NBC Sports Tour De France 2012: What to Watch for Heading into Stage 6

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 5, 2012

SAINT-QUENTIN, FRANCE - JULY 05:  05:  Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling rides in the peloton during stage five of the 2012 Tour de France from Rouen to Saint-Quentin on July 5, 2012 in Saint-Quentin, France.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The 2012 Tour de France is nearly one-quarter of the way over, with Stage 5 coming to a close on Thursday.

There are plenty of storylines after the first five stages, but there will be even more once we approach the halfway point of cycling's greatest race.

Make sure you don't miss any of the Stage 6 action, which can be seen on July 6 at 8 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Here's what to watch for on Friday.

Andre Greipel's Quest for Back-to-Back-to-Back

Germany's Andre Greipel won his second straight stage in the Tour de France by eking out a split-second victory over Australia's Matt Goss.

Just like Stage 4, Greipel had to avoid numerous crashes, including one that involved Tyler Farrar of the United States. 

Three stage wins in a row has seldom been seen since the inception of the race. The last rider to carry out the trifecta was Lance Armstrong. Mario Cipolinni won four consecutive stages in 1999.

Greipel still sits in 73rd place, 00:04:04 behind leader Fabian Cancellara.

Tyler Farrar and Team Garmin-Sharp

The American wasn't too happy after being involved in a crash that saw him take a tumble off his bike with just under two miles left. He crossed blooded and battered by his lonesome, falling to 162nd place. It was the fifth time Farrar has crashed in the race so far. 

After he completed the stage, he went to the Argos-Shimano team bus, looking for sprinter Tom Veelers. According to reports, Farrar could be heard yelling "You don't do that to someone!"

Team Garmin-Sharp didn't have a good day either. Numerous team members were linked to a Dutch report on Thursday regarding the Lance Armstrong blood doping case.

Make sure you tune in to see this story unfold.

Fabian Cancellara's Record

Fabian Cancellara become a record-holder after Stage 5. The Swiss-born cyclist has now worn the yellow jersey the most times without winning the Tour de France.

He currently sits seven seconds ahead of Bradley Wiggins, but would surely like to pad that lead to give himself some breathing room.

Cancellara has donned the yellow jersey 27 times without winning the great race. There are plenty of people who don't expect him to get it done in 2012, but fans shouldn't be surprised if he is able to pull it off.