Wind and rain play havoc with riders

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JEROME PUGMIRE

CRASHES con­tin­ued to take down riders on rain- drenched roads as teams bat­tled to keep their lead­ers safe on the fifth stage of the Tour de France.

By the time An­dre Greipel at­tacked in the last 100m to win his sec­ond stage of the Tour, and a third in five days for Ger­man riders, the last of the day’s seven claimed 30 riders.

Once again race favourite Chris Froome and the other gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion con­tenders avoided the worst of the car­nage.

“There was ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing out there to­day. It rained, which made the roads slip­pery, and it was also windy,” said Ian Stan­nard,

crashes had Froome’s Team Sky team­mate. “That made for a stress­ful day.”

Peter Sa­gan, a Slovak rider seek­ing to win the green jersey as the Tour’s best sprinter for a fourth straight year, had even more rea­son to feel tired.

Sa­gan spent most of the day pro­tect­ing his Tinkoff- Saxo team­mate Al­berto Con­ta­dor, and then con­tested the stage sprint, zoom­ing ahead of Bri­tish rider Mark Cavendish to take sec­ond place be­hind Greipel.

The yel­low rolled over the change to the tions.

Ger­man rider Tony Martin, the win­ner on stage four, still leads Froome by 12 sec­onds and Te­jay Van Garderen, a jersey group line with no lead­ing posi- promis­ing Amer­i­can rider with strong climb­ing skills, by 25.

Be­fore the stage, Froome and Sky team­mate Peter Ken­naugh laid a wreath on the Com­mon­wealth Me­mo­rial at the Franco- Bri­tish ceme­tery in Ar­ras.

Aus­tralian riders from the Orica- GreenEDGE team joined the trib­ute, wear­ing black arm­bands.

Pic­ture: JEFF PACOUD

ROAD RASH: Thibaut Pinot, of France, screams af­ter crash­ing dur­ing the fifth stage of the Tour de France.

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