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Tour de France Stage Five Analysis
By Manny Samaniego
Date: 7/11/2002
Tour de France Stage Five Analysis

From the tone of our message board, it looks like half of readers think that ONCE stumped the Posties during the team time trial yesterday, and the other half believes that the Posties are buying their time before they "unleash the hounds."  Regardless of what your take on the issue is, today's stage played to the hands of both teams.  ONCE set a comfortable tempo, leaving the right number of riders to form a break and by doing so, the Spanish team conserved energy.  The Posties, meanwhile, played their usual role, keeping an eye on Lance and making sure nothing got too out of hand for them.

Let them go!

Posing no threat to the General Classification, Kirsipuu (Ag2R), Dierckxsens (Lampre), Sandstod (CSC-Tiscali), Casagranda (Alessio) and Edalaine (Jean Delatour) were allowed to try their luck by the peloton.  Thinking that the break was not going to last (like Jacky's attempt yesterday), the peloton reacted to the chase a bit too late.  With 22kms to go, the break was powering and had a comfortable 3:02 on the now angry peloton.  But today the break was going to last (although it got close at the end) and with the one kilometer banner in sight, Casagranda decided to try his luck.  Kirsipuu covered it and then every member of the break decided to try their luck.  Edalaine tried and again Kirsipuu covered it, with the ever present Ludo D. keeping a close eye on the festivities.  Casagranda caught his second wind and gave it a go, but came up empty handed once again.  Edalaine found himself in front leading the final sprint and Kirsipuu came around with Dierckxsens and Sandstod (who was looking to make for some lost ground after his flat yesterday) giving him a run for his money.  The Estonian National Champion gave his French sponsor a much needed victory.

Down and Out

Tom Steels became the first rider to leave the Tour de France.  After not showing much form during the first four stages, the Mapei-Quick Step rider called it a day at the first feed zone.  Sickness or lack of form? Steels showed that he was on the road to recovery just 11 days ago by winning the Belgian National Championships, but his good run was short lived as he was no where near to his old form during the Grand Boucle.

Another rider who had to leave for a different reason was Italian Marco Pinotti.  The Lampre rider was hurt (he laid on the road without moving for several minutes while the doctors treated his cut chin) during a crash just 20kms from the finish, who also saw a good contingent of the Euskatel-Euskadi gang involved in the accident.  Pinotti was sent to hospital for treatment.


Until the first individual time trial, expect ONCE and USPS to keep the same approach.  Let a break go and manage everything from the back seat, leaving the sprinters' teams to do all the chasing.  The mountains are fast approaching and the teams with riders who have chance to make it to the podium will do their best to conserve their power.

Stage Five Results

1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance     4.13.33 (46.14 km/h)

2. Michael Sandstød (Den) CSC-Tiscali

3. Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre Daikin

4.  Stefano Casagranda (Ita) Alessio     0.03

5. Christophe Edalaine (Fra) Jean Delatour     0.08

6. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco    0.33

7. Baden Cooke (Aus)

8. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole

9. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom

10.  Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport

11.  Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC-Tiscali

12.  Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre Daikin

13.  Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis

14.  Robert Hunter (RSA) Mapei-Quick Step

15.  Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Lampre Daikin

16.  Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Bonjour

17.  François Simon (Fra) Bonjour

18.  José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca

19.  Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) US Postal Service

20.  Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour

General Classification after 5 Stages

1.  Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski    19.05.56 

2.  Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski   0.04

3.  Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service    0.07

4.  Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski     0.12

5.  Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski    0.22

6.  Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) US Postal Service    0.25

7.  Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE-Eroski     0.27

8.  José Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski    0.28

9.  George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service  0.28

10.  Marcos A.Serrano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski    0.30

11.  Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service    0.32

12.  Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski    0.32

13.  José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) US Postal Service    0.35

14.  Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service     0.35

15.  Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali     0.37

16.  Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC-Tiscali     0.53

17.  Andrea Peron (Ita) CSC-Tiscali    0.53

18.  Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal Service  0.55

19.  Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Tiscali   1.00

20.  Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service  1.09

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