Greipel again – as we said yesterday, sprinting is as much a mental game as it is physical one.
Greipel and his team had good morale and they exploited it – and of course they had that bit of luck which comes when all the stars align, staying clear of the crash which saw poor Tyler Farrar losing even more skin.
And too much can’t be read into Cav’s defeat, he hit the deck at 60 kph the day before and whilst he has grinta aplenty, the human body knows when it’s time not too goo too deep – yesterday was one of those times where’s Cav’s engine management system took precedence over the driver’s wishes.
The finish was a ‘toughie’ rising very gently but enough to have Matt Goss looking way too high geared and a physical light weight like Dumoulin right up there.
I listened to one of the Velocast‘s entertaining Tour ‘podcasts’ for the first time today – the subject of debate was why we have to have ‘paint drying’ sprinter stages.
It’s a good point, but it’s always been the way – the Giro used to be particularly bad back in my youth with ‘piano’ for hours on end before racing the last hour.
The fact is that the race has to wend its way around France, getting from point A to point B where the parcours may well be more conducive to aggressive racing – or not, as the case may be.
Another big factor in these days of linear testing and doping scandal shy sponsors is that there’s only Coke and Perrier in the mini bars these days – there are no ‘top-ups’ when the going gets tough. [We certainly hope so anyway. Editor]
Every day can’t be a ‘death race’.
All of that said, the last 20 kilometres are being contested as if there’s no tomorrow and any crashes in the finale are going to hurt.
And the first l’Équipe of our Tour campaign came our way today.
It took grim determination to fight through the tourist throng on the Royal Mile whilst Ivan guarded the Transit – which looked a tad incongruous amongst the Range Rovers and Mercs parked on George IV Bridge – but mission accomplished.
‘Cavendish d’un cheveu’ says the headline – ‘Cavendish by a hair’ and inside they liken him to a keirin rider – he’d certainly be good in those.
Back in the 70’s and early 80’s the Dutch roadman sprinter Theo Smit used to ride the Japanese keirin circuit.
Smit was rapid but had difficulty getting over a railway bridge – despite that he won Tour and Vuelta stages and on his day was quicker than Freddy Maertens.
But it’s not as if Cav needs to make a few more quid in the winter – and I’m not sure Mr. Brailsford would approve.
And whilst we do so through gritted teeth, we have to mention the latest in the Lance Saga.
First off, it’s disappointing that USADA chose to plant their banderillas in the shoulders of the raging bull that is ‘el Hombre de Plano’ just prior to the Tour de France.
If they had the best interests of sport in general in mind they would have waited until after the Tour and London Olympics so as not to taint or distract.
But that’s not the game – one thing Lance is right about is that there do seem to people out to make a name for themselves over this matter, right reason or none.
Whilst the provenance of the statements regarding the riders named is up for debate – what’s not, is that they all pulled out of the US Olympic selection process and none has denied the statement; ‘no comment’ has been the stock response.
The USADA timing is designed to get maximum response; they knew full well that the European tabloids would be locked onto the story immediately – and so it has proved.
Unfortunately for the Tour and those who are more interested in clear air and valour in the mountains than grotty goings on in French motels what seems like a lifetime ago – it’s the latter which sets the forums abuzz and sells newspapers.
But what of today’s jousting match?
If ever a statement was designed to inspire Cav to win a stage it’s; ‘I don’t know why everybody is saying I can’t beat Cavendish,’ – you’re fast Andre and you have a good train.
But you’re not as fast as the wee chap from the middle of the Irish Sea.
It’s Epernay to Metz, today – 207.5 K with one cat. 4 climb – this is the last sprinters’ stage until a week on Saturday and Greipel will be out for a hat trick.
But the VeloVeritas euros are on the World Champion…
Result - Le Tour de France 2012 - Stage 5
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
3 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
4 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
5 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling
6 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano
7 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
9 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
11 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
12 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
13 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
14 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
15 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
16 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
17 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
18 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
19 David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Sharp
20 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
21 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
22 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
23 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
24 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
25 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
26 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
27 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
28 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
29 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
30 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
31 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
32 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
33 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
34 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
35 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Sharp
36 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
37 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
38 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling
39 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano
40 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team
41 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
42 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
43 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team
44 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team
45 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Sharp
46 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
47 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
48 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
49 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team
50 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
51 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
52 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
53 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team
54 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
55 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
56 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin – Sharp
57 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team
58 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar
59 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre – ISD
60 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
61 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
62 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
63 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
64 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
65 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
66 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
67 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan
68 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
69 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
70 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
71 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
72 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
73 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
74 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
75 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
76 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
77 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team
78 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
79 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
80 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
81 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
82 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
83 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos-Shimano
84 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
85 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
86 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
87 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
88 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin – Sharp
89 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
90 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
91 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
92 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
93 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
94 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
95 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
96 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar
97 Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
98 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team
99 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
100 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team
101 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
102 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
103 Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
104 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
105 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale
106 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
107 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano
108 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team
109 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
110 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan
111 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
112 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
113 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
114 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos-Shimano
115 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
116 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
117 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
118 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
119 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team
120 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
121 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
122 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
123 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
124 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
125 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
126 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team
127 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
128 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
129 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
130 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
131 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
132 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre – ISD
133 Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano
134 Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre – ISD
135 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
136 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
137 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
138 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
139 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
140 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
141 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
142 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
143 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
144 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
145 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar
146 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
147 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
148 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
149 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
150 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
151 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale
152 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
153 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
154 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team
155 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
156 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
157 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team
158 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
159 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre – ISD
160 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
161 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
162 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano
163 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
164 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
165 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
166 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos-Shimano
167 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
168 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team
169 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
170 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
171 Maarten Wyn