Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thu, Jul 12: TdF Stage 5

Here's a new link for the Versus live feed ... (sorry I had to remove the link)

Meanwhile: Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), William Bonnet (Crédit Agricole), Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) and Giampaolo Cheula (Barloworld) are 2:37 upfront with 55km to go.

50 km to go, 1:28 is the gap. The road is getting steeper at Haut-Folin. Cheula and Bonnet fell behind as Chavanel went. There's concern why Pereiro and Valverde are at the back of the peloton; probably some mechanical failure. Hushovd having trouble with the hill.

The lead dropped back to over 2 minutes with 48 km to go. One more km to climb. Chavanel and Gilbert are through the KOM, and Chavanel picks up the maximum number of points. Chavanel got 37 points in the KOM classification today, 23 points for Gilbert. Cheula and Bonnet are 1:11 behind, the peloton 2:17.

The final climb of the day, a Cat-3 at Côte de la Croix de la Libération, a 3.4km climb @ 5.4% average grade, will be 10 km before the finish, or at km 174. But first is a sprint point coming up in about 3 km.

Cheula and Bonnet are now caught by the peloton. 28km to go, gap is 2:09. All riders zooming down the mountain/hill, beautiful landscape, wish I could go riding there.

Liquigas making the pace. Gilbert got the sprint points ahead of Chavanel. Sastre is still(?) back at the team cars, but has joined Erik Zabel (Milram), who had a flat.

As things go today, Cancellara might just keep his yellow jersey for another day. Zabel is back in the peloton. Sastre is also back at the back of the peloton.

After the faltered French breakaway in Stage 3, today the two French leaders have a new chance to finally get a win. Just for fun: go to google.com, enter "french military victories" in the search box, and click "I'm feeling lucky". Hopefully those two will be lucky today.

1:46 is the gap, with 25 km still to ride.

Antonio Colom Mas and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) crashed. This is going to be tough getting back to the peloton. Astana dropped back to bring Vino back. Vino rides with the right bottom of his pants torn open, showing some blood.

13 miles (21 km) to go, gap is 1:33. CSC at the front.
15 km to go, 44 seconds is the lead, but Vino is losing time.

We're at the incline of the last climb. CSC still/again at the front. Vino just passed the riders that are being dropped at the climb, but is still one minute behind the peloton.

Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) jumps the bunch. 14s for the leaders. 4km to climb.
Rabobank is at the front now, Cancellara is there too. Gilbert has cracked. There go the French hopes, at least partially.

Chavanel is on his own now, Wegmann is also back in the peloton. Vino is slowly catching up, and he has lost all his team mates. David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval) tries to get away.

10 km to go. Rabobank still in front. 0.5 km to the top of the climb. Laurent Lefevre (Bouyges Telecom) attacks. Vino is passing Tom Boonen (Quickstep) and jumps Vino's wheel.

Dangerous descent. Boonen now is helping Vino. Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery) got away.

5 km to go. Cancellara at the front of the peloton.
4 km to go. Lampre at the front.
3 km to go. Hincapie (Discovery) is second.
2 km to go. Vino is 1 km behind. David Millar at the front.

Sprint! Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) wins Stage 5. Cancellara keeps the yellow jersey for yet another day.

Vino comes to the finish with 1:18 back.

Provisional results:

1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
4 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
6 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
7 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis
8 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Innergetic
10 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom

In the GC, Klöden is back in second place after Thor Hushovd came a little while later, about 14 minutes to be exact, so Hushovd ends up #170 in the GC. Pozzato is now third, Millar remains fourth. Vinokourov ranks #81 with 2:10 back.

Update: Both Klöden and Vinokourov were checked at a hospital, and it is unclear whether Klöden will be able to start tomorrow due to a hairline fracture of the coccyx (more commonly known as "tailbone") he suffered. Vinokourov's knee required stitches. I guess we have to wait until tomorrow morning to see who of the two is able to continue in the Tour.

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