Wind and rain play havoc with riders
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.
ROAD RASH: Thibaut Pinot, of France, screams after crashing during the fifth stage of the Tour de France.