Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 5 of the Tour de France.
We're at a chaotic start in Ypres for one of the most hotly anticipated stages of the Tour in recent years as the peloton takes on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. We're around 40 minutes from the official start and the rain in falling and we've already had confirmation that two of the nine sectors of cobbles have been taken out of the stage: sectors five and seven.
Former Team Sky rider Juan Antonio Flecha has just come off the team bus. Lets try and get a quick word with him.
“Chris Froome is looking good and his wrist isn’t troubling him too much. He has a special set-up on his bars with extra gel and bar tape to reduce impact. Chris has the same mechanic that I had on the team and he set up my bike when I came into Roubaix with a broken wrist so Chris is in good hands.
Dave Brailsford has also just left the Team Sky bus. "It think it’s a wise decision and the safety of the riders has to be put first. It’s a wise decision given the weather. Proportionally it will make it safer and it’s the same for everyone. Chris is sore, his wrist is sore so it’s not ideal but he’s in the right frame of mind and he’s a fighter. He’ll battle through."
“The race jury called me and they asked me to inform the teams that sectors five and seven would be removed from the route due to weather. If there are other changes then that’s up to the jury. Safety is one of the most important things for us so it’s a good call,” AIGCP managing director Luuc Eisenga told Cyclingnews.
However it seems that not all the teams or all the riders were happy to see the sectors cut. Sp Vanmarcke has been on Twitter this morning and as you might expect has called on ASO to run the full route. Vanmarcke is of course one of the riders looking for a hard stage, given that his talents perfectly suit the stage.
As of noon local time, the other seven stretches of cobbles on the parcours were set to be tackled as originally planned, starting with the Carrefour de l’Arbre with 69 kilometres remaining.
The removal of the two sectors reduces the total amount of cobbles on the stage from 15.4 kilometres to 13 kilometres.
The stage to Arenberg brings the Tour peloton through terrain covered by Paris-Roubaix for the first time since 2010. On the corresponding stage four years ago, Fränk Schleck was forced out of the race with a broken collarbone, while a number of other pre-race favourites suffered setbacks in their bids for overall honours.
Due to bad weather and road conditions, two cobbled sectors have been removed from stage 5. They are sector 7, the 1,000-metres stretch of cobbles at Mons-en-Pévèle, and sector 5, which is the 1,400-metres long portion from Orchies to Beuvry-la-Forêt. It takes the total of pavés sections down to 13 kilometres but the race will remain highly attractive!
The penultimate pavé sector, Wandignies-Hamage à Hornaing, is the longest of the entire race. This 3.7-kilometre section has a four star rating and is an ideal place to launch an attack, especially if your rivals are looking uncomfortable.
When the race hit the cobbles in 2010, it wreaked havoc in the peloton. Fränk Schleck managed to make it over two sectors before the third - Sars-et-Rosières – ended his race. His brother Andy fared better, using the wheel of Roubaix master Fabian Cancellara. Team-mates will be hugely important on this stage, if the GC boys hope to get through unscathed.
In terms of the stage victory, Omega Pharma-QuickStep will be one of the favourites, with reigning Paris-Roubaix champion Niki Terpstra in their midst. They will have to keep in mind their GC contender Michal Kwiatkowski.
The riders and teams are signing on as the rain falls and the roll out is set for 13:45, so roughly 15 minutes from now.
Pre-stage favourite Fabian Cancellara is in fighting spirits, having talked to CN's Stephen Farrand at the start line: "We go, we race, warriors always race. There are two sectors less but t won't change anything. It's going to be a mess, a roulette, a race."
Pre-stage favourite Fabian Cancellara is in fighting spirits, having talked to CN's Stephen Farrand at the start line: "We go, we race, warriors always race. There are two sectors less but t won't change anything. It's going to be a mess, a roulette, a race."
Ahead of the stage Barry Ryan has picked out the main contenders for the stage. There's an interesting dynamic within the list as some of the riders may need to ride for their team's GC riders. One rider who doesnt have that concern is Fabian Cancellara. You can read the full list of favourites for today, right here.
Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome has just signed on. The British rider crashed yesterday and had several medical check-ups after the stage. Today is a huge test for his left wrist which took the brunt of the fall.
"I had a crash yesterday which isn’t the best situation before today’s cobbles but I’m happy to be starting and I think that we have a great team. I slept well last night. The wrist is going to be painful today and that’s the big test but there’s going to be pain for everyone."
Sky have brought couple of classics experts to the race this year, in fact most teams have at least one or two riders suited to the stage. Alberto Contador will be looking for the experienced Matteo Tosatto, who is riding his 29th Grand Tour. Contador of course rode the cobbles in the Tour in 2010 and finished well. If it wasn't for a late mechanical he would have finished in the lead group. Will he be the hammer or will he be the nail?
The stage is underway with a break slipping clear already.
The break contains around seven riders and the gap is over 20 seconds with Lotto, Omega, BMC, Astana, Orica all represented. On the front of the peloton Astana have positioned three riders to set the pace, with Nibali neatly tucked in, his yellow jersey covered by a rain jacket. The cobbles are still some way off, around 70-80 km from here.
Two riders are trying to bridge up to the early break as the rain continues to fall as the race heads north.
You’ve got to be offensive. If you’re sitting in 10th position then it’s better to be sitting fifth and if your sitting fifth position then it’s better to be sitting third, so you always have to fight no matter where you are.
I think just staying glued to my teammates wheels. They’re experts, they know the task and I just need to stay glued to their wheel.
Orica have two men in the move with Hayman and Clarke there. BMC have Burghardt and Gallopin is there for Lotto. Rather interestingly Rein Taaramäe is also in the lead break.
Here's the complete break: Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Mat Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge), Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp), Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
For an early break it's stacked with power and talent, with world time trial champion in the mix.
The break has 1'10 over the main field with 136km to go. The wind has also picked up so the conditions are getting worse with the race cars with their lights on full beam. We're in for a truly epic stage today.
At the front of the field Netapp, Sky, BMC, Astana and Saxo are already looking to keep their GC riders out of trouble. Cancellara is near the front too. He doesn't have to ride for a Schleck(s) as he did in 2010 and he's going all out to win the stage. He was so prominent last time the race tackled cobbles in 2010 but sacrificed his chances to help his team.
Here's where we stand on GC coming into the stage. Nibali leads but only just:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 17:07:52
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:02
3 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
Chavanel led coming into the cobbled stage in 2010 but had a nightmare with falls and mechanicals. Nibali will of course be hoping for a calmer stage. He'll need a lot of luck for that to happen because the weather is only getting worse.
Here's how the cobbled Tour de France stage finished in 2010. Cancellara moved into yellow at the finish.
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 4:49:38
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions
5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank
7 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:53
8 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
10 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
11 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
12 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:01:13
Herman Frison has said that the teams were not informed about the specific details of the adapted course. "We only know that we will reach the remaining cobbled sectors from the same direction."
Frisson feels the two sectors were not too dangerous. "The second sector in the race is the worst to me and that one is kept in the race. It will be a spectacular race but one might wonder if it has its place in the Tour. The wind will be a big factor too."
Nibali has never raced Roubaix and most of his team lack experience too when it comes to the cobbles. Nibali though is one of the best bike handlers in the world so that alone will count for a lot on the stage. He's riding well at the moment, at the front, and keeping out of trouble but the real test will come when the peloton sprint towards the first sector. You want to be in first or second wheel at that point but of course that's where everyone wants to be.
And there's a crash in the main field with an FDj rider down and Froome is down too.
The Sky rider is back on his bike but he he's crashed for the second stage in row. 119km to go and hthe medical car is with him again.
It looks like he has a new bike and he's chasing back to the peloton right now with a BMC rider. The team car is up with him and he's having a few words. It looks like he came down on the right side this time with his shorts cut.
Froome now has a Cofidis rider with him and finally a rider from Sky has dropped back to help him. He's lost a minute on the bunch but they should slow up for him. And now more Sky riders are helping him back.
