Tour de France 2011 stage five video highlights>>
Tour de France 2011 stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) is off the mark at the 2011 Tour – but how he had to fight for it. He took the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday afternoon, beating Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Team Movistar) into Cap Fréhel.

In a twisty, tumultuous finale that saw no team take control, Cavendish showed his guts and pure speed, coming from ten back to fire past his rivals to overhaul Gilbert in the final 50 metres of the slightly-uphill finish.

Without teammates inside the final kilometre, it looked bad for the Manxman. But he latched onto the wheel of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and fought his way to his 16th Tour de France stage win.

“That wasn’t a bunch sprint, that was real hard at the finish,” Cavendish said afterwards of the tough closing kilometres.

Crash heavy
The 164.5km stage on the circuitous, narrow roads of northern Brittany was littered with crashes.

A fall halfway through the day saw Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) among a group who went down. Sky leader Bradley Wiggins was also disrupted.

However, worst off was RadioShack leader Janez Brajkovic, who was forced to abandon the race, along with Christophe Kern (Europcar).

Meanwhile, Danish champion Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) was involved in a bizarre crash, which saw a race motorbike snag his bike and knock him off. A later fall took down Tom Boonen (Quick Step), leaving him to limp to the finish thirteen minutes down.

At the day’s intermediate sprint, Vacansoleil man Borut Bozic crossed the line first. Cavendish initially finished nine back, as Rojas and Boonen deviated in front of him. However, the commissaires declassified the pair at the finish, meaning that the green jersey moves from the Spaniard’s shoulders to Philippe Gilbert.

Breton breakaway bids
Once the day’s chief breakaway of Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun), Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar), Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) and Sebastien Turgot (Europcar) was caught with 40 kilometres to go, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jeremy Roy (FDJ) made a bold bid for success.

However, after briefly resisting longer than his compatriot, Voeckler was pulled back in the outskirts of Cap Fréhel.

As the sprinters’ teams grappled for control after a rolling finale, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) made a brief lone break inside the final 800 metres. But it was down to Cavendish to deliver the finishing touch.

Hushovd still in control
Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) safely retained the race lead from second-placed Cadel Evans (BMC) at one second.  Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) is third at four seconds, with Britain’s David Millar in fourth at eight seconds.

British Sky pair Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas kept their sixth and seventh places overall at 10 and 12 seconds respectively.

Tomorrow’s sixth stage covers 226.5 kilometres from Dinan to Lisieux. Although lumpy, it offers the HTC-Highroad star Cavendish another opportunity to make up ground on his green jersey rivals.

Results
Tour de France 2011, stage five: Carhaix to Cap Fréhel, 164.5km

1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky
6. Andre Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
7. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
8. William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo

General classification after stage five
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 1sec
3. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek at 4 secs
4. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 8 secs
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Team RadioShack at 10 secs
6. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 12 secs
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek
10. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek

Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France 2011, stage five

Bradley Wiggins

Janez Brajkovic and Robert Gesink crash, Tour de France 2011, stage five

Janez Brajkovic and Robert Gesink crash

Jeremy Roy and Thomas Voeckler escape, Tour de France 2011, stage five

Jeremy Roy and Thomas Voeckler escape

Mark Cavendish wins, Tour de France 2011, stage five

Mark Cavendish wins stage five

Thor Hushovd maintains overall lead, Tour de France 2011, stage five

Another day in yellow for Thor Hushovd as he continues to impress

Tour de France 2011 stage five video highlights>>
Tour de France 2011 stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson>>  

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Tour de France 2011: Teams, riders, start list
Tour de France 2011: Official start list
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Tour de France 2011: Team guide

Tour de France 2011: Stage reports

Stage five: Cavendish wins in Cap Frehel

Stage four: Evans edges out Contador on the Mur-de-Bretagne

Stage three: Farrar sprints to first Tour victory in Redon

Stage two: Garmin win team time trial to put Hushovd in yellow

Stage one: Gilbert blasts to victory as Tour gets off to spectacular start

Tour de France 2011: Highlights videos

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Tour de France 2011: Photo galleries

Stage four photo gallery by Andy Jones

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson


Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson


Stage two photo gallery by Andy Jones


Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson


Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson


Tour de France 2011 team time trial training photo gallery by Andy Jones

Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Andy Jones

Tour de France 2011 team press conferences by Andy Jones

Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2011: Live text coverage

Tour de France 2011 LIVE: CW’s text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2011: Archive videos
Video: 2003 Centenary Tour
Video: Lance Armstrong retrospective
Video: Behind the scenes at the Tour
Video: Guerini’s 1999 stage win
Video: Thrills and spills at the Tour
Video: Armstrong in 1999
Video: The Indurain years
Video: Ladies of the Tour
Video: Best of bizarre

Tour de France 2011: Archive articles

1999 Tour de France stage two: Passage du Gois causes chaos

Tour de France 2011: TV schedule
British Eurosport Tour de France 2011 TV schedule
ITV4 Tour de France 2011 TV schedule

Tour de France 2011: Related links
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The closest Tours in history
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour de France 2011: Older news items

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Halfords banner animated

  • THE BOLTON BULLET

    SWEET SIXTEEN! “When the going gets tough……..” lightweights disappear ! where were those “top” sprinters Monsieur Feillu and Monsieur Far-rah?…. couldn’t hack it perchance… MEANWHILE CAV shows his class, speed and guts by going over the top of everyone including Gilbert on a nasty UPHILL finish… NICE ONE SON.Poetic justice if Boonen missed the time cut – he was all over the road like a rash in the intermediate! well done cav, THAT should shut the haters up….probably not..