Dan Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) may not get the chance to go for a stage win in the Tour as he has been tasked with looking after team-mate Ryder Hesjedal. “That’s my job for the race, looking after him,” he told Cycling Weekly.”It was only really on the Boulogne-sur-Mer stage where you could sense how nervous everyone was. “I was a bit annoyed at the finish, because I was with Ryder but I got held up in the crash. Luckily he [Ryder] was out the way so he didn’t come down.”

Showers, projection screens and coffee machines aren’t enough for Team Sky, who have installed a mobile rice boiler in their team bus. The machine is switched around an hour before the end of each stage and it provides one of the first things the riders eat after their obligatory recovery drinks. Rice is becoming an ever more popular replacement for pasta and bread in pro cycling; its low gluten content means it’s easy to digest, plus it doesn’t soak up water in the gut and de-hydrate the riders.

Without a professional win in his three-year career, Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis) was understandably ruing yesterday’s near miss. The former HTC-Highroad rider was part of the day-long break who were caught in the final 500m into Saint-Quentin. “It was almost the perfect day. The finish was 500m too far for me. The last hill killed me and me legs. I tried, and I lost, but that’s life in cycling,” he said afterwards.

Today’s L’Equipe was scathing of yesterday’s parcours, giving it a 0/10 rating. “The sole climb of the route, the Bonsecours, was situated before the official stage start. It cries of favourtism to Michael Morkov, who had a comfortable day in the polka-dot jersey.”

Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) has been operated on following his heavy crash during Tuesday’s stage into Boulogne-sur-Mer. The sprinter fractured his collarbone in three places, and underwent surgery in Murcia. He still hopes to ride the Olympic road race on July 28.

On the eve of the Tour start Team Sky and Pinarello announced they had renewed their deal for another year, to the end of 2013. Reports had

come out during the Giro d’Italia that the British team were to ride Specialized bikes next year, but while they had been in talks with the American manufacturer, nothing was ever signed.

Tour in numbers…it’s 367 days since Tyler Farrar last won a race.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news
Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins
Fourth Tour crash for Farrar
Greipel on a roll at the Tour
Cavendish and Eisel expected to continue after stage four crash
Injury report: Tour stage four
Garmin-Sharp adjust Tour de France plans after injury problems
Sky down to eight after Siutsou crash
Kittel recovering from illness
Explaining the three kilometre rule
Sky’s embarrassment of riches
Rogers back on form and backing Wiggins in the Tour 
Martin to continue in Tour despite fractured wrist
Liquigas coach tips Sagan for future Grand Tour win
Cancellara’s win lifts morale in RadioShack team

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list
Tour 2012: Who will win?
Tour de France 2012 provisional start list
Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs
Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials
CW’s Tour de France podcasts
Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs
Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Andy Jones
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones
Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2012: Team presentation
Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage
Stage five live coverage
Stage four live coverage
Stage three live coverage
Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule
ITV4 live schedule
British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever