06 July 2011

Stay on the wheel: news after Stage 5 TDF

Sport is full of surprises 

The profile looked like it would be a straight forward day at the Tour, but a line that goes up and down does not accurately reflect what it goes through. Stage 5 route included tight winding roads with high winds, road furniture, and increasing nervousness. Touching wheels caused falls, or caused riders trying to avoid the falls, to force others off the narrow roads into ditches. Rider earpieces were filled with a barrage of news of the crashes over the radio, while having to maintain awareness, placement, and protect their leaders. Despite the hyper-awareness many team leaders went down in crashes .
WHO CRASHED IN STAGE 5 TOUR DE FRANCE 2011
At the 60km mark there was a crash that involved about 12 riders including Sylvain Chavanel (QST), Bradely Wiggins (SKY), Laurens Ten Dam (RAB), and Levi Leipheimer (RSH). At 71km Janez Brajkovic (who abandoned due to injuries) and Robert Gesink crashed. At 72km Alberto Contador crashed and Leopard Trek took the front. Just as the riders were back together and Garmin had resumed to the front, Nicki Sorensen was clipped by a moto (video with bike attached, the Photo Moto was later banned by the ASO). It looked terrible but on a replacement bike Sorensen sped forward bravely to catch up. At 90km Christophe Kern abandoned from nagging knee pain. At 102km suddenly Tom Boonen, Bert Steegmans, and Lars Boom were all caught in a crash. Somewhere in there Carlos Barredo, Juan Manuel Garate, Maarten Tjallingii, Ivan Velasco, Chris Horner, and Yaroslacv Popovych also crashed, as well as a number of others. Contador said he actually crashed twice, so did Chris Horner. Tom Boonen finished 13 minutes (cut-off time was 18') after Cavendish. No one in Team HTC-Higroad crashed all day. The average speed for the second hour of racing was 46.8km/h. (The new record speed for Stage 2 TTT was 57.32 kph).
WHO DID NOT FINISH STAGE 5
Those riders who abandoned the Tour de France after Stage 5 were: Janez Brajkovic (report) (DNF crash injuries: broken left collarbone and concussion), and Christophe Kern (DNF knee pain). Jurgen Van de Walle abandoned the race in the middle of Stage 4 the previous day as a result of injuries suffered from Stage 2 TTT.
WHO DID FINISH STAGE 5 
195 riders, many nursing road rash and pain through a sleepless night. 
WHO MIGHT NOT START STAGE 6
After the race it was confirmed that Ivan Velasco (Euskaltel-Euskadi) broke his right collarbone, he will abandon. Sylvain Chavanel (partial shoulder dislocation) and Tom Boonen (shoulder, elbow) both have injuries but will start stage 6.

WHO BEGINS STAGE 6
194 riders
Contador altered his jersey
SPRINT CONTROVERSY 
After surprisingly catching myself on Stage 4 standing up screaming at the TV "go Cadel, go" (simply because I wanted him to beat Contador), I was thrilled to see Cavendish win the stage. Little did I know Stage 5 found me screaming for a stage dedicated to a dog.
Tom Boonen and Jose Joaquin Rojas were relegated (points taken away) in the intermediate sprint for changing lines cutting off Mark Cavendish who came back to win the final sprint and stage win. Boonen is now ranked 35th in the points classification (green jersey), but Rojas is in second. Most Aggressive Rider today was: José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team. The rest were defensive riders. HTC-highroad should have won the prize for best Defensive Team for not having a single rider involved in a crash.
DAILY NEWS - RECOMMENDED FAN READING AND VIEWING:
O'nev - photos and story from a photographer at the TDF
A Day Filled with Crashes by Johan Bruyneel 
2011 Tour de France stage 5 wrap with Mark Cavendish
Mark Renshaw - video interview about the GC mixed in with the Sprinters
Hardely Serious with (and by) Jens Voigt
Tour Talk With Frankie and James Stages 5 and 6
Breakfast with Bernie - Stage 5
Ben Swift Video Diary
Image of the Day: of Tom Boonen by Graham Watson
For those wanting to believe in the aging cyclist - Possiblity by RedKitePrayer
Tour de Pez: In The Badger’s Lair! - be a tourist and fan in Brittany
Twitter awards: read @MarkCavendish and @f_cancellara @mattgoss1986  @manuelquinziato
The Leopard Trek commune
Leopard Trek dining in their team truck. Tweet by @f_cancellara
Leopard Trek circles the wagons (their team fleet)
Is it me or doesn't Matt Goss's hotel room before Stage 6 look a lot like Manuel Quinziato's hotel room before Stage 1? Someone better tell them they are riding around in circles.
Matt Goss slept here - on July 6th
Manuel Quinziato slept here - on July 1st
Looking ahead at Stage 6 TDF
Tomorrow is the longest stage of the 2011 Tour de France to Lisieux over 226.5 km.  Geology lesson. At 49km the race will pass the famous 8th century monument of Mont-Saint-Michel. In 2006 a €164 million project to return the island to being a true island was started to preserve the 22nd most visited tourist site in France.

Standings: Hushovd, Evans (+00'01"), Schleck (+00'04"), Millar (+00'08"), Kloden (+00'10"), Wiggins (+00'10").
Who is wearing what: 
Philippe Gilbert has changed jerseys yet again and is in the green jersey after spending one day back in his Belgian National Championship jersey. Here is Gilbert's jersey history for each the start of each stage S1) Belgium, S2) yellow, S3) green, S4) polka-dot, S5) Belgium, S6) green.
Tomorrow we will see these riders in the classification jerseys, on this route: Stage 6 Preview (by Steephill.TV):

Current Standings after Stage 5 - 2011 Tour de France
51 HUSHOVD Thor TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO 17h 36' 57"
32 GILBERT Philippe OMEGA PHARMA - LOTTO 120 pts
141 EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM 2 pts
117 THOMAS Geraint SKY PROCYCLING 17h 37' 09"
Who won stage 5:
CAVENDISH Mark
Overall GC standings after Stage 5: 
1. HUSHOVD Thor 51 TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO 17h 36' 57"
2. EVANS Cadel 141 BMC RACING TEAM 17h 36' 58" + 00' 01"
3. SCHLECK Frank 18 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 17h 37' 01" + 00' 04"
Tweet from @RobbieVentura

Good Morning Dinan! Another day another stage start.