Astana and Saxo are at the front of the peloton, keeping their men out of trouble.
There are now four riders with Froome and the gap to the bunch is at a minute.
Meanwhile the lead break has 1'30 over the Nibali peloton.
The rain, the crashes, the injuries, this is all starting to look like Wiggins' 2013 Giro d'Italia for Chris Froome.
And now Tony Martin has crashed according to race radio.
Acevedo has apparently fallen too.
As we see Froome and his Sky are coming back through the team cars.
Acevedo is on his bike but has now been caught by the bunch.
Froome is starting to make contact with the back of the bunch. At the very least his fall came early in the stage, when the pressure isn't that intense and the bunch have eased up enough to let him and his teammates make contact.
After his fall Martin is coming back towards the break but he's 25 seconds down. Froome now needs to move to the front of the peloton and make sure that he has his teammates with him. Burghardt is now sitting up it seems. Perhaps BMC think it's so dangerous out there that they need him back, especially as the break only has 1'37.
Eisel and Porte have moved Froome to the front again as we see Astana to continue to set the pace.
Find out the news on Froome's crash, right here.
The rain continues to fall as we head into the final 100km of racing. There's around 30km to go until the first cobbled section. As Martin and Dumoulin make contact with the break.
There looks to have been a split in the peloton but everything is coming back together.
A number of riders are having comfort breaks as we see Froome once again near the rear of the field. For the first time today Sagan's Cannondale team are near the front of the bunch.
Into the final 95km and the bunch has eased up slightly with the gap to the break up to 2'19.
Nibali has played it perfectly so far with a man in the move and his team setting the pace on the front of the peloton. He's positioned his riders well and covered the bases, a vital play in a stage that could flip on its head at any moment.
BMC are near the front too, with van Garderen out of the wind. When the American turned pro back in 2010 he asked his then team, HTC, to send him to cobbled races and he did a number of races in Belgium. That experience will help him during today but he also has a team full of Classics experience.
Peter Sagan's Cannondale have now assumed control on the front of the bunch. The Slovak is a key favourite for today and will be gunning for the stage win, his first in the race so far this year. A good result would almost certainly extend his lead in the green jersey ahead of his rivals.
Movistar have moved up alongside Cannondale as the rain continues to fall on the bunch. Sagan now has his entire team on the front of the bunch as they race towards the first section of cobbles.
Greipel has fallen but he's now back on his bike and chasing. There's a big group off the back of the bunch though so he has company. We've not even hit the cobbles and riders are all over the place.
We're approaching the first sector, the Carrefour de l'Arbre, which of course is such a key feature to Paris-Roubaix.
It's all Cannondale on the front at the moment as Tony Martin drops back to his team car from the break.
Astana have Nibali wrapped up in support as we see Contador move up with a couple of teammates. Froome isnt' near the front at the moment.
Valverde is near the front, we can see BMC look after van Garderen but there are no Sky riders near the front of the bunch. That's a worrying sign at the moment for Froome and his teammates. He needs to be at the front and if he's not there, then why not? Did he pick up more injuries from the early fall?
A right hand corner and there's another fall with an AG2R rider but now there's another crash and this one is much bigger.
The second fall was near the front and Kittel is down.
He just lost his front wheel and a number of riders came down as they hit the brakes.
The German is up and on his bike and Demare is also down.
We're not even on the cobbles yet and it's almost complete carnage.
Riders are sliding out at nearly every corner but Cannondale continue to set the pace.
It looks like Froome has moved up towards the front but he's on his own at the moment.
Demare is chasing back to the bunch so he's back up at least.
A few more Sky riders have moved up as well with Thomas, Eisel and Froome there. Demare is now two minutes down on the peloton.
And Sky have replaced Cannondale at the head of the bunch with Nibali and Froome close to each other.
Cannodale sweep over Sky and lead the race. Rui Costa is up there too, and there's another fall.
There are two falls in fact and Sky have another rider down but it's not Froome. Cancellara is down though.
