95th Tour de France - Stage 5 Live Part 2
The chase is on... 60 km to go as our French trio tries to beat the odds as the
sprinters teams start closing in on the raiders.
Stage 5 Cholet - Chateauroux, 230km
1554 CEST - 60 km to go and the gap down to
2.38 to our optimistic trio. The peloton may start to backpedal soon; if they
catch them too fast, they will chance attacks.
55 km to go - gap 2:21 German Marcus
Burghardt (Columbia) comes to the front too in order to help the waterboys of
Gerolsteiner and Credit Agricole in the chase. If the break makes it now, I'll
eat my (chocolate) hat. Up front the trio are working well together, but they
don't look like they have their hearts and backs into the escape. Quite
different than Monday's escapees who were quite determined to the final
Great Britain has named the team for the road race and the time-trial at the
Olympics in Beijing. Steve Cummings will ride the TT and the road race. In the
road race he gets company of Jonathan Bellis, Ben Swift and Roger Hammond.
The women's team for the road disciplines consists of Nicole Cooke, Sharon
Laws and Emma Pooley. Laws is coming back from injury, but should be back to her
best; and she'll need to be to help Cooke. Indeed; the press thought a Cooke
gold in Athens was a dead certainty, and Cooke has planned her schedule around
the Olympic appearance.
It's a bit of a surprise frankly - British Cycling choosing youth over
experience. Swift and Bellis are good, top U23 riders, but they aren't even
professionals yet. The likes of Wegelius and Lloyd were overlooked - men who are
noted as good climbers. (Although Wegelius has been unpopular ever since he
popped up helping the Italians in a Worlds RR a few years back).
Of course the Brits have more chances on the track with Cav', Wiggins,
Pendleton, Romero, Hoy etc. On the road Cooke seems the only possibility but her
performances thus far haven't impressed me much. Indeed - either she has been
sacrificing loads and will hit the Olympics in amazing form, or she'll crash
Anyway back to the Tour. It seems that the Russian revelation of the 2008
season Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues) will compete in this tour until stage 13.
Trofimov is combining road racing with mountain biking and will ride for Russia
in the Olympic MTB race.
1610 CEST - 47 km to go the gap continues
to hang around the 2.00... no change on the front of the peloton as the chase
has changed gears to managing the gap to our three French raiders. The lads will
let them hang in the wind until they decide to up the pace to pull them in.
Riccardo Ricco rides at the back of the peloton. His "I don't need friends in
the peloton" speech seems to have been right on the money - everyone's keeping
their distance. Anyway - to be serious - he will be targeting tomorrow's stage
up to Superbesse.
41 km to go - 1:55 the gap, Race leader
Schumacher pulls off the road to clear his kidneys for the final as High Road,
Gerolsteiner and Credit Agricole continue to lead the pace with Lampre in close
attendance at the front. The pace is steady but not frantic with the riders on
the front and in the peloton taking time to eat to plus up the energy for the
last long side of an hour in the stage.
A big surprise yesterday - some murmurings of discontent on cycling forums
worldwide about Schumachers stage win, but come on guys. He's done four TTs this
year before yesterday and the lowest finish was 7th. A bit of a furtive
time-trial ace, he's won at the ENECO Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico in recent
years, as well as the Bayern Rundfahrt. Nice to see Gerolsteiner winning a
time-trial - I miss the days of Peschel and Rich time-trial stardom.
Liquigas are gathering on the left side of the bunch - a day for Francesco
Chicchi, perhaps? The 2002 world U23 road race champion has been getting better
and better, to the point where he finished third in Paris-Tours last autumn.
Consistency is a bit of a problem though. Meanwhile, Eurosport have a tough
decision to make for English commentary - do we keep Sean Kelly or go with a
Specialized bicycle which has more personality?
1627 CEST - 35 km to go and the gap down
to 1.37... The peloton is riding three on the front setting a tepid tempo
followed by riders 12 abreast across two lanes. The trio up front are switching
off but not moving with great conviction probably wishing that the peloton would
move in and get it over with.
1635 CEST 30 km to go. Florent Brard is a
local-ish lad today, riding through his home département of Indre-et-Loire.
