On the startline in Epernay

Photos from today's start at the Tour de France

With the battle for the yellow taking a back seat until the weekend, today's 187.5km fth stage from Epernay - Montargis is another opportunity for the Tour de France sprinters to shine.

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini)) is on the look out for his third win of this year's race and how many of us thought we’d be saying that back in Rotterdam? While Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) will be looking to improve on a disappointing result yesterday and extend his lead in the green jersey.

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) is still searching for his first win in the race, while the likely suspects of Oscar Friere (Rabobank), Gerald Ciolek (Milram) and Robbie McEwen (Katusha) will also be in the hunt.

It was hot at the start in Epernay but the riders were ready for another day in the saddle.

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