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July 06, 2011

Stage 5 Preview: 164.5km Carhaix to Cap Frehel

The focus of today's stage will be HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish. Winner of 15 sprint stages of the Tour in the past three years, Cavendish missed out in Stage 3, this year's first pure sprint, and finds himself more than 30 points behind some of his expected rivals in the green jersey hunt.

Garmin's Jonathan Vaughters still says the green jersey isn't a team goal, but Tyler Farrar suggested yesterday he's in that contest, taking an intermediate field sprint ahead of Cavendish when it looked like Cavendish was perfectly set up for the points. Today's intermediate sprint is at Goudelin, 70k/43.5 miles into the stage, and could be worth as much as 20 points if the field were together at that point. The finish at Cap Fréhel will be worth 45 points. Smart money is on Mark Cavendish for the win, with Tyler Farrar, José Rojas, or Romain Feillu in with a shot.

Wind will likely play a role in the field. We could see contenders caught behind a field split, or riders hitting the deck as teams try to avoid one.

We'll have just a single 1-pt 4th Category climb, 45.5 kms/28 miles into the stage, so barring mishap, Cadel Evans will hold the polka-dot jersey tomorrow morning.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2011 in 2011 Stage 5 | Permalink

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