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On the startline in Epernay

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Team Sky's spares.

Team Sky's spares.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Armstrong makes his way past the crowds of fans.

Armstrong makes his way past the crowds of fans.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) signs on

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) signs on
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack)

Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andreas Kloeden (Radioshack)

Andreas Kloeden (Radioshack)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Steven Cummings (Sky) signs some autographs

Steven Cummings (Sky) signs some autographs
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Thomas Lofvkist (Sky)

Thomas Lofvkist (Sky)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador (Astana) heads out for sign-in on stage 5.

Alberto Contador (Astana) heads out for sign-in on stage 5.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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German champion Christian Knees (Milram)

German champion Christian Knees (Milram)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Radioshack bikes await the riders.

The Radioshack bikes await the riders.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong's spare on the top of the car.

Lance Armstrong's spare on the top of the car.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The cars are loaded and ready to go.

The cars are loaded and ready to go.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Jérôme Pineau in the mountains jersey

Jérôme Pineau in the mountains jersey
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The crush of fans surround the Radioshack bus as Lance Armstrong heads out.

The crush of fans surround the Radioshack bus as Lance Armstrong heads out.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Stuart O'Grady checks his bike

Stuart O'Grady checks his bike
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Andy Schleck meets the media outside the team bus

Andy Schleck meets the media outside the team bus
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Andy Schleck's chances took a battering when his brother Frank crashed out of the race

Andy Schleck's chances took a battering when his brother Frank crashed out of the race
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Andy Schleck gets ready for stage 5

Andy Schleck gets ready for stage 5
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Jens Voigts always gives good quotes

Jens Voigts always gives good quotes
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Hey, Hunter. Why not try throwing a punch at me next time?

Hey, Hunter. Why not try throwing a punch at me next time?
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Matti Breschel and Chris Anker Sørensen at the start

Matti Breschel and Chris Anker Sørensen at the start
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank) is a domestique deluxe

Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank) is a domestique deluxe
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) was all smiles

Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) was all smiles
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Jérôme Pineau in the mountains jersey

Jérôme Pineau in the mountains jersey
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
(Image credit: Hedwig Kröner)

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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