McEwen Wins Stage 5 of Tour
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won Stage 5 of the Tour de France.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won Stage 5 of the Tour de France. The Australian champion took a bunch sprint to win the flat, 183-km run from Chambord to Montargis in 3:46:00. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finished second, and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) took third. Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) remains the maillot jaune .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Before the stage, a faceoff took place. Armstrong had intended to follow an unwritten rule and not wear the maillot jaune in Stage 5 because previous wearer David Zabriskie (CSC) had lost it in a crash. Tour de France director Jean Marie LeBlanc told Armstrong that the Tour de France rules require all competition leaders to wear their jerseys during stages. LeBlanc told Armstrong that he would be disqualified if he did not don the golden fleece. End of argument. Armstrong changed from his Discovery Channel jersey into the yellow jersey.
The race was ridden in overcast conditions. After several abortive moves, Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) attacked at 28 km. After 87 km, Kjell Carlstrom (Liquigas), Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole), and Salvatore Commesso (Lampre) joined the Spaniard. At this point, the break led the bunch by 4:10.
After 97 km, Quick Step and Davitamon began to chase in support of Tom Boonen and McEwen, respectively. By 137 km, the break?s advantage had fallen to 1:40. With 25 km left, Ag2r took up the chase for its man, Jean-Patrick Nazon. Fifteen km later, the field was together.
La Francaise des Jeux led the field into the final km. Baden Cooke (La Francaise des Jeux) led out teammate Bernhard Eisel, but the Austrian was out of gas. Guido Trenti led out Boonen, but McEwen was on the Belgian?s wheel. The man from Down Under jumped Boonen in the last 100 m for the win.
In the overall, Armstrong leads teammate George Hincapie by 0:55 and Jens Voigt (CSC) by 1:04. Stage 6 will not change the standings, but it might provide a winner other than Tom Boonen or Robbie McEwen, who have won three of the five stages between them. During the rolling, 199-km ride from Troyes to Nancy, the riders will breast four Category 4 climbs. They were ascend the last of these 13 km from the finish. Look for a lone rider or a small group to escape. Who will win the stage? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!