July 09, 2008
Cavendish makes good on Stage 5
Legendary Tour de France commentator Joe Namath once said, “It's not bragging if you can do it.”
That's the motto for today's stage, the first (but doubtful the last) won by Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish.
Everybody and his brother thought today was a stage for Mark Cavendish. Team manager Bob Stapleton was even talking about whether his Team Columbia would be able to get help chasing down the breaks today.
It's insanely difficult for a sprinter to pick his stage -- it's so easy for someone to grab his wheel, and slingshot by for the win at the line. But Cavendish delivered the win in a finish complicated by the catch, at 50 meters (!) of French champion Nicolas Vogondy, who spent all day in the break.
Stage 5 results
1) Mark Cavendish, Columbia, Great Britain
2) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, same time
3) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, s.t.
4) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, s.t.
5) Baden Cooke, Barloworld, Australia, s.t.
6) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, S. Africa, s.t.
7) Leonardo “El” Duque, Cofidis, Colombia, s.t
8) Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto, Australia, s.t.
9) Francesco Chicchi, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
10) Julian Dean, Garmin-Chipotle, New Zealand, s.t.
There was essentially no change in the yellow, white, or polka-dot jersey competition, but Thor Hushovd takes over the green with his 4th on the stage.
General Classification after Stage 5
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, Germany, in 19:32:33
2) Kim Kirchen, Columbia, Luxembourg, @ :12
3) David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle, Great Britain, @ :12
4) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, Australia, @ :21
5) Fabian Cancellara, CSC-Saxo Bank, Switzerland, @ :33
6) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle, USA, @ :37
7) Georgie Hincapie, Team Columbia, USA, @ :41
8) Thomas Lövkvist, Team Columbia, Sweden, @ :47
9) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, Italy, @ :58
10) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 1:01
Out of the race today was Maurcio Soler of Barloworld. Gerolsteiner's Heinrich Haussler took a serious spill with less than 4 kms to ride, but finished the stage 6:30 behind Cavendish.