Wednesday July 9th, 2014

Stage 5Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Start 14h00 (Local time)

Will Froome's wrist hold?

The of the town09.07.2014Stage 5- Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Like always before a crucial Tour de France stage, questions abounded at the Village Depart of stage 5 in Ypres, a town annihilated by WWI...

Like always before a crucial Tour de France stage, questions abounded at the Village Depart of stage 5 in Ypres, a town annihilated by WWI. The first question was about the condition of Chris Froome's wrist, injured in a crash between Le Touquet and Lille on Tuesday. Can it hold on the cobbles and in the rain? The 2013 Tour champion answered partly last night:  "I fell heavily on my wrist so I needed to get it checked out by the doctors. I'm really pleased that I've been cleared to race and I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow.The wrist is painful and it's certainly not ideal going into tomorrow's cobbled stage – but I have a great team around me and we'll get through the next few days as best we can."
For Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, a two times Paris-Roubaix winner in 1992 and 1993, a lot will depend on the real extent of Froome's injury: "If the wrist is dislocated, it could be a real problem, but if it's only bruised, it will be alright.."
Froome's wrist is not the only concern of a peloton worn out by four stressful days. Rain, unseen on the cobble for many years, including recent Paris-Roubaix editions, led to the most pessimistic speculations: "When it's wet, it's like roulette - it's not about who is good on the bike anymore. In some ways it's nice to have [cobbles], but in some ways it is not good to have it. We are a big bunch and we already saw today that when we going into the towns with the traffic islands and so on, it's dangerous. Cycling has to change, and we will see - after tomorrow maybe this will be addressed", said three-times Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara, often seen as the spokesman of the pack.
From the alarmist comments, some in the peloton were hinting that riders might be tempted to take it easy if they feared danger on the cobbles. But Duclos-Lassalle was convinced the cobble specialists would give it their all: "This is not tennis. We could also drop the mountain passes when it rains! Organisers should not bow to some of the riders demands. Cancellara's problem is that he is torn between his desire to play his own card and the need to defend his leader, Frank Schleck," he said.   

  • 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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