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On the startline in Epernay

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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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.