2014 Tour de France

Tour de France 2014: Stage 5 Route, Live Stream, Predictions, Updated Standings

In this Tuesday July 6, 2010 file photo riders pass a cobblestone section during the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 213 kilometers (132.4 miles) with start in Wanze, Belgium and finish in Arenberg, France. At 155.5 kilometers the fifth stage of the 2014 edition of the Tour de France is not particularly long. But it features nine patches of cobblestones, many of them familiar in the joint-jarring Paris-Roubaix one-day race. The key for the race's big guns will be to stay at the front of the pack to avoid crashes on a treacherous and dusty terrain usually tackled at a frenetic pace. Punctures are also frequent on cobblestones, and can end a rider's hopes of winning the race.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2014

The 2014 Tour de France event organisers knew full well what they were doing when they laid out Stage 5 of this year's race: A day that will commemorate the hell of the First World War in more ways than one.

From the start in Ypres to the finish in Arenberg-Porte Du Hainaut, the peloton will follow some of the most iconic and dreaded roads in all of cycling. Welcome to Wallers and the Hell Of Roubaix.

 

Date: Wednesday 9 July

Distance: 155.5 km

Profile: Cobblestones

TV info and live streamNBCSN (for U.S. viewers) and ITV4 (for U.K. viewers) will be broadcasting every stage of the 2014 Tour de France, with mobile coverage available via NBC Sports' Live Extra and the ITV Player app.

 

Updated Standings

Overall Leaderboard (Yellow Jersey)
PlaceRiderTeamTime
1Vincenzo NibaliAstana17:07:52
2Peter SaganCannondale+2 secs
3Michael AlbasiniGreenEdgeSame Time
4Greg Van AvermaetBMC Racingst
5Alberto ContadorTinkoff-Saxost
6Alejandro ValverdeMovistarst
7Chris FroomeTeam Skyst
9Jurgen Van den BroeckLottost
9Bauke MollemaBelkinst
10Jakob FuglsangAstanast
Letour.com
Points Classification (Green Jersey)
PlaceRiderTeamPoints
1Peter SaganCannondale158
2Marcel KittelGiant135
3Bryan CoquardEuropcar121
4Alexander KristoffKatusha82
5Mark RenshawOPQS48
6Arnaud DemareBMC Racing44
7Greg Van AvermaetGarmin42
8Ramunas NavardauskasAstana38
9Michael AlbasiniGreenEdge37
10Andre GreipelLotto Belisol37
Letour.com
Mountain Classification (Polka-Dot Jersey)
PositionRiderTeamPoints
1Cyril LeMoineConfidis6
2Blel KadriAG2R La Mondiale5
3Jens VoigtTrek4
4Nicolas EdetCofidis3
5Thomas VoecklerEuropcar3
6Pierre RollandEuropcar2
7Tom-Jelte SlagterGarmin-Sharp2
8Perrig QuemeneurEuropcar2
9David de la Cruz MelgarejoNetApp-Endura2
10Chris FroomeTeam Sky1
Letour.com

 

Route

The pack will start the day in Ypres at the historic Menin Gate, where the Tour will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which devastated much of the landscape the riders will see on Wednesday.

Via the city of Mouscron, the peloton will make its way into France using many of the same roads the mother of all cobblestone races uses—Paris-Roubaix.

The riders will face over 15 km of cobblestones, including two of the most dreaded patches in the world: Carrefour de l'Arbre and Bois de Wallers. Punctures, spectacular crashes and plenty of nerves will be the order of the day. You can't win the 2014 Tour in Roubaix, but you can definitely lose it there.

 

Preview, Predictions

Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Forget about the first four stages of the 2014 Tour—Stage 5 will be truly unique. The weather conditions haven't been perfect in France in the past few days, and the riders could be facing both rain and wind on Wednesday.

That means slippery cobblestones and a dreadful day of battling uneven roads and praying to avoid mechanical issues, or worse.

Stage 5 isn't about conserving energy for the main contenders and sprinters—Wednesday will be all about survival. If it rains, as is expected, every single rider will be on the edge of his saddle, desperately trying to avoid a fatal crash on the dangerous cobblestones.

Expert Fabian Cancellara told Cycling News he expects "carnage:"

The cobbles are going to be carnage. I hope not, but we've got to be ready for it. I hope nobody crashes and loses a chance of winning the Tour de France because of what happens on the pavé. But it's racing. Roubaix is Roubaix. We all know what it’s like.

I've already been asked if I'll ask for the stage to be neutralised if it rains but this is different. I know that it’s not a nice stage for Froome, Contador, Nibali and even our GC riders. But my reply is: so why not take out the climbs to make it easier for us? That never happens, so it's only right we race on the cobbles. It’s a risk for everyone, including me, but we've got to live with it and calculate the risks involved.

The three-time winner of Paris-Roubaix will be among the favourites for the stage win, particularly given the fact it's almost 110 km shorter than the average Spring Classic.

The Swiss specialist is capable of exploding at any given time, building a 30-second lead in a single sector and keeping that lead even against a strong chasing group.

Peter Sagan is another strong contender, with a similar build to Cancellara. The man in the green will be at the front of the peloton all day long to conserve his points lead, knowing full well competitors like Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel likely won't take that risk.

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - APRIL 13:  Tom Boonen of Belgium and Omega Pharma-QuickStep in action during the 112th edition of the Paris - Roubaix cycle race from Compiegne to Roubaix on April 13, 2014 in Roubaix, France. This year's 257km race includes 28 secteurs
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The same goes for the riders concerned with the general classification. Every single one of them will want to be at the front of the pack to avoid getting involved in a crash, but once the cobblestone sectors begin, the riders from the back will start to push.

Bois de Wallers in particular is notorious for causing crashes, and the GC riders will take note. Expect the specialists to be given free rein for once, as the peloton will be more concerned with safety than the overall leaderboard.

This will open the door for Cancellara to make good on his reputation as a cobblestone-specialist, taking the stage win and the yellow jersey in the process barring mechanical failure.

 

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