However, he is still 170-odd kilometres from Chateauroux, much nearer Tours
instead. Vogondy is also as near home as he is going to get, having been born in
Blois (about 200 km away).
1637 CEST - 29km to go, and the pack is
1'28" down. This long day in the saddle is coming to a conclusion soon. There
isn't too much urgency in the pack's riding; I suppose there is no reason for
it. With 25 kilometres left and only 80 seconds to hoover up, they've already
done most of the dirty work. The race is going through some very beautiful
country side with a few lovely chateaus along the rode.
No Tour news but news from the transfer market and the ambitious Tinkoff
team. Tinkoff is interested in adding Cadel Evans (Lotto), Nick Nuyens, Kevin de
Weert (both Cofidis), Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step), Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) and
as sport director Rik van Slycke (now Q-Step). It seems that Tinkoff wants to go
to the Tour with Evans as GC rider and with the other riders for the Belgium
classics and the Amstel Gold Race.
We will have to see which of these riders
will finally join the team or that it will stay just another rumor. Directeur
sportif Henrik Redant, currently of Predictor-Lotto, is also rumoured to be in
their crosshairs. Of course Redant denies the reports. Are they going to be the
Chelsea of professional cycling? Oleg Tinkoff is quite a sugar daddy to have,
What with Cofidis choosing to be Continental and more stars seeming to switch
to teams not in the ProTour, the UCI's flagship competition looks even more dead
in the water. Yeah, Tinkoff is going to be the Chelsea of professional cycling
with a budget of 30 million euro a year. Andrei Tchmil as advisor and Mauro
Gianetti as manager. He is now the manager of Saunier Duval. and a role of
current Chelsea boss Abramovich with the team as well. It should be
1647 CEST - 21km left to race, and the
gap is holding at 1'20" for now. Better not catch them too early. The break has
now been in front for 200 kilometers, a great effort by Vogondy, Jegou and Brard.
Credit Agricole. Gerolsteiner and Konstantin Sivtsov (Columbia) doing the nasty
work in the bunch - 20 km to go
15 km to go - 1:08 the gap. Our lead trio are having a flash of inspiration
and are flying up the road in full pursuit mode. Clearly they have been holding
back for the last 20 km. The peloton responds... the advantage of Jegou, Brard
and Vogondy has just gone south of a minute. 57 seconds, as they go under the
banner. The finish is not dangerous. almost all straight forward to the finish
so it should be straight up and fast.
12 km to go - 35 sec - The trio have done
well, but surely won't last much longer. It's still good publicity for the three
French teams in front. Gerrans is given a little push to Sylvain Chavanel as he
is disturbing the chase, Chavanel has Brard up front, while Credit Agricole does
the work to chase the three guys down. George Hincapie is off the back, working
his way through the team cars. Must have been a mechanical.
10 km to go - It's a 32-second gap at the
moment. Fine resistance from the escapees. Liquigas on the front. Still no real
line in the organization as lots of teams are coming to the front now. 30
seconds gap with 6 km to go... Liquigas
takes the command now. They need to finish off the job now.
Columbia in command now. Crash! It's Aurelien Passeron of Saunier Duval. He
smashed into a spectator; a brief look back from Passeron and he rides off. The
spectator was trying to get up, but she didn't look so good. 20 seconds the gap.
1606 CEST - 4 kilometres to go and the
sprint teams are switching around now in preparation for the Tour's first
"proper" bunch sprint. Saunier has bad luck thus far in the Tour. Ricco and Cobo
the GC riders losing lots of time and lots of crashes with Bertogliati, Passeron
and the unlucky Gomez. Another crash it's Heinrich Haussler of GST. He
stays down on the deck, prolly a collarbone. The road narrowed for a roundabout.
3 km - 14 sec They will look back down
the road and see the charging peloton.
2 km to go - Milram take over. the
finishing street is 1,8 km long in distance They are still 9 seconds down on the
valiant leading trio. We will get the first real bunch sprint now Vogondy
attacks with 1,3 km. Brard and Jegou are reeled in by the bunch
Vogodny at 200 meters with the peloton on his heels. Photo ©
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
1,000 metres for Vogondy, is Vogondy going to make it? It will be close. A
french champion going to take the stage? Kirchen is on the front for Columbia.
