Tour de France 5: Falls and Rises

The pavé
Lars Boom wins
Pourring rain, slippery roads. Sectors 7 and 5 cancelled but still13 km of cobbles left, 152.5 km of race. Many falls and the glorious rise of Vincenzo Nibali
Chris Froome already injuried crashed twice and finally got on the team car. Game over. It was before the pavé: he looked confused. Team Sky reacted with a great race by Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte.
There was a break-away, then Belkin and Astana attacked and split the peloton: Nibali in front with Sep Vanarcke and Lars Boom, all the other GC riders behind. Contador lost too much: worried, scared, unable to ride. Belkin opted for the stage victory, Mollema left behind while Boom was the last one in front after Vanmarcke flatted.
Today Nibali looked confortable and cool, in spite that was his first time on the pavé. Today Astana looked a strong team: Westra in the break-away, then giving it all for his leader, Fuglsang one again last and best mate. 
Team Belkin wanted that stage and took it, at any cost. They have been probably right because they can play many good cards while Mollema's chances in the final GC are uncertain. Nobody else looked as interested as Belkin, for sure not as committed. Cancellara, Sagan, OPQS with several riders were in front but decided to have a safe ride.
Thomas and Porte
Bravo Lemoine, in his Polka Dot Jersey. Bravo Geraint Thomas who allowed the new leader Richie Porte to limitate the lost in the final km.
The GC drasticly changed... but the Tour is just at the begining and on the mountains all can change again.

Lars Boom:
"Epic stage! Dream comes through!!! Yessss"
“Winning a Tour de France stage is like a dream come true. It’s extra special to win in rainy conditions and on cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix. I’ve been dreaming of a wet Paris-Roubaix for years and now this happens at the Tour - Simply fantastic. Sep Vanmarcke and I started the stage with the idea to win. It’s very special to be the first Dutch stage winner in Tour de France since Pieter Weening exactly nine years ago. I’m lost for words. I was crying on the bike already and had goose bumps everywhere.

I knew I had to do it there as I’m strong on the cobbles and I wanted to be sure that I was going to win. I thought Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan would catch up with me in the final, but they didn’t. When I got out of the final corner, I knew I was going to win. That was so nice.”

Sep Vanmarcke

A flat tyre in the final ruined Vanmarcke’s chances of a stage win, but still the Belgian crossed the line with a fist pump. “It’s just great that Lars managed to win today. Lars and I were both very strong. On the fourth sector, I wanted to attack. I had planned that in advance, but unfortunately I punctured. My race was over after that and of course I was very disappointed, but when I heard that Lars was going to win, I was still able to enjoy the moment.”


Bauke Mollema:

“What an epic stage. I was completely empty in the final. Without my team-mates, I wouldn’t have survived today.”
Froome got on the car
Chris Froome:
“I’m devastated to have to pull out of the race. It was the right thing to do after crashing again and I knew that I couldn’t carry on. I’m going to fly home tonight and over the next few days I’ll go for some more scans on my wrist to find out exactly what injuries I’ve sustained.  The X-ray last night didn't show an obvious fracture and I wanted to race today, but clearly I was in pain and we put heavy strapping on the left wrist from the start. It’s too early to say for definite when I’ll be back on the bike, I’m just going to concentrate on getting back to full fitness. 
Froom, helmet still on
Everyone in the team did as much as they could for me – the riders, support staff and medical team were brilliant – and they all tried to get me through today, but unfortunately it just wasn’t to be. They’ve shown they are ready to get behind Richie, who’s in excellent form, and I would like to wish everyone all the best. I’ll certainly be cheering them on. I’d also like to thank all the fans who supported me and the team, especially those who cheered us on in the UK. It was truly memorable to race the Tour de France on British soil and those crowds and sounds are something that I will never forget.” 

