Considered a stage for the sprinters, despite being one of the longest in the event, Wednesday at the 2013 Tour de France took riders from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille on the fifth day of action at cycling's greatest race.
Stage 5 is completed at 228 kilometers, meaning each team and rider must show both the stamina to survive the pace and the will to make the sprint toward the finish line in Marseille.
Mark Cavendish was the rider who asserted himself as that competitor on Wednesday, winning Stage 5 with a strong finish down the final straightaway. Sky Sports Cycling had the tweet as the Omega Pharma-Quick Step star crossed the finish line:
Mark Cavendish wins stage five of the Tour de France! #TDF— Sky Sports Cycling (@SkyCycling) July 3, 2013
The win was Cavendish's 24th career stage win at the Tour de France. He took home the stage title with a time of five hours, 31 minutes and 51 seconds, just ahead of the next-closest riders.
The Tour's official Twitter account had a picture of the riders at the finish line:
A peloton crash behind the stage leaders marred what was an otherwise successful day of racing in France, and Cavendish managed to find the right mix of speed and power to sprint his way to victory ahead of a crowded field.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, points leader Peter Sagan, Andre Greipel and Roberto Ferrari rounded out the top five.
Despite finishing 15th in the stage, Simon Gerrans will keep his yellow jersey and general classification lead in the standings following the events of Wednesday's action. Jose Been of Eurosport and CyclingNews.com had the tweet with the top five and the news that Gerrans would maintain his individual lead:
Stage 5 #TDF 1. Cavendish (OPQ) 2. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 3. Sagan (CAN) 4. Greipel (LTB) 5. Ferrari (LAM) Gerrans keeps YELLOW— José Been (@TourDeJose) July 3, 2013
Gerrans and Orica GreenEDGE teammates Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini kept the top three spots on the overall leaderboard, and Orica GreenEDGE also kept the team lead over Sky Procycling at the end of Day 5.
Impey's tweet prior to the start of Stage 5 proved to be prophetic:
Here we go, stage 5 of the #TDF2013 . No secret - we out to protect this yellow jersey!!!!— Daryl Impey (@darylimpey) July 3, 2013
White jersey (youth) winner Michal Kwiatkowski and Sylvain Chavanel rounded out the top five in the individual rankings to keep the top of the board heading into Stage 6 the same as it was before Stage 5 began.
All three of the other jersey winners from Stage 4 also stayed the same. Rolland Pierre retained the polka-dot jersey (Mountain), Kwiatkowski kept his white (youth) jersey and Sagan significantly increased his points lead to retain the green jersey.
As mentioned, Orica GreenEDGE also stayed atop the team standings.
The Stage 4 team time trial winners will have a three-second lead over Sky Procycling when Thursday's action begins. Day 6 of the 2013 Tour de France will see the riders travel to Aix-en-Provence to start their day. The flat stage covers 176.5 kilometers and will finish in Montpellier.
|Rank||Rider||Team||Rider No.||Time (Gap)|
|1||GERRANS Simon||ORICA GREENEDGE||181||18H 19' 15"|
|2||IMPEY Daryl||ORICA GREENEDGE||185||18H 19' 15" (00' 00")
|3||ALBASINI Michael||ORICA GREENEDGE||182||18H 19' 15" (00' 00")
|4||KWIATKOWSKI Michal||OMEGA PHARMA- |
|153||18H 19' 16" (00' 01")
|5||CHAVANEL Sylvain||OMEGA PHARMA- |
|152||18H 19' 16" (00' 01")
BOASSON HAGEN Edvald ||SKY |
|2||18H 19' 18" (00' 03")
|7||FROOME Christopher||SKY |
|1||18H 19' 18" (00' 03")
|8||PORTE Richie||SKY |
|6||18H 19' 18" (00' 03")
*For a complete look at the standings, visit LeTour.com.
|2||CAVENDISH Mark||OMEGA PHARMA- |
|3||KRISTOFF Alexander||KATUSHA TEAM||76|
|5||BOASSON HAGEN Edvald||SKY PROCYCLING||58|
|6||KITTEL Marcel||TEAM ARGOS- |
|7||ROJAS Jose Joaquin||MOVISTAR TEAM||53|
|8||VAN POPPEL Danny||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||43|
|9||KWIATKOWSKI Michal||OMEGA PHARMA- |
BELKIN PRO |
*For a complete look at all the general classification and team leaderboards after five days of action, check out LeTour.com.
Follow Bleacher Report's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.