Crashes were once again the story on Day 5 of the 2012 Tour de France, and once again German Andre Greipel emerged victorious.
This marks the second straight stage Greipel has won, and he did so by breaking away from the pack with just 110 yards left in the race to cross the finishing line before second place finisher Matt Goss of Australia. Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina was right behind them for the third-place finish.
Stage 5 from Rouen to St-Quentin (122 miles) is catered toward sprinters for one of the final times before heading towards the more hilly stages in the mountains.
Heading into Stage 6, Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland maintains the overall lead and yellow jersey for the sixth straight day.
|1.||Fabian Cancellara||12||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||24h 45' 32''|
|2.||Bradley Wiggins||101||SKY PROCYCLING||24h 45' 39''||+ 00' 07''|
|3.||Sylvain Chavanel||192||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||24h 45' 39''||+ 00' 07''|
|4.||Tejay van Garderen||9||BMC RACING TEAM||24h 45' 42''||+ 00' 10''|
|5.||Edvald Boasson Hagen||102||SKY PROCYCLING||24h 45' 43''||+ 00' 11''|
|6.||Denis Menchov||131||KATUSHA TEAM||24h 45' 45''||+ 00' 13''|
|7.||Cadel Evans||1||BMC RACING TEAM||24h 45' 49''||+ 00' 17''|
|8.||Vincenzo Nibali||51||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||24h 45' 50''||+ 00' 18''|
|9.||Ryder Hesjedal||61||GARMIN-SHARP-BARRACUDA||24h 45' 50''||+ 00' 18''|
|10.||Andréas Kloden||15||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||24h 45' 51''||+ 00' 19''|
With only 2.7 km to go and the sprinters making their final push, American Tyler Farrar took a spill and multiple riders were forced to swerve around him. Unfortunately, there were plenty of riders that were unable to avoid falling as well. Peter Sagan of Slovakia was held up by the crash and was unable to compete for points.
Kanstantsin Siutsou (broken leg), Jose Rojas (broken collarbone) and Maarten Tjallingii (broken hip) all suffered serious injuries. Tjallingii was somehow able to finish the race.
After the race, Farrar ran over to Tom Veelers of the Netherlands and shouted, “You don’t do that to someone!” as he had blood dripping down his elbow and knee. It appeared Veelers may have cut off Farrar before he fell.
It was an ugly way to end a rather thrilling Stage 5.
Stage 6 is a 128-mile course from Epernay to Metz, which marks the final leg of the northern flats in which sprinters have the advantage.
The mountains are looming with the leaderboard expected to undergo some serious changes in the next week once the course becomes more vertically challenging.
Look for Greipel to be at the top of the leaderboard for the third straight day.
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