500 mt They've left it late on this straight road... The sprint behind him
has started Vogondy is in a massive gear the sprinters are coming... Here comes
and the winner is CAVENDISH!!!
He was leading it for ages, Freire and Hushovd were trying to come round.
What a leadout from Columbia. Vogondy was caught with about 150 mt to go. Freire
and Zabel close for second and third. Hushovd fourth.
Cavendish Wins!! Photo ©
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
It was 100 meters too far for Vogondy but what a great effort! What a win!
The British media had better love this. Over a bike length's win for Mark
Cavendish. This is it; his name is made. Nobody can say he's not an A- Class
Oscar Freire is 2nd and Erik Zabel 3rd, Thor Hushovd 4th. Cooke 5th, Hunter
6th, Duque 7th, McEwen 8th, Chicchi 9th (top 15 results below).
They left it ridiculously late to catch the escapees. Chapeau and quel
dommage to Vogondy. Vogondy for sure will get the prize of the most aggressive
Another day, another great stage. What a Tour so far. In the GC nothing
changes. Schumacher stays in the lead with 12 seconds on Kirchen and Millar. Ww
will for sure get another GC shake up tomorrow to Super-Besse. Cavendish wins
with almost 2 bike lengths on Freire and Zabel.
Thor Hushvod, Mark Cavendish (who can't believe he has won,) and Oscar
Freire...who along with Thor maybe wondering how they lost. Photo ©
2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti
Thor Hushovd is the new green jersey. He has 88 points. 3 points more than
Oscar Freire. Kirchen is third with 81 points. Kirchen has chances to regain the
jersey again tomorrow to Suprer-Besse; the other jerseys won't change.
First words from the stage winner: "After the other day, it made us really
motivated for today. We knew what we had to do, that's why the time gap came
down so quickly as we knew the break would go full gas in the end. It was a bit
further out than I'd like to go - a headwind and an uphill finish. It's the
biggest thing that's happened to me; to win it it so young, it means so, so much
to me." Mark Cavendish
They're dancing in the streets of London here. (Well, there's an old lady
walking quickly outside my window. Does that count?)
Thor Hushovd swaps the green of Crédit Agricole for the more luminous points
jersey shade, despite coming fourth.
Stefan Schumacher dons a second maillot jaune. Tomorrow will be his big
battle, to ensure he loses no time to the likes of Millar and Kirchen.
Results Stage 5
1. Cavendish Mark 43 Team Columbia 5h 27' 52"
2. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank 00' 00"
3. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram
4. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole
5. Cooke Baden 55 Barloworld
6. Hunter Robert 58 Barloworld
7. Duque Leonardo 186 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone
8. Mc Ewen Robbie 6 Silence - Lotto
9. Chicchi Francesco 63 Liquigas
10. Dean Julian 193 Garmin Chipotle
11. Förster Robert 112 Gerolsteiner
12. Steegmans Gert 97 Quick Step
13. Feillu Romain 124 Agritubel
14. Chavanel Sébastien 162 Francaise Des Jeux
15. Casper Jimmy 123 Agritubel
General Classification after Stage 5
1. Schumacher Stefan 111 Gerolsteiner 19h 32' 33"
2. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia 00' 12"
3. Millar David 198 Garmin Chipotle 00' 12"
4. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 00' 21"
5. Cancellara Fabian 13 Team Csc Saxo Bank 00' 33"
6. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 00' 37"
7. Hincapie George 47 Team Columbia 00' 41"
8. Lövkvist Thomas 48 Team Columbia 00' 47"
9. Nibali Vincenzo 67 Liquigas 00' 58"
10. Gutierrez José Ivan 35 Caisse D’epargne 01' 01"
Thanks for joining us and our commentators Bart Hazen and Andy McGrath for
the live report of Stage 5. Join us tomorrow for what will be a decisive stage:
Stage 6 - Aigurande - Super-Besse Sancy, 195km one for the mountain goats to
come to the front of the race. Read Nick Bull's preview and predictions for the
stage in his
Stage 5 Profile
Stage 6 Aigurande - Super Besse Sancy, 195km
Stage 6 Profile
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