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94th Tour de France - Stage 5 Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 7/12/2007
94th Tour de France - Stage 5 Live Coverage

94th Tour de France - Stage 5 Live
Into the first mountains test; Get out the bread crumbs and warm up the oven, 'cause it's time to shake and bake the standings in this Tour de France!

Stage 5 - Chablis - Autun 182.5 km
Map, Stage profile
Today's stage is 182,5 km long in distance from Chablis to Autun. After some early attacks in the beginning, the break of the day attacked after about 20 km. The three riders are Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), William Bonnet (Credit Agricole) and Phillipe Gilbert (La FDJ). A few kilometers later Giampaolo Cheula (Barloworld) went in the counter-attack.

Chavanel took the max KOM points on the côte des Grandes Châtelaines and the côte de Domecy-sur-Cure. Twice ahead of Gilbert and Bonnet. The leaders in front have now a gap of around 15.00 as Liquigas and Rabobank are going to chase.

In the meantime Cheula caught the three in front and we have now 4 leaders after about 60 km of racing.

yeap the 4 in front are working well together. there lead is down to less than 11.00 as it was almost 15.00. Liquigas, Milram, Rabobank and Caisse are working in the lead of the bunch. Get out the bread crumbs and warm up the oven, 'cause it's time to shake and bake the standings in this Tour de France!

 Drop the sandbags and get out the dinner plate gears - 5 climbs to go, one of the second, three of the fourth and one of the third. The final climb has it's top at 8,5km before the finish

You think Eva Green has contours? Well check out today's race profile! Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel) announced before the start that Discovery Channel wants to win the stage. So let's see... Personally I think it will suit a guy like Savoldelli (Astana). And Paolo doesn't Disco anymore.

We see De Groot, Rast, Paulinho and some others in front of the bunch. About 5 teams are working in the chase - CSC isn't taking the lead. Good to see Barloworld being active again. with Cheula in the break.  Rabobank seems interested in working, likely for King of the Mountains threat Michael "Bone Machine" Ramussen and General Classification threat Denis "The Menace" Menchov.

 I don't think the GC riders will do anything today. This weekend they have two heavy stages in the Alps; and especially Rabobank is doing this for Oscar Freire, who can survive those climbs. They'll just have to be attentive and ride defensively, and make sure no big threats get off the front. GC riders, that is.

1505 CET - The gap is down to 8.30 with 104 km to go, Brett Lancaster (Milram) abandone the race. Lancaster crashed earlier in this Tour and still suffers from his injuries. Four guys dressed up as the Three Musketeers are on very chunky horses along the side of the road. Bad at math, are they?

1510 CET - 100 km - 8.00, and another 30 seconds is taken back by the peloton on the break.  Discovery now has put a man to help in the chase at the front of the peloton, the gap continues to go down on the fab four with the latest time split 7:36.

1516 CET - Chavanel is looking good as he takes points on the climb. He's won a few climbs now, and will likely wear Polka-Dots tonight. Chavanel is the new leader in the KOM ranking thus far, we expect that he will take some points on the next climbs as well so it will be hard for the others to beat him today.

Crash - Iban Mayo in the back of the bunch. The whole Saunier Duval team is waiting on Iban Mayo. Mayo is one of the GC riders of the team now Gomez Marchante didn't start. The team quickly delivers Iban back to the peloton as Christophe Moreau drops off the back with a flat tire

1525 CET - gap at 7:00, Chavanel just won the Coulon, and now they are headed for Côte de Saint-Maurice at 98.53 km a cat 3 climb averaging 5.2 %

William Bonnet (Credit  Agricole) wins the next intermediate sprint ahead of Gilbert. The riders are now on the Cote de Saint-Maurice; Chavanel is 2nd wheel. Now he takes his turn. Gilbert is laboring, but hanging in there.

1533 CET - Three climbs to go, with the penultimate one: Haut-Folin a 12.9 km climb the Cat 2 will be the leg breaker. Mayo and his boys are back in the peloton, near the back. They are riding with German champ Wegmann. The peloton is pretty strung out. The hammer is down pretty much. Gerolsteiner, Disco, CSC, and a few other teams still drive the pace.

