Simon Gerrans started stage 5 of the Tour de France in Cagnes-sur-Mer dressed proudly in yellow, and he kept cycling's most famous maillot for another day after some hard work by his Orica-GreenEdge teammates.
Gerrans emerged from the Orica-GreenEdge team bus with a smile as big and as bright as his yellow jersey. He also had matching yellow shorts and yellow helmet and a yellow SRM power metre unit on his handlebars. He was easy to spot in the peloton and so got plenty of applause and cheers from the roadside.
The Australia team was quietly hoping that Matt Goss could complete a hat trick of stage victories but he was not in the 154-rider front group. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took his first win as British national champion in Marseille, with Gerrans finishing 15th. He was only two places behind his teammate Daryl Impey and so remains atop the general classification.
Impey is second, and Michael Albasini, also of Orica-GreenEdge is third, both in the same time. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is fourth overall and best young rider at one second.
"Today we had two objectives: To try and win a stage with Matt Goss and to keep the yellow jersey. Obviously the first one didn't go so well. Goss got distanced, I think on the final climb. But the second objective went pretty well. I still have the yellow jersey on my shoulders" Gerrans said after pulling on a new yellow jersey.
The Orica-GreenEdge team did much of the work on the front of the peloton during the 228.5km stage, chasing the breakaway. The yellow jersey is prestigious and a highlight of any rider's career but it also comes with responsibility and a need for hard work from the team.
"Ouch that tickled. Big feed needed tonight. Thanks for the helping hand today headwind. Defending yellow so looking forward to it again," tweeted Gerrans teammate Cameron Meyer.
The riders in green and gold will have to do it all over again on Thursday's stage 6 from Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier.
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