappointment of losing Chris Froome on the cobbles, Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford was full of praise: “When you see the way Nibali rode, it was very impressive. It's just unbelievable to ride away from Cancellara and Sagan on the cobbles. That was exciting. We'll remember it for a long time”, he said.

A great compliment and an admission of defeat?

  • Boom wins, Nibali triumphs, Contador struggles, Froome pulls out

    The legendary stage of the north of France including some cobbled sections has seen the abandon of defending champion Chris Froome who has crashed on two occasions... before the pavés. On a rain soaked day of racing, Lars Boom took a valuable victory in Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut, Vincenzo Nibali retained and increased his lead in the overall ranking while Alberto Contador lost more time than most of the other GC contenders.

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Stage 5 Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

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