At the front of the race Chavanel takes the max KOM points over the KoM on  Saint-Maurice ahead of Gilbert , Bonnet and Cheula. The gap is down to 5.26

80 km - 5.00 the gap. News Flash: Di Luca has been cleared in the Oil for Drug Case, he doesn't have to appear for the CONI on Friday.

1541 CET - 78 km to go, Christian Vandevelde of CSC leads the peloton up the climb of the Saint-Maurice. Maybe Cancellara's Yellow will survive the day. The riders head by hedge-lined fields on hilly terrain. Lots of farmer art in this part of the country.

 Anyone think this will come down to a sprint finish? This won't come to a McEwen/Hushovd finish. Maybe a Zabel/Hincapie sprint with maybe with 60/70 riders. I would actually pick Zabel as a likely candidate to win. That guy can climb; with riders like, Hincapie, Valverde, Freire, Hunter and watch for young gun Romain Feillu (Agritubel) if it comes to a group finish. Advantage to the riders who lead over the last climb with 8.5 km to the finish. But if they make it a hard race on the cat 2 climb riders like Boonen, McEwen and maybe Hushovd will be dropped.  Nothing is impossible depends on what kind of race they will make of it on these climbs.

 4' 31" the gap with 76 km left. The peloton is flying. They are nearing the next climb, the hardest one of the day. This is where the sprinters will be under serious pressure.  The Yellow Jersey is still in the first 20 riders in the peloton. He's not going to lose the jersey without a fight.

The gap is down to less than 4.00 as Andreas Klöden crashes Klöden is looking pretty shaken. Not the right time to crash, at the bottom of the climb. Klöden is back in ythe saddle and is chasing now with Navarro to get back to the bunch. He looked like his back took a good pranging when he rolled into the little ditch by the side of the road there. Il Falco is waiting on Klöden too, so prolly it's not Il Falco's stage as he has to work hard right now.

Klöden actually looks effortless as he chases back. It'll be sore tomorrow, but for now it doesn't seem to be affecting him. Klöden is back in the bunch... he drops back to see the race doctor. He points to his back.

67 km left, 3' 43" is the gap. We have to wait for the category 2 climb for some new action I guess. Could Discovery be working for the Big Hink today? He is 4th on GC, and fully capable of taking Yellow if Hushovd and Cancellara get dropped. Wow, a feed zone here? On a flattish section between climbs? Okay.

Another crash, it's French Geoffroy Lequatre who crashed; Lequatre seems to be seriously hurt. Earlier this year Lequatre was out for some months as well due to a serious injury.  The riders are now on the Cote de Chateau-Chinon. It looks like a feedzone kind of crash. Gel packs and energy bars are strewn across the road.

119 km into the race up the Category 4: côte de Château-Chinon is 2,5 km and 3,8 % average gradient. Chavanel attacks. He get's maximum points at the top of the small climb.

1616 CET - 60 km - 3.36 the gap, The same mix at the front of the peloton: CSC, Caisse d'Epargne, Gerolsteiner, Milram, Discovery, a few others. Lots of teams want this break to come back at this point.

The leaders  are now on the cat 2 climb, the Haut-Folin; still 11 km to the top of this cat 2 climb. But it's not that steep, average of a bit more than 3%.

56 km to go, 3.00 minutes the gap after the summit of this hill the peloton will have 35 kilometers to chase back the escapees before the final climbing test. The peloton is stretching a bit. No major problems yet, only a few men at the back are struggling at this point. What was an exciting stage on paper is still a boring one thus far. Yeah, it's not a good sign when crashes are by far the most interesting development.

The teams are playing a balancing act in the pursuit, chase hard enough to bring the escapees back in time; but not too hard to lose their sprinters on the climbs before the final chase into Autun. A few riders get run off into the grassy shoulder. The gap is down to 2.30 as David Arroyo (Caisse D'Epargne) has a bike change. Hincapie was held up by that. He didn't crash or anything, nobody really did. Arroyo was held up the most, because he had to change his bike. Strange to see so many little incidents on climbs. That means that these climbs aren't that steep, and the riders are going up them very quickly.

The stage in the Tour of Austria is won by young gun of Discovery Channel, Gianni Meersman

1630 CET - The gap shrinks to 2.00 Chavanel will be happy just to make it to the top of this Cat 2 climb clear of the peloton; still 6,5 km to the top of the cat 2 climb. Chavanel and Gilbert gap the two others in the leading group; Cheula and Bonnet are dropped and struggle behind their two breakmates.

