Bbox’s Thomas Voeckler won the stage after a start to finish breakaway.  Voeckler was able to get a gap on his 5 other pirate friends on a round about at 5km.  He was able to hold the lead to the line to take the stage.

Voeckler takes the early break to the line with panache

Voeckler takes the early break to the line with panache

Today’s stage was a southwesterly route in the south of France.  The racers battled stiff crosswinds all day that had them on edge.  Riders were battling to get to the front to stay out of trouble.  A group of six escaped including Voeckler, Geslin, Hutarovich, Sapa, Ignatiev and Timmer at about 28km.  The break got a small gap that grew to 1.5 minutes as the peloton stopped on mass for a nature stop.  The lead steadily grew to over 8 minutes.

There were two cat 4 climbs at about the halfway point at which time Astana and Saxo began working on the gap.  Even Cancellara worked to drive the pace.  Saxo’s efforts paid off as the field split into a group of 40 followed by a chase of the remaining riders.  During this time the crosswinds were taking a toll on the lead six that exacerbated the time loss.  The lead was reduced to 40 seconds at the 30km mark.  It wasn’t looking good for the break at that point.  Saxo realized there nothing to work for in that all the top riders were in the lead chase so they let up.  That allowed the six-man break to grow the lead back to 1:40 giving them a chance to bring it home.

At about 6km out, Ignatiev started the jumps.  He tried twice without success.  At just under 5km, Voeckler made a thunderous jump and held it to the line fighting a strong headwind solo for the win.  Ignatiev held on for second as the wildly undulating peloton bore down nearly stealing the spot.  Cavendish led the charge taking third in the process.

No change in the GC.

Ignatiev digs deep to hold second as Cavendish breaths down his neck

Ignatiev digs deep to hold second as Cavendish breaths down his neck

Stage 5 Recap

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Stage 5 Video

ESPN Video

Stage 5 Results

1. Thomas Voeckler Bbox Bouygues Telecom in 4:29:35
2. Mikhail Ignatiev Team Katusha in 4:29:42
3. Mark Cavendish Team Columbia – Htc in 4:29:42 at 00:07
4. Tyler Farrar Garmin – Slipstream in 4:29:42 at 00:07
5. Gerald Ciolek Team Milram in 4:29:42 at 00:07
6. Danilo Napolitano Team Katusha in 4:29:42 at 00:07
7. Joaquin Rojas Jose Caisse D’epargne in 4:29:42 at 00:07
8. Lloyd Mondory Ag2r-La Mondiale in 4:29:42 at 00:07
9. Oscar Freire Rabobank in 4:29:42 at 00:07
10. Thor Hushovd Cervelo Test Team in 4:29:42 at 00:07

Green Jersey Standings

1. Mark Cavendish Team Columbia – Htc 96 points
2. Thor Hushovd Cervelo Test Team 70 points
3. Tyler Farrar Garmin – Slipstream 54 points
4. Gerald Ciolek Team Milram 42 points
5. Thomas Voeckler Bbox Bouygues Telecom 41 points

Overall Standings

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 15:07:49
2. Lance Armstrong Astana
3. Alberto Contador Astana in 15:08:08 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 15:08:12 at 00:23
5. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 15:08:20 at 00:31
6. Bradley Wiggins Garmin – Slipstream in 15:08:27 at 00:38
7. Haimar Zubeldia Astana in 15:08:40 at 00:51
8. Tony Martin Team Columbia – Htc in 15:08:41 at 00:52
9. David Zabriskie Garmin – Slipstream in 15:08:55 at 01:06
10. David Millar Garmin – Slipstream in 15:08:56 at 01:07

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