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97th Tour de France - Stage 5 LIVE Part 1
By Mark Sharon
Date: 7/8/2010
97th Tour de France - Stage 5 LIVE Part 1

97th Tour de France - Stage 5 lIVE Part 1
Band on the Run! Band on the Run! Three escapees on the run in the sun...

Jersey Leaders Stage 4

Maillot Jaune: Fabian Cancellara Saxo Bank
Maillot Vert: Thor Hushovd Cervello TestTeam
KOM:  Jérôme Pineau Quick Step
Maillot Blanc: Geraint Thomas Team SKY
Team: Saxo Bank

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Stage 5 Epernay - Montargis  187.5km
Welcome to our live coverage of the sixth day of the race. the riders have 799.9 kilometers (approximately 480 miles)  in their legs and we have four days to the rest day on Monday. It's a hot day with temps already at over 80 degrees for the riders as they started off a man short, Basque rider Amets Txurruka withdrew from the race.

On an otherwise flattish stage the riders have two category climbs on the route today thecote de Orgais-l’Abbaye  coming early in the stage at 18.5 km and shortly after the cote de Mecrignes at 36.5 km kilometers. We also have 3 points prizes on offer with sprints in Vauchamps at 27.5km followed by a a fast dash at 126.5 km in Ville-St-Jacques (126.5km and another near the  finish in  Prefontaines at169.5kmonly 17 km from the finish.

Graphic © 2010 Tour de France

Out of the gate we got an attack by Caisse d'Epargne's Ivan Gtierrez after ten km. The Spaniard was joined by Julien El Fares of Cofidis and Jurgen van de Walle of Quick Step... a good mix of talent for a long break... though it may be a day against the odds for the three against the sprinters teams. At any rate the trio got a full head of steam and soon had 2:30 on the bunch.

Over the summit of the ote de Orgais-l’Abbaye it was Algerian born  Julien El Fares claiming the max points ahead of  Jose Ivan Gutierrez and  Jurgen van de Walle. Thepeloton followed at over 5 minutes. It doesn't look like the peloton is ready to start chasing yet.

The trio led by 7:45 as Ivan Gutierrez led Fares, and Van de Walle through the first intermediate sprint in  Vauchamps after  27.5 kilometers.

Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you’re having fun
Paul McCartney

Over the second climb,  van de Walle led Gutierrez and El Fares for the KOM points and  the pelton followed at 7:50 which is I believe the biggest gap we've seen this tour. That got the bells clanging in the peloton with Mark Cavendish's might HTC hit squad sending 27 year old Kanstantin Sivtsov to the front again to start to roll back the time.

As usual he was Sivtsov did a journeyman's turn on the front and took back nearly 3 minutes top the three adventurers... by the sixty km marker the gap was down to 4:45 with Saxo Bank veteran Stuart O'Grady joining the Belarusian at the front..

After 2 hours on the road the gap had settled in with 4 minutes as the peloton kept pace with our leaders with 80 km done.

Through the feed zone the the courageous lead the peloton with CSC and Liqiigas trailing at 4 minutes and 70 km to go... we can expect the peloton to cooperate in shadowing our leaders at this point until 30 km to go.

15 42 CET - The rider's will only be able to enjoy these lovely open N-roads until the last six or so kilometres. They'll leave the vineyards and fields of sunflowers and find themselves abruptly in the suburban streets of Montagis. Then it's twists and turns, roundabouts and sharp corners. In the last 600m there is a sharp right hand turn which will shake things up for a peloton going at real speed. Could be fun and games.

Band on the run
Band on the run
And the jailer man and sailor sam
Were searching every one
Paul McCartney

Our 3 amigos in the  breakaway  have 3:47. It's arguably the best they'll do. Gutierrez is effectively leader on the road and Cancellara won't accept that for long. The riders are enduring 35 degrees, (87 F) brilliant blue skies.