Gap to the leaders 1.30. There are pine trees along the sides of the road now, which means it's turning into a real climb. Thor Hushovd drops off the back of the bunch. He is a very heavy man, so this isn't surprising. He'll have a long descent to try to catch back up, where that weight will be a benefit. But the Hushovd of a year ago must be able to follow this pace; we'rnot seeing the best Thor thus far despite his stage win.

Gilbert working hard with Chavanel at the front of the race. Surprising that the sprint-oriented Gilbert is so strong on this climb.1' 58" to the peloton, 38" to the two chasers.

Valverde has a problem as he goes off the back of the peloton. Oscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde both seems to have a mechanical problems. They are between the cars and have no problems to join the bunch again Not good news for Caisse d'Epargne. But not too bad either.

Meanwhile at the front Discovery leads the peloton. 1,5 km to the summit.  It looks like Paolinho of Discovery setting the pace in the peloton. Discovery picks up the pace testing the legs of their rivals and forcing a selection  before the summit; thinning the herd for the final dash to the finish.

Up ahead over the summit Chavanel takes the points on the Folin ahead of Gilbert, Chavanel is for sure the new leader in the polka dot jersey.  He has 37 points now, to only 24 points for Gilbert. At the back of the peloton, more guys are getting dropped. Anchors away for the non climbers. Mainly sprinters: Napolitano (Lampre) and Cavendish (T-Mobile) are dropped. Cavendish (T-Mobile) will likely leave the Tour after the Alp stages

1642 CET - Cheula and Bonnet are on the top at 1.16 of their two former breakmates. Over the top, the gap is 2' 11" for the peloton to the leaders. The peloton is leaving themselves a lot of work. Interesting that Discovery's Paolinho was setting the pace for the last few kilometers of that climb. I would have expected more teams to be pushing it. Interesting that Discovery's Paolinho was setting the pace for the last few kilometers of that climb. I would have expected more teams to be pushing it.

The peloton is still largely intact, and I expect most of those dropped will be able to reintegrate on this long descent before the final Cat 3 climb.40 km - the two have 1.34 on the two chasers and 2.08 on the bunch.

Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) off the back in the bunch as well. Cheula and Bonnet are reeled in by the bunch so the situation is clear now. The profile indicated was a long descent, there is all of the sudden a nasty little uphill gradient. That put Krauss off the back.

1648 CET - Gilbert/Chavanel with 2.08 on the bunch as Steegmans drops off the back as well. Steegmans comes back in the bunch, chasing hard on the. Gilbert and Chavanel are still working well together keeping that 2 minute gap. Carlos Sastre is riding hard to return to peloton  after a mechanical as Zabel flats. So Sastre and Zabel will work together to try to regain the peloton. They may pick up Krauss along the way.

Voeckler in front of the bunch, is he planning to launch an attack on that final climb? Tommy V is overdue for an attack. That guy only knows attack. He may not have the legs, but he'll attack to be sure.

1657 CET - 33 km to go, about 20 km to the final climb. The gap is down to 1.45 the peloton to escape pursuit is now on to catch the leaders before the 3rd categorie Côte de la Croix de la Libération at the174 kilometre mark. The final climbing test is 3.4 km long with an average gradient of 5.4 % the perfect location for a final attack.

There is a group of about 14 men, that includes Zabel, Sastre, and Krauss, who are chasing up to the back. Now they reach the rear of the peloton.

28 km to go the gap still 1.48 Gilbert and Chavanel still have a good chance to go for the stage win. Chavanel could take yellow from Cancellara. Liquigas leads the chase, likely for Pozzato.  Chavanel in Yellow? The homeboys would hate to see that. The French don't respond well when one of their own has the big prize. Ahem. It's been long time since a Frenchman rode in yellow. Was Voeckler not the last one a few years ago... no it was Dessel a year ago. Still, Chavanel has always been touted as a man who could wear Yellow, but he has yet to fulfill that. If he does it today, it would be the pinnacle of his career.

1705 CET - 25 km to go, Crash of Alexander Vinokourov, he went off the left side of the road. His teammate is helping him get going. The bunch is not waiting, I hope for them that Vino can regain his place in the bunch The hammer is down too. It will be difficult for him to regain the peloton, especially because he looked to be shaken.

