Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tour De France Stage 5 Report

A Bit of Normality Return’s to the Tour: Cavendish Wins

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma) won the fifth stage of the 2013 Tour De France ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Pro Cycling) and Peter Sagen (Cannondale). It was a near textbook win for the man from the Isle of Man as his team took control of the front of the field from about 6 km out and held on until the finish. At the finish Cavendish was thrilled to get the stage win exclaiming “I’m happy, really, really happy, now the pressure’s kind of off.” The win is Cavendish’s 24th career stage win at the Tour De France and 41st at a Grand Tour.

A Long Day in the Saddle

The fifth stage of the 100th edition of the Tour De France from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille was a long one, coming in at 228.5 km (142 mi.) in length and with four categorized climbs. It appeared that a breakaway might have its day. The day’s breakaway established after just 4km and included former podium finisher at the Giro d’Italia Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and Yukiya Arashiro and Kevin Reza (EuropCar). The break included no former stage winners so the drive was there to survive. As the lead group crested the top of the category 3 Cote de Chateauneuf-Grasse, De Gendt swept up maximum points gaining 2 with Delaplace gaining a single point for coming in second. As the lead sextet drove towards the next climb of the day their lead maxed out at 12’45’’ with 190 km still to race as Orica GreenEdge the team of race leader Simon Gerrans controlled the front of the bunch. As the field began to pick up the pace going into the 3rd hour of racing, De Gendt continued to sweep up all of the prizes up front. Winning the category 4 Col de L’Ange and winning the intermediate sprint in the valley. The field came into the intermediate sprint with blazing speed, as 9 points were still available in the battle for green. Multiple lead out trains were seen across the rode, but it was Andre Greipel (Lotto) who got the best of the rest, with Cavendish and Sagan also scoring points.

A Hectic Finale

As the riders hit 50 km to go, the break still had 6 minutes and riders from the sprinters teams were seen giving Orica some help at the front of the peloton. Right around the same time a small crash occurred in the peloton with Haimar Zubeldia and Andreas Kloden (RadioShack) both needing new bikes. Zubeldia made a brief visit to the doctor’s car, but it appeared to be nothing serious. After the stage Team RadioShack revealed that Zubeldia had broken his wrist and a decision would be made in the morning if he would continue. With 40 km to go the break’s lead was down to 5 minutes and the team of Argos-Shimano was driving on the front of the field. As the break crested the category 4 Cote de bastides Thomas De Gendt again scored maximum points and the riders hit the descent at blazing speed. On the descent the breakaway group began to break up with Arashiro putting in a dig and soon there was only four at the front with Sicard and Delaplace being dropped. 16 km to go and the field was driving up the uncategorized COTE DE X, when disaster struck with a crash involving about 15 riders happened at the front of the field. Brent Bookewalter (BMC) was seen picking up his bike and Christian Vande Velde was seen sitting in the grass holding his shoulder. Both riders would finish the stage. Also, held up in the pile-up was fast man and stage 1 winner Marcel Kittle. With 11.5 km the infighting began for quartet and strong man Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma) was going crazy at the front of the field, with the time gap tumbling down. As the field, controlled by Omega Pharma, went under 5km to go the break was caught and the sprinters began cueing up behind Cavendish. Andre Greipel’s Lotto team had plans of there own and it became a two man drag race with Lotto on the right side of the rode and Omega Pharma on the left side of the rode. As the group hit the long sweeping left turn with 500 meters to go Cavendish still had two lead out men. With 200 meters to go a huge crash held up most of the bunch, but the sprinters were going full gas with Cavendish coming out on top.  Simon Gerrans retained the yellow jersey still tied on time with two of his teammates

A Long List of Injuries

The line to see the race doctor continued to grow with a crash just 200 meters from the line claiming at least one victim. Maxime Bouet (FDJ) had to abandon the Tour with a broken arm. Tejay Van Garderen also hit the deck during that stage, but told the press he was a o.k. and it was just a “stupid crash.” There is no other bike race like it in the world so a rider’s pain tolerance increases just that much.

Update on Ted King: Many fans woke up this morning with hopes of seeing Ted King starting the stage and the Race jury reversing his disqualification for missing the previous days time cut. They were in for a disappoint as Ted King boarded the Cannondale team bus for the finish and not his bike. King was very emotional talking to reporters before the stage. His parents had just flown into Marseille to watch him race.

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