Tour de France: Mark Cavendish overpowered as Andre Greipel wins stage five
Thursday 05 July 2012
Andre Greipel won his second stage of the 2012 Tour de France this afternoon, having reeled in an early breakaway within inches of the finish line. Mark Cavendish, overpowered by Greipel's turn of speed, finished in fifth place.
Breakaway riders Mathieu Ladagnous, Pablo Urtasun, Jan Ghyselinck, and Julien Simon rode ahead of the field for 194kilometres of the 196.5km flat stage from Rouen to Saint Quentin.
The four riders were kept within touch of the peloton and, as the main bunch gathered pace, it seemed inevitable that they would be pulled in. Today's stage apparently resided in the hands of the sprinters.
With 30km to go, Team Sky formed their lead-out train alongside a handful of other teams. Sniffing victory today, this was the first time the full team had supported their sprinter Mark Cavendish.
But as the finish line approached, it seemed the peloton had misjudged the breakaway's small advantage over the field.
At 3km to go, the peloton was slashed in half. Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Sharp was jostling towards the front of the peloton when he caught Alessandro Petacchi's back wheel and fell. Green jersey-wearer Peter Sagan was caught up in the crash and also fell.
With the breakaway still ahead of the field, Team Sky's lead-out crumpled. The chasing bunch, snaking down the homestraight, desperately drew themselves towards the four riders, who had reserved energy for their audacious final effort.
Within metres of the line, Orica-GreenEdge sprinter Matt Goss assumed the lead. But his charge soon was soon overshadowed as stage-winner Greipel powered through.
Cavendish, a former teammate of both Goss and Greipel, failed to muster a counter attack and came home in fifth position.
The Briton finished first in the peloton's charge for the intermediate sprint and now lies fourth in the points competition, 36 behind the green jersey of Peter Sagan.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Louis van Gaal gives increasingly intense interview as irritation with BBC grows following Manchester United defeat to Chelsea
David Moyes: I had to fight to STOP Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United to join Chelsea in 2013
Philippe Coutinho 'goal': FA Cup semi-final strike was going 'miles wide' - leading to fury over first goal scorer betting
Mario Balotelli incident leaves Brendan Rodgers fuming after Liverpool's FA Cup exit to Aston Villa
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...