Cavendish Wins Stage 5 of Tour de France
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) has won Stage 5 of the 2010 Tour de France.
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) has won Stage 5 of the 2010 Tour de France. The Columbia man took a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 187.5-km run from Epernay to Montargis in 4:30:50. Gerald Ciolek (Milram) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) finished second and third, respectively. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) remains the maillot jaune.
Warm, sunny weather greeted a peloton that still licked its wounds after the crashes in Stages 1, 2, and 3. At five km, Julien el Fares (Cofidis), Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne), and Jurgen van der Walle (Quick Step) sallied away from the bunch. The three ran up a 7:55 lead before the peloton began to chase.
HTC-Columbia, Rabobank, and Saxo Bank led the pursuit. At 87.5 km, the gap was down to 4:00, and fifty km later, the lead was 2:00. With 25 km left, Lampre and Cervelo stepped up the pursuit, but the break, aided by twisting roads, led the field by 0:23 with six km left.
Gutierrez dropped his companions. With four km left, the bunch reeled him in. Garmin took over at the front and led the field into the last two km. HTC-Columbia charged up the middle and dropped off Cavendish with 200 m left. The Manxman won easily.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Geraint Thomas (Sky) by 0:23 and Cadel Evans (BMC) by 0:39. Stage 6, a rolling, 227.5-km run from Montargis to Gueugnon, will be the longest stage of this year's Tour. With the Alps coming up this weekend, this stage will be the last chance for the sprinters for nearly a week. Look for them to battle for the win. Who will take the stage? Cavendish? Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)? Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!