Vinokourov has 6 riders waiting on him. He has a large patch of his shorts missing on his right hip, and a fair amount of road rash there too. That will also be very bruised, and having a bruised hip in that area makes it hard to ride. CSC is now working as well in the lead of the bunch.  It will be interesting to see what caused that crash later on; a boring stage but the crashes have important victims with Klöden and Vinokourov. We saw some technical problems for Valverde, Pereiro and Sastre as well. All favorites with problems today. Is this a sign?

20 km to go, the gap down to 1.30 to the break. I picked Vino to win two days ago. I feel responsible. Cursed him, I have. O'Grady puts the hammer down at the front of the peloton for his CSC boys. They are trying to pull the break back to preserve Cancellara's Yellow Jersey.

The Kazakstan Railways have introduced the team time trial again as they hammer there pedals hard in the chase now for Vinokourov. The bunch has 1.05 on Vinokourov, nothing less than a potential disaster; the the Astana's have Vino back to the cars in short order.

CET 1712 - Radio Tour says that the gruppo Vino is more than 1.00 behind on the bunch with 16 km to go the bunch is now 52 sec down on the leaders as they approach the final climb of Côte de la Croix de la Libération.

15 km to go - 4 km to the start of the final climb, The Astana team doctor will be busy tonight. Gerolsteiner and CSC leading the peloton. Rasmussen of Rabobank is near the front. The selection is being made during the pursuit of the escapees... Robbie McEwen has been dropped; so no McEwen today in an eventual sprint. The pace has riders being spit out the back of the peloton and we haven't reached the climb. Auge is dropped from the peloton today. Big chunks of riders are being shed by the peloton now.

 Vino and his boys are weaving through all the carnage of riders and cars dropping from the pack. Wegmann in the counter attack now. the gap down to 17 seconds.

12 km to go, They are on the climb. 3,4 km to the top. Chavanel is looking strong still. Gilbert is struggling to keep up. The peloton is closing. Wegmann is caught as Rabobank leads the chase, Cancellara is still near the front of the pack.

Gilbert has been dropped. The peloton catches Gilbert, Chavanel is dangling just off the front. Boogerd is hammering his pedals now. Chavanel is reeled in. Michael "SuperBooger" Boogerd in his last Tour de France is playing the role of super-domestique.

1725 CET - 2,6 km to the top.  David de la Fuente (Saunier) in the attack. Vinokourov has only the help of Iglinskiy now, Vino is fighting, he's not going to give this up. The Rabos are reeling in the attack of the Saunier rider. Vino is alone in his chase now. He has his team car alongside him.

De la Fuente is reeled in now. Rasmussen leads the pace as Thomas Dekker trades off on the front. Vinokourov is coming a bit closer to 55 sec. The peloton is together, with about 50 men or more still hanging in there. Behind there are many men who have been dropped, and Vino is trying to overcome his crash to get back to the pack.

1727 CET - 8.5 km to go, Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom) in the attack now. Lefevre is the first on top of the final climb of the day. Boonen and Wegmann dropped, Boonen and those guys are getting in Vino's way! He's trying to pick his way past them, but is having trouble.

Popovych in the chase on Lefevre now. Cancellara isn't far away from these attackers. The Yellow Jersey is visible near the sharp end of the peloton, which is hammer down on this descent. Lampre's Bennati is up there too in front of the bunch it seems. Lefevre and Popovych together in the lead. Lampre in the lead of the bunch
Hincapie is near the front too.

Popo is ripping this descent! He is past Lefevre and trying to push his gap. 5 km to go Man, this is a very twisty, very tricky descent. These are some hairy moments. Lots of risks as they race down this hill.  Lefevre caught by the bunch now. Cancellara leads the chase on Popovych now - Cancellara is riding like a hero in this Tour so far.

Cancellara misses a turn and is off the road! Popovych missed that same turn too. He didn't go down, but both Popo and Cancellara missed it.  Popovych caught, Lampre leading the peloton.Neither crashed, thankfully... a bit of grass on that corner instead of a drop-off.

3 km to go, Hincapie is 4th wheel in the Lampre led group. Hincapie is perfectly positioned to win this. And me without a diaper.