Vincenzo Nibali showed a great class!
Vincenzo Nibali:
"It was a tremendous stage. I almost crashed three times but I got through with a bit of luck and a bit of ability. We also got our tactics right by putting [Lieuwe] Westra in the early break and then [Jakob] Fuglsang was just exceptional. Unfortunately, crashes are part of cycling too. I counted the cost of one myself at the Giro in 2010, on the strade bianche at Montalcino. I've taken a nice advantage today but I'll have to keep my feet on the ground. And, of course, Alberto is still someone I'll have to keep a close watch on." 

Contador lost a lot
Alberto Contador: 
"Today was a surviving day,I lost time with very big riders at GC, but I'm still alive and without crashes.The start now!"  
“It was a very difficult day and I lost a lot of time to Nibali who was in the right spot in the second section where everything fell apart. However, I made it through the day without crashing, which is perhaps the most important thing. My terrain is yet to come. With so much mud blocking the small sprockets, I could not keep up. It has been a difficult stage from the start with constant danger but my team supported me through the day and Benna took me across the finish line. This is what could be expected from a stage like this with the cobblestones. And it could have been me. It’s a nice show for the home viewers but it’s a pretty big risk for the riders. Froome was the number one favorite to get the victory and is now out of the race. Of course I will feel sorry for him because preparing for the Tour needs months of physical and psychological work and a series of sacrifices on the home front. I’m sorry for him and for the race because it would have been a great spectacle in the mountains. Of course I wish I were in front of him but seeing how the situation was on the cobbles today, I didn’t want to take more risk than necessary. I’d rather lose a minute more than have a crash and the Tour has only closed its first of many chapters.”

Fabian Cancellara: 
“The race was a mess. When I hear in the radio what was happening just with our riders, I can imagine what must be happening with the others – in my opinion this does not have a place in a Grand Tour. It was completely different than in April because the field is so different. Also the wet roads made it very dangerous - the whole course was now dangerous.
Rasty [Gregory Rast] helped me a lot. The problem was there was always a gap because someone was tired, or slipped a bit, and you could not pass him on the cobbles. When the three Astanas and Boom went, this is what happened. Also, on wet cobbles it is very different, you cannot use a high cadence like when it’s dry, how I like to do.
It was already a situation where I was pulling, and when they went everyone was looking at me and Peter [Sagan] to do the work. Just me and Peter could not make the difference, so I had to calculate my energy. I did not want to pull, pull, pull and then the others pass me at the end, so I had to manage myself and play a bit or otherwise I would have been even more behind. Hey, chapeau to Astana who did a fantastic ride – they honored the yellow jersey."

Fränk Schleck: 
"We can say it was raining cats and dogs. It was just chaos out there. The team was awesome. We knew it was going to be hard and we expected the worse. We knew it was coming – but still, it was very bad out there.  I had a flat tire with around 25-30 kilometers to go and it took a while for the car to come.

This does not change anything. We will continue to stick to our plan. We will still try and win stages, and we will keep fighting as a team. We have to keep our spirit up, the same as when we started, we will stick together. We owe this to ourselves, to all the team, all our fans, and to our sponsors.”

Tejay van Garderen:
"My rear wheel just kind of got away from me. It was insane out there. I heard Froome was out of the Tour. That kind of takes the whole race down a notch when you have a big favorite who is now out. It could have been worse, it could have been better. We will just have to move forward."
Greg Van Avermaet:
"I crashed just before the first cobblestone section. I made it back before the second one but I was too far behind in the peloton. With this rain, you can never move up on the cobblestones. So my race was already over then and I took it easy to the finish." 


1 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:18:35
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:19
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team

4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:01:01
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing
6 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica Greenedge
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:07
8 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:01:09
9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:21
10 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:45

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 20:26:46
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:02
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:44

4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:50
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:17
6 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:45
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
8 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:01:54
9 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:02:05
10 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:11

11 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
13 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida
14 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:16
15 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:02:25
16 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
17 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
18 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:02:27
19 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:37
20 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:02:39
21 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team 0:02:44
22 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale 0:03:23
23 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge 0:03:29
24 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
25 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky
26 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura 0:03:59
27 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
28 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:04:13
29 Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre - Merida
30 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling

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