110km to go
The group of eight men at the back of the race: George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates), Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies), Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo), Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Max Walscheid (Cofidis) and Andrey Zeits (Astana Qazaqstan) have gained a few seconds. It’s interesting to note that two of Tadej Pogacar’s teammates are stuck there.
115km to go
Today’s stage was run at a ferocious pace, Wout van Aert, Jakob Fuglsang Y Quinn Simmons having traveled the first 95 km at an average speed of 50.9 km/h. Given the undulating terrain that is ridiculous. There is a group of eight riders in the back, behind the breakaway by 5 minutes and 32 seconds. You’ll have to get organized and work together if you want to avoid missing the time cut later this afternoon.
120km to go
Jakob Fuglsang, the 37-year-old Israel-Premier Tech rider (I think all Israel-Premier Tech riders are contractually required to be over 35) started the day 1 minute and 20 seconds down on the overall standings. If the Dane were to make it to the finish line today at close to Wout van Aert, then there would be a slim chance that he would contend for the yellow at the finish line tomorrow on the Planche des Belles Filles.
125km to go
The leading trio including some very strong riders have increased their lead to 3min 20sec. It’s very strange to see the yellow jersey in the breakaway, I’m not quite sure what his thinking is: maybe extend his overall lead and then keep the yellow at the top of Planche des Belles Filles on Friday, which may ease the pressure on his teammate Jonas Vingegaard. ? I’ll be honest, I haven’t figured out what their strategy is yet.
As is . . .
There’s a three-man breakaway that leads the stage by a little over 1 minute 48 seconds, but really that’s only half the story for the day. It’s been an absolutely heartbreaking scenario so far and the trio of Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma), Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), finally, was escaping from the front after wave after wave. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) flexed his muscles earlier, sending shockwaves through the peloton, as Geraint Thomas and his Ineos Grenadiers teammates managed to dial in the moves, clearly on high alert after yesterday’s test on the cobblestones.
And welcome to our live rolling blog from stage five of the 109th Tour de France, the 219.9-kilometre race from Binche in the Wallonia region of Belgium to Longwy.
Less than 24 hours after Wednesday’s big storm of a completed stage at Wallers-Arenberg, the peloton faces its longest day in the saddle. It’s a cruel sport, cycling. While the defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) underlined why he is the favorite to win the Tour in Paris in just over two weeks after his dazzling race on the cobblestones of northern France, it was instead a day to forget for primoz roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
Roglic, the 2020 runner-up who dropped out following a fall last year, fell to the ground yesterday and dislocated his shoulder. Although he managed to get back on his bike and finish the stage, Roglic lost 2 minutes and 8 seconds to his great rival and may have missed the opportunity to fight for the yellow jersey that he almost won two years ago.
“I quickly got up and got back on the bike, but very soon I realized I couldn’t keep going like this,” Roglic said Wednesday. “I had to stop and borrow a spectator seat to get my shoulder back in place. Since this has happened to me before, I know what to do, I grab my knee and pull hard. I don’t know what shape I’ll be in to continue. At the moment I don’t think I’ve missed the Tour, I’m still not in my head, I’ll try to recover”.
jack haig (Bahrain victorious) and miguel google (Alpecin-Deceuninck) became the first riders to leave the Tour on cobblestones. Haig, who had hoped to challenge in the general classification, suffered “multiple abrasions and bruises to his body” and later required stitches. Gogl, meanwhile, broke his collarbone and pelvis. This morning it was announced that daniel oss (TotalEnergies) would not start today’s stage after breaking his neck in a fall. Incredibly, the Italian managed to finish yesterday’s stage.
there was joy for simon clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) who at the age of 35 won the first Tour stage of his career after the Australian was overtaken Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) to the line with another old Edvald Boassen-Hagen (TotalEnergies) occupying the third place. The truth is that it was a complicated and confusing afternoon full of crashes, chaos and carnage, as the Tour fell apart and they would need hours to disarm. It may be convenient to get a recap with the highlights pack below. . .
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) crashed too, but he played the role of the perfect teammate when he helped guide Jonas Vingegaard down the line after a mechanic to ensure the Dane lost just 13 seconds to Pogacar, while also managing to hold the yellow jersey.
There was very little movement in the points classification, so Van Aert still leads that particular competition, but in second place. Fabio Jacobsen (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) will wear the green jersey.
In yesterday’s stage there were no categorized climbs, so magnus cort (EF Education-EasyPost) kept his polka dot jersey as leader of the mountains classification.
pogacar kept his white jersey as the young leader, while the British tom pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) continues for 30 seconds.
So what’s on the menu today?
A long day in the saddle awaits the peloton, and with a couple of short but steep climbs at the end of the stage, this could suit around twenty riders. But will it be a day of breakaways or general classification?
As tomorrow sees the peloton heading towards the first finish of the race atop Planche des Belles Filles, some of the climbers or riders in the general classification can hope to keep their powder as dry as possible ahead of the predicted fireworks display on Friday. . Van Aert would be the favorite for a stage like this, but he has had two difficult days and a lot will depend on how he has recovered, likewise Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) looked leggy yesterday, perhaps still fatigued from the recent Turn. d’Italia which was, in fact, the first major tour he completed. There is the threat of crosswinds and that can add another dimension to the day’s race. Despite its uphill finish, the stage has the same number of points in the race for the green jersey as a sprint stage.
There are three classified climbs: Côte des Mazures, Côte de Montigny-sur-Chiers and Côte de Pulventeux, with a maximum of five points up for grabs in the mountains classification, meaning that if Cort completes the stage within the time limit, will retain his polka dot jersey for Friday’s stage.
And lastly, the weather. . .
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