2012 Tour de France-Stage 5

5 Jul

No wonder the Dutch newspaper picked today to print their story regarding the USADA investigation of Lance Armstrong’s still alleged doping – Stage 5 was so boring the story, fiction or not, was bound to get more attention than the race – and it has.

Rumor has it (to quote Adele) that George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde received six-month bans after admitting to doping and agreeing to provide evidence against Armstrong. The USADA in response to the story stated that no case against any individual has been finalized… and that the bullying or intimidation of witnesses will not be tolerated.

My statement: Yawn.

TourDeFranceLogo320Let’s get back to the race. The finish of Stage 5 was exciting. I had one of my TDF Fantasy Cycling Challenge riders, Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis) in the 4 man breakaway and it looked like he just might make it to the finish in time to get me some points. Ultimately the charging peloton led by sprinter Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) passed him.

The crash du jour occurred when Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) touched the wheel of a Lampre rider and went down. Stage 5 winner, Andre Greipel (Lotto) was bumped by the falling Farrar (that may become his nickname, he’s gone down in the last 3 stages) but managed to keep his footing (by using the body of Farrar to put his foot to steady himself) and win the stage.

Unfortunately, Peter Sagan (Liquigas) wearer of the green jersey was caught in the crash du jour melee and finished with the main group. Sagan is also on my team.

Stage 5 results:

  • 1. André GREIPEL, Lotto-Belisol, in 4:41:30
  • 2. Matthew Harley GOSS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 0
  • 3. Juan José HAEDO, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, at 0
  • 4. Samuel DUMOULIN, Cofidis, at 0
  • 5. Mark CAVENDISH, Sky, at 0

I picked Cavendish to win the stage, his team even worked for him and yet he came in 5th. It didn’t seem to me that he challenged full-out at the line. Historically if he knows he’s beaten he doesn’t waste his energy. I’m not saying he didn’t race, he did, but he just didn’t seem to be as hard charging as he usually is. Maybe due to fatigue or pain sustained in yesterday’s crash. He did race for the interim (peloton) sprint finishing first there.

It’s worth mentioning that Greipel didn’t race for points at the interim sprints in Stage 4 or 5 saving his energy for the finish. Seems to be working.

There was no change in the four jersey competitions – Fabian Cancellara retains yellow, Sagan the green (although that race is a lot tighter), Tejay Van Garderen white for the best young rider and Michael Morkov keeps the polka-dot jersey. Cancellara has won 27 yellow jerseys in his career which is a record for number of yellow jerseys without winning the Tour. Congratulations to Cancellara!

Overall GC results after Stage 5:

  • 1. Fabian CANCELLARA, RadioShack-Nissan, in 24:45:32
  • 2. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, at :9
  • 3. Sylvain CHAVANEL, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :9
  • 4. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :12
  • 5. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, Sky, at :13
  • 6. Denis MENCHOV, Katusha, at :15
  • 7. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at :19
  • 8. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at :20
  • 9. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at :20
  • 10. Andreas KLÖDEN, RadioShack-Nissan, at :21


TDF Fantasy Cycling Challenge: Stage 4 was the first race stage for the challenge. The 4loveofbikes team collected 244 points. The guys rode well, following my instructions to a T.

Stage 6 Preview:

Stage 6 will be another sprint stage featuring just one climb, a category 4. Expect a day like today except Cavendish takes stage and Sagan is in the top 5, along with Greipel (maybe winning, he looked strong today), Goss and maybe Farrar is he can stay out of harms way. Good luck to him.

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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