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Criterium du Dauphine 2017: Stage 5

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Bonjour and welcome to another sunny day of racing in south-east France. 

As usual we will have full coverage of all the action.

The riders hsave rolled out from the start area and are currently in the neutralised sector. 

Speaking just before the start, Chris Froome has dismissed reports that he has discussed signing for BMC as 'complete rubbish'.

There are six categorized climbs during today's stage, making for a tough day out before the three decisive mountain stages.

The riders face 7.5km of neutralised riding before the flag drops. 

We are expected a series of sattacks on the first clmib as riders try to spark the break of the day. They know the overall contenders and their teams will be hoping for a quiet day in the peloton.

The flag drops and they're off!

The only non-starter today in Ian Stannard of Team Sky.

Surprisdingly or perhaps not, race leader Thomas De Gendt was one of the first to attack as he chases climber's points.

However his effort paid off as De Gendt was first over the top of the côte de Belmont-d'Azergues.

As this photo from Seb Piquet in the Radio Tour car behind the peloton, the sun is out for stage 5. 

From the CN blimp we can see lots of attacks of thr front of the peloton but other tams are chasing the moves.

Simon Clarke of Cannondale inspired a six rider attack but they are quickly pulled back.

Julien El Farès is theDelko rider on the attack. He has been joined by three others, including polka dot jersey wearer Koen Bouwman.

However the gap is up to 40 seconds.

The peloton appears to have eased and the gap is up to 1:40. We have a break of the day.

The gap is gup to 2:00 as the FDJ team lead the chase.

This shot from Seb Piquet shows the team cars passing the peloton to go across to the break away.

Today's 175km stage skirts the hills along the western side of the Rhone valley.

Near the small town of Belleville the route heads into the hills before a loop clockwise towards Macon.

With rolling roads through the vineyards, it is a typical transition stage that shoul offer some great racing as the brezk tries to stay away from the peloton and the sprinters.

The break continues to extend its lead as FDJ lead the chase.

It's a busy day for racing with stage 2 of the Women's Tour in Britain also under way. 

The breakaway riders are approaching the Cat 4 Cote du Régnié-Durette.

As expected, Koen Bouwman scored the one KOM point at the top of the Cote du Régnié-Durette.

 Katusha are moving up towards the front of the bunch. This is potentially their last clear chance at a stage win today and they don't want the breakaway to outsmart them today. 

The leaders are onto the third climb of the day the Col du Fut d'Avenas. It's an 8.8km ascent with an average gradient of 5 per cent. There are five points on offer at the top with points available for the first four over the top. By virtue of being in this four-man break Bouwman will move into the lead of the mountains classification on this climb. 

Including this coming climb, there are a total of eight points still up for grabs on this stage. There are 18 on offer tomorrow so Bouwman may have to go on the attack early tomorrow to protect his lead. 

Dan Martin has dropped back to the medical car. It's just an insect bite for the Quick-Step rider so he'll be fine to carry on. 

The gap edges out just a little for the leaders, who are now ahead of the peloton by 5:15. The peloton appears more than happy with this advantage while up front Bouwman takes the points to move into the virtual lead of the mountains competition. 

De Gendt is unlikely to worry too much about his position in the mountains classification today as he's got the yellow jersey to try and keep a hold of. De Gendt has a solid lead but his chances of taking it all the way to the finish are slim. 

Sunweb's Sam Oomen is currently sitting ninth overall and wearing the white jersey of the young rider's classification. Cyclingnews caught up with the 21-year-old yesterday after a solid ride in the time trial. Read what he had to say here

The leaders have gone over the top of the Côte d'Ouroux and Bouwman has collected another point for his collection. The lead remains stable for now. 

If you haven't done it yet, have a listen of our latest podcast following the time trial yesterday. In it, we hear from stage winner Richie Porte, Chris Froome and more. You can find the podcast here

The riders have been out there for two hours now and the average speed after that time is 39kph. 

Another point for Bouwman. He's got one more left to collect at the Col du Bois Clair. It comes just over 30km to the finish, but the peloton should let the break stay out until then. 

The peloton has passed through La Clayette where Edvald Boasson Hagen won a stage of the 2012 Criterium du Dauphine. Can he take a victory today?

The gap to the escapees has dropped down to five minutes with just under 90km of today's stage remaining. 

The lead of the break stays at 5:00 after the hills in the middle of the stage.

It will be fascinating to see who picks up the chase in the finale. 

The Bahrain-Merida are hoping that Sonny Colbrelli can get a result and so will be oblgied to help the chase.

Demare is wearing the green points jersey and so will also chase.

70km remaining from 175km

Meanwhile, in Switzerland the GP du canton d'Argovie or GP Gippengen, is underway.

We have a more serious chase now, with FDj, Dimension Data and Katusha lading the chase. 

The Dimension Data is riding for Edvald Boasson Hagen's chances in the sprint.

The break opened a maximum lead of 5:20 earlier but it is down to 3:40 now.

These are the four attacker of the day.

Behind the peloton riders are loading up with bidons for the expected high-speed finale.

Julien El Fares enjoys a can of cola after stocking up from the team car. It has been a hot day out there again.

Sadly El Fares threw hus enpty can into the grass rather than into his team car.

35km remaining from 175km

As expected Bouwman is first to the summit of the last climb, taking another point. He has 24 points now and so takes the leader from De Gendt and will wear the red polka-dot jersey by right today on the pdoium and then during Friday's first big mountain stage.

As the peloton crests the climb some riders take bidons from their teams to esnure they are hydrated in the final 30km.

The French countryside is stunning today, with rolling fields of vines and sunflowers. Both are still green and growing.

Bouwman has paid for his efforts in the last few days. He's been dropped from the break. Fortunately he knows he has the climber's jersey.

We studied the bikes and equipment used during Tuesday's key time trial. 

18km remaining from 175km

Indeed El Fares also sits up and takes a long drink from his bidon.

Van Baarle still looks strong. He was fourth at the Tour of Flanders.

Minnaard has also crsacked, leaving van Baarle out front alone. He has just 40 seconds on the peloton.

This is a low def image of the techincally difficult finish.

11km remaining from 175km

Van Baarle leads by just 15 seconds as the sprinter trains begin to flex their muscles. This is gonig to be a high-speed finish.

6km remaining from 175km

Pete Kennaugh leads the peloton helping to protect Chris Froome and keep him out of trouble.

A short rise is making some riders suffer. But Katusha and Bahrain have several riders on the front.

Katusha has five riders on the front but Kennaugh drags Froome back up to the front before a corner.

4km remaining from 175km

FDJ is there Demare.

Bahrain and Katusha lead but FDJ is trying to move up.

Lead out man Guarnieri is trying to drag Demare up to the front.

Bouhanni is also trying to move up.

Last KM!

Katusha is in control.

Kristoff goes early but it was too early!

Demare came past him but so did the others.

Phil Bauhaus of Sunweb gets it!

He followed the Direct Enerige lead out for Coquard but had the speed to hit out and win.

Bauhaus is still only 22 but has shown his speed several times this season.

He beat Demare and Coquard today.

All the sprinters were beaten today. Petit was fourth after trying to lead out Coquard or ride his own sprint.

Bouhanni and Kristoff were only fifth and sixth.

Bauhuas rode the Giro d'Italia alongside Tom Dumoulin but was pulled from the race by the team on stage 17 after showing signs of fatigue.

He had shown signs of his speed by finishing ffith in Messina and fourth in Reggio Calabria.

He won a stage at the 2016 Tour of Denmark but is by far his biggest victory of his young career.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) finished safely in the peloton and so retained the leader’s yellow jersey for another day.