Chavanel came down with Cancellara in fact.
Valverde is chasing back with his team and van Garderen too so it looks like both of those riders were involved in that crash.
That last crash came with 69km to go as we see BMC and Movistar bring their leaders back to the bunch.
And there's a group of around 20 riders off the front but race radio says that Froome is down again.
Froome is standing up but he looks is real pain.
He just cant' hold the bars.
I think he's done.
Froome is shaking his head and hold his wrist. They're trying to get him a bike but I think he might get in the car at this stage.
He doesnt want a bike and he's going to get in a team car.
The door is open, he's getting in. Chris Froome is out of the 2014 Tour de France. The race has lost the defending champion.
What a massive blow for Froome and Team Sky. He's fallen twice today and it was clear that couldn't hold the bars.
And meanwhile the leaders are on the first sector of cobbles.
They line out as they hit the sector with a gap of 2'04 with 65km to go.
The bunch has split again as they hit the first sector too. Nibali is right up there along with Contador and it's Saxo who lead the peloton.
It looks like Sagan and his group are clear of the Contador/Nibali group and we have 63km to go.
Saxo have a couple of riders on the front. It now looks like Sagan is with the GC favourites but there are groups all over the road at the moment.
In case you're just joining us Chris Froome is out of the Tour de France. The defending champion crashed twice in the stage and was forced out to due to his injuries. It looked like he couldnt grip the bars. The team tried to get him back on another bike but he's now in a car and leaving the race. You can read the full story, right here.
4km to go until the intermediate sprint as we see Tinkoff set the pace at the front of the maillot jaune group. Nibali is there to but van Garderen and Valverde are chasing back after a crash. There are splts everywhere and we still have 58km to go.
Tinkoff are riding on the front of the yellow jersey group but it looks like van Garderen is in a group just ahead of Valverde. The Contador/van Garderen/Valverde groups have about 45 seconds between them.
We see Froome now in the Team Sky car, still with helmet on as he comes to terms with what's played out today.
It looks like Valverde is close to making contact with the Contador/Nibali group.
Talansky is in the Contador group as wee see BMC and van Garderen make contact with the yellow jersey group as well.
Thomas is now at the front and he has Porte on his wheel. Will Thomas be allowed to ride for himself or will he now have to look after the Australian for the day? It will be interesting to see how and when Sky issue a plan B.
Langeveld is on the front now with Talansky on his wheel as the bunch race towards the next sector of cobbles. The break has just reached sector 8.
And now the peloton hit the sector with each corner a risk as we see Contador being led by a teammate.
Vanmarcke is forcing a split as we see Contador take it slower through the sector. He will need his team around him again once they get through the sector has up ahead Vanmarcke leads a group that contains Nibali.
More splits through sector 8 as Nibali makes it through about 9 seconds up on Contador. As you'd expect Astana hit the front as they look to distance Contador.
Contador looks to be on his own but he'll need to work because he's losing time to his main rival. Garmin have Talansky with Nibali so they are helping to put time into the Spaniard.
Nibali is even taking turns on the front because he knows that with 45km to go this could be a real chance.
Contador now has a teammate with him but Nibali is in a really strong position here and he's getting help from several other teams.
Lotto have joined Astana on the front and there are 28 riders in the yellow jersey group. Cancellara is here, Nibali, Talansky too but we see Contador has been dropped and his chasing with his team. He's around 45 seconds down.
Astana, Lotto and Garmin have linked up and they're putting time into Contador and van Garderen and there's no sign of Valverde at the moment.
Sagan is with Nibali and it looks like Mollema is in that group too.
The leading six riders are still working well together but all eyes right now are on Contador and Nibali as the break hit sector 6.
Contador is still around 40 seconds down on Nibali.
Nibali's group hit sector 6 with 38km to go and there's a crash.
A Lotto rider over cooks a corner and he's down. Talansky too we hear.
Valverde it seems is with the Contador group and it's van den broeck who has crashed from the Nibali group.