The peloton is being steered along byan assortment of HTC, though Bert Grabsch needs a wheel change and sets of grinding an enormous gear.  The race is passing through beautiful open fields, hay bales, not entirely flat.

15.49 CET - 69km to go. Break has a gap of 3'01. Stil working well, and obviously well aware of their vulnerability.

 The race crosses the Yonne at Montereau-Fauly-Yonne. It's actually the confluence of the Yonne and the Seine, so just down stream aways is the finish, but sorry lads you are going to have cycle 2000 km in the wrong direction and back to get there.

 1604 CET - 61.4km to go. Maxime Monfort of HTC and LL 'Cool' Sanchez are on the front driving the peloton. There efforts have cut the gap to the leaders down to 2'35 now with 64km to go  Fancy some sunflowers for your Mum? Millions of them in the fields, and they are all turned towards the race. Bert Grabsch has punctured again. This time it's the front. He's getting a bit of a draft from Milram as he powers back to the bunch.

The break is within sight of the last sprint at 60km to go. Looks like its El Fares, Gutirezz and Van de Walle in that order. Behind Andy Schleck is being paced back to the peloton by a few mates through the team cars.

Mark Cavendish looks like he's having either a right shoe change or a bit of adjustment. He's hanging onto the team car - nice white shoes too.

 1612 CET - Band on the Run! The break has extended their lead back out to around 2:18 after seeing it drift to the support level of 2 minutes so they still have the outlaw spirit in their wheels.

53 km to go - the blue and Fuscia crew have come to the front Lampre will be wanting to get that third victory for Petacchi today. On that note, the gentleman sprinter - Ale Jet raised one finger as his count yesterday as he crossed the line; apparently he doesn't take much credit for his first win where he managed to avoid the crash.

Cavendish on the other hand issued an apology to his team last night and congratulated Petacchi on his win: I'm disappointed about today. I felt really good during the stage. I feel sorry for my teammates who rode unbelievably and I just didn't finish it off at the end. We're really motivated as a team and I'm going to go out there tomorrow and give it hundred percent again."

Maxime Monfort takes the front. The peloton has bunched up again behind a little HTC train. Grabsch has taken on water carrying duties - tiring job.  Liquigas are en masse near the front - not sure why - maybe they want to see where they're going.

1624 CET - Under 50km to go. Still just a waiting game by the peloton as the break slips just under 2 minutes. The break will be mulling their fate - I suggest just enjoy yourself mates and get in some TV time for your sponsors... Ah Hell go for it Van de Walle has took a long turn and hands it off to...

Ivan Gutierrez is leading the break, fore-arms draped over the bars - looking relaxed.

 Denis Menchov needs a rear wheel change. He didn't even have to get off - very slick. Eric Breukink gives him a push off. The team car is almost immediately back up to him to adjust the brake. Very good. Cancellara with his yellow Specialized S-Works stands out like a mobile sunflower - sunglasses please!

16.29  CET  - 41.5km to go,  The race is passing through Nemours - spectacular castle and river. It's a sight wasted on the break which has now had their break whittled to under 1'40".

Well the undertaker drew a heavy sigh
Seeing no one else had come
And a bell was ringing in the village square
For the rabbi's on the run
Paul McCartney

there is one more sprint with 18km to go.

1642 CET - 34 km to go. Jerome Pineau is doing some time as water-carrier for Quickstep. It's a good incentive to be in a break!   The break has upped their pace and extended the gap to 1:55 riding a curvy road through a small village. The peloton is one large rainbow of colored jerseys passing through the brown fields o hay.

29 km to go - 1:42 the gap. Our escapees continue to defy the peloton at this point no sign of giving up... and fans line the roads cheering on their heroes.

Our Live Coverage continues in Part 2

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Tour de France -  Week One Preview
Stage 2 Live Report Part 1, Part 2
Stage 3 Live Report: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Stage 4 Report & Photos
Live TV Schedules
97th Tour de France - Start List

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