Cavendish breaks win record in Saint-Vulbas

Tour de France 2024 | Stage 5 | Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Saint-Vulbas

A frantic bunch sprint in Saint-Vulbas on Stage 5 was won by Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) in front of an excited crowd to make Tour de France history. Cavendish clinched his 35th Tour stage victory in style, making him the most prolific stage winner in the history of the race outright, now alone in front of the man he had previously shared the honour with, the great Eddy Merckx. Cavendish used all his experience in an electric bunch sprint to grab the historic triumph ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in second and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), who was third. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains in the Yellow Jersey with no changes at the top of the GC on the fifth day of racing.

Extended Highlights - Stage 5 - Tour de France 2024

Two riders from Lyon
There were 174 riders at the start of Stage 5 as the peloton rolled out of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne taking the official start after a 4.6km neutralised section. Following a few unsuccessful breakaway attempts, it was finally at km 25 that Clement Russo (Groupama-FDJ) left the peloton, joined at km 31 by Matteo Vercher (TotalEnergies). The two riders from Lyon were permitted to move clear by the peloton and obtained a maximum advantage of 4’35” at km 40. The duo's gap was calmly controlled by riders from Lidl-Trek and Alpecin-Deceuninck, who led the peloton. The average speed recorded after two hours of racing over flat terrain was 39.2 km/h. At the first categorised climb of the day - Côte du Cheval Blanc (Cat 4, km 104.6) - it was Russo who picked up the solitary point for the Mountain classification, with the peloton then 2’20” adrift of him and Vercher.

More points won
Russo was then first at the intermediate sprint at Aoste (IS, km 123.2) followed by Vercher, before the peloton arrived and Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) won a bunch sprint ahead of Sam Bennett (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). The riders then made their way to second categorised climb of the stage in the rain with the peloton gradually reducing the deficit to Russo and Vercher, finally catching them with just under 36 km to go, as the Côte de Lhuis (Cat 4, km 142,8) ascent started.

History made in a grand finale
Going over Côte de Lhuis first and uncontested was Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) for another single Mountain classification point, ensuring him leadership of the climbers’ rankings for at least the next two days. Then at the finish in Saint-Vulbas it was Cavendish who showed his class and strength in the hectic final sprint to make Tour history, crossing the line ahead of Philipsen, Kristoff, Arnaud de Lie (Lotto-dstny) and Fabio Jakobsen (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), whilst Girmay was ninth to secure the green jersey. A ride for the ages.

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