Nibali is pushing on though with his Astana team. It's all going right for the race leader at the moment has we Boom and Vanmarcke clear of Nibali.
Nibali is chasing but he's still ahead of Contador and Valverde.
There are so many groups all over the road though with Nibali in a group ahead of Contador Valverde and van Garderen.
Nibali has a teammate all infront of him but the Italian keeps it together. He has to stop but he's riding now.
The latest time check has Contador at over a minute down on Nibali despite that problem for the Astana man. The race is turning on its head right now.
Vanmarcke and Boom are together and chasing the early break but behind them the GC contenders are fighting to stay in the race.
Sagan is back with his team car but he's still in the mix along with Cancellara and there's around 20 riders in the Nibali group. There are three or for Astana men with him.
Contador has group with Valverde and Rui Costa so they have the firepower to chase.
That crash for Talansky and Van den Broeck was a slice of luck for Contador because it meant that Lotto and Garmin stopped riding.
Contador though is still a minute down on Nibali. Tinkoff are using the flat sections between the cobbles do to the work but they're running out of ground as there's less than 30km to go.
We're almost at sector 4 and the early break has been caught. BMC have linked up with the Contador group, which is now 1'16 down on the yellow jersey.
It seems that Nibali is the only GC rider in that lead group but Omega are up there too with a number of riders. Sagan and Cancellara are there too. Vanmarcke and the early break have been caught.
Nibali couldn't wish to be in a better position right now as Omega with Tony Martin help to set the pace. BMC, Saxo, Europcar, Movistar are all chasing now.
There's 15 riders in the Nibali group, at least four of them from Omega as they lead onto sector 4.
This is a short section and Nibali is having a great rider as he follows some of the best Classics riders in the World.
It looks like Van den Broeck and Talansky have their own group in between the Nibali and Contador groups.
Contador is now 1'09 down on Nibali.
Nibali is now going around QuickStep riders as Boom sets the pace with Sagan behind him.
Boom is the first rider through the end of the sector but he's waiting for the rest of the group to come back up to him.
Cancellara is there too but he's swarmed by Omega riders. There are so many battles within battles as we head towards the final 20km of the stage. Two more sectors of cobbles still remain.
And they're onto sector 3 and now Sagan hits the front.
Nibali and Astana keep at their own pace as Sagan leads out a small split.
Westra who was in the break, closes that gap for Nibali.
And now the Contador group hit sector 3. No time checks at the moment.
Sagan has been brought back and Astana take over setting the pace.
Now there's a time check and Contador is now 1'53 down on Nibali with 18km to go.
Contador is in all kinds of trouble but Michal Kwiatkowski and Renshaw are both in the Nibali group. Trentin too, and Cancellara and Sagan.
Van Garderen, Contador, Rui Costa, Valverde are all losing serious time at the moment.
There's real panic in the Contador group because they're losing more and more time with Westra taking a huge turn on the front for the Nibali group.
Talansky has teammates with him but he's losing time on Nibali too. Not as much as Contador though.
Talansky is 1'30 down on Nibali, Contador now at 2'02 as we race into the final 15km of the stage. Nibali's group is down to less than 10 riders but they're gaining more and more time.
Thomas has attacked from the Contador group with Porte on his wheel.
Westra is having the ride of his life as he takes Nibali towards the finish.
Westra is now clear with Fuglsang and Nibali. One, two, three for Astana. They're dropping the best Classic riders in the world and Sagan is forced to chase.
Boom has made it over so we now have one non-Astana rider in the lead.
It looks like a Movistar rider has fallen back in the Contador group as we see Astana stamp their authority all over this race. They could go one, two, three at the finish at this race.
Contador is now 2'18 down on Nibali with 10km to go.
As you might expect Boom is just sitting in as Cancellara and Sagan work together.
Now we have three riders in the lead as Westra pulls over, leading Nibali, Fuglsang and Boom.
Cancellara and Sagan are chasing and they'r forced to work together from a small group that contains the KOM leader.
And Boom takes a turn on the front for the first time in a while.