2 km to go, Vinokourov won't catch the leaders now he's a kilometer back. Attack of a Bouygues rider with Millar up there too, Cancellara leading the chase itself. Lots of twists and turns into this finale.

final km. The pack is closing down the two leaders.Millar and his companion are caught again, Lampre leads out the sprint. Here comes Zabel and Freire.

Pipo Pozzato Wins!!!!!!!!

1 - Pozzato,  2 - Freire,  3 - Bennati, 4 - Kirchen,  5 - Zabel,  6 - Hincapiek,  7 - Moreni,  8 - Schumacher, 9 - Tankink, 10 - Pineau,  11 - Evans,12 - Cancellara

How much time will Vino lose? Vino comes in and loses 1.20 on the leaders. Vino leads the rest of the men home. So which big GC riders made that final selection? That's the next big question. For Pozzato it means he moves up into third on the G.C.

The Jerseys: Zabel is the new leader in the green jersey ranking. Gusev (Discovery Channel) is 6th on GC and continues to lead the White Jersey competition. Sylvain Chavanel takes the well deserved honor of the lead in the climbers competition the red Polka-Dots maillot.

GC favorites: 11. Evans (Predictor-Lotto), 13. Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), 15. Schleck (CSC), 19. Rogers (T-Mobile), 26. Contador (Discovery), 27. Menchov (Rabobank), 29. Popovych (Discovery) all in the same time as the winner.

42. Gusev (Discovery), 46. Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne), 50. Sastre (CSC), 63. Leipheimer (Discovery), 74. Kashechkin (Astana) all same time. Kashechkin was the last in that lead group. 65. Klöden (Astana) at the same time as the winner, so the German loses no time despite his crash.

Other than Alexandre Vinokourove, none of the favorites lost time today... here's hoping that Vino has no long term injuries that hold him back as a competitor.

Official Stage 5 Results:
1. Pozzato Filippo 151 Liquigas 04:39:01
2. Freire Oscar 56 Rabobank 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
3. Bennati Daniele 82 Lampre-Fondital 04:39:01 + 00:00:00

4. Kirchen Kim 27 T-Mobile Team 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
5. Zabel Erik 181 Team Milram 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
6. Hincapie George 114 Discovery Channel Team 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
7. Moreni Cristian 144 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
8. Schumacher Stefan 91 Gerolsteiner 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
9. Tankink Bram 177 Quick Step - Innergetic 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
10. Pineau Jérôme 126 Bouygues Telecom 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
11. Evans Cadel 41 Predictor - Lotto 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
12. Cancellara Fabian 33 Team Csc 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
13. Valverde Alejandro 18 Caisse D’epargne 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
14. Horner Christopher 44 Predictor - Lotto 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
15. Schleck Frank 36 Team Csc 04:39:01 + 00:00:00

General Classification after Stage 5
1. Cancellara Fabian 33 Team Csc 00:28:56
2. Klöden Andréas 196 Astana 00:29:29 + 00:00:33
3. Pozzato Filippo 151 Liquigas 00:29:31 + 00:00:35

4. Millar David 201 Saunier Duval - Prodir 00:29:37 + 00:00:41
5. Hincapie George 114 Discovery Channel Team 00:29:39 + 00:00:43
6. Gusev Vladimir 113 Discovery Channel Team 00:29:41 + 00:00:45
7. Karpets Vladimir 15 Caisse D’epargne 00:29:42 + 00:00:46
8. Astarloza Mikel 73 Euskaltel - Euskadi 00:29:45 + 00:00:49
9. Dekker Thomas 54 Rabobank 00:29:47 + 00:00:51
10. Vaugrenard Benoît 169 Francaise Des Jeux 00:29:48 + 00:00:52
11. Gutierrez José Ivan 14 Caisse D’epargne 00:29:49 + 00:00:53
12. Contador Alberto 112 Discovery Channel Team 00:29:51 + 00:00:55
13. Freire Oscar 56 Rabobank 00:29:51 + 00:00:55
14. Kashechkin Andrey 195 Astana 00:29:51 + 00:00:55
15. Evans Cadel 41 Predictor - Lotto 00:29:52 + 00:00:56

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of stage 5. Photos and results to follow. Join us for stage 6 tomorrow.

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