Nibali works too because he wants to put more time into his GC riders. He and his team have simply been in total command.
And Boom makes his move on the final sector as Fuglsang slows and Nibali chases.
Boom is on his own though and he's got a gap on Sagan.
It looks as though Contador, Rui Costa and Van Garderen are in a group that's over two minute down.
Contador's group are closing on the Talansky group though, even though they're 2'13 down.
Boom is clear with around 5km to go but Fuglsang and Nibali are riding a two up TT towards the finish.
Sagan and Cancellara can't get back at this stage as we see Boom head towards the biggest win of his career. He has around 4km to go before the finish.
Contador is losing more and more time though as he's 2'27 down on Boom.
And now Contador is 2'30 down on Nibali.
Thomas and Porte have made another move though and they're looking to put time into Contador as well.
Boom sprints out of a corner and then gets back into TT mode. He's heading for the first Dutch winner of a Tour stage since 2005.
Talansky is pushing on alone as well. This has been one of the most brutal days in recent Tour history. The American is chasing down Porte and Thomas.
And Contador is on his own too. He's giving it everything but up ahead Boom is into the last Km.
Here comes the Belkin rider, with just 500m to go.
A great ride from Boom, a well deserved stage win for the Dutch rider. What a day for Holland to take their first Tour stage since 2005.
Nibali and Fuglsang come over the line.
Sagan should finish fourth as he sits on Cancellara's wheel.
And Sagan takes fourth on the stage.
No sign of Contador as the clock ticks by. The Tinkoff rider could lose close to three minutes.
That looks like Van den Broeck coming over the line and Porte and Thomas too.
That might have been van Garderen it's so hard to see through the rain as Contador is closing on the line.
Contador has lost nearly three minutes to Nibali.
All we have so far on GC is that Nibali leads Fuglsang by two seconds with Sagan at 44 seconds.
1 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:18:35
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:19
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:01:01
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing
6 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica Greenedge
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:07
8 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:01:09
9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:21
10 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:45
Results show Contador finished 2’54” down. #TDF
@opqscyclingteam Wed, 9th Jul 2014 16:21:44
General classification after stage 5
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 20:26:46
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:02
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:44
4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:50
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:17
6 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:45
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
8 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:01:54
9 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:02:05
10 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:11
In terms of the GC Nibali is of coure the biggest winner. A strong ride from Kwiatkowski, who was kept out of trouble by his Omega team. Astana were simply dominant, in numbers and racing style. They hit the front when it mattered and even the best classics riders in the world, like Cancellara and Sagan, had no answer.
Chris Froome of course lost the most today, he's out of the race after crashing twice in the stage. You can read about the defending champion, right here. The British team fought on though and Porte is still in the top ten. He'll now be the team's GC rider for the next two weeks.
Richie Porte now sits eighth overall at the #TDF, 1' 54" behind the yellow jersey after five stages. Chapeau to Nibali today.
@TeamSky Wed, 9th Jul 2014 16:23:07
Contador, he's still in the race, but he's lost in the region of three minutes to Nibali and has dropped out of the top ten. He never really looked comfortable and lost time when the likes of Valverde and Talansky left him behind. His race isn't over but he's going to have to attack just to pull himself back into contention. You can find our brief results, photos and report, right here.
Nibali is talking to the press at the finish:
"I'm going to get a very good rest now. It was an unbelieveable day today. I took a lot of risks and there was a moment I nearly fell off.
"I feel our tactics were spot on sending Westra in the break. He was very strong, Fuglsang was very good as well."
"It's been a great day for me today, definitely. I need ot try to not take too many risks from now on. Alberto will be gunning for me from now on, for sure."
Sagan: "It's good I took some points from the other sprinters. I"m a little bit disappointed, because I was dropped from Astana and Boom. It was my mistake. I'm happy I didn't crash."
We now have full results with our race report, right here.
Thanks for joining us today. We'll have news and race reactions on the home very soon and we'll be back tomorrrow for complete race coverage from stage 6.