Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage five of the Tour de France from Arras to Amiens.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage five. The 189km stage starts at 12:45 local time and riders are currently gathering for the start.
It is wet and windy in Arras, with the wind likely to play a big factor in the stage.
Today's stage twists and turns through the French countryside, passing several important cemeteries and monuments to remember the victims of the wars.
Riders are signing on in the rain, wrapped up in capes and ams warmers. The temperature has dropped compared to yesterday and is 16C at the start.
Orica-GreenEdge will wear special armbands for stage 5 that commemorate significant battles Australian troops fought during World War 1.
@ORICA_GreenEDGE Wed, 8th Jul 2015 11:47:49
To read more about how Australian plan to remember the many soldiers who gave their lives during the wars, click here to read our special story.
The riders have rolled away from the start line and are in the neutralised sector of the race.
Before the start 2013 Chris Froome and his teammate Peter Kennaugh paid homage to the British war victims by laying a wreath on the Commonwealth Memorial at the Franco-British cemetery in Arras.
191 riders signed-on for the stage, the same number that finished Tuesday's tough stage on the cobbles,
The neutralised sector is 7.6km long today, pushing the final in the saddle distance to close to 200km.
The riders are currently tucked in the slip-stream of the red race directors car.
And we're off! The start flag dropped at exactly 13:01.
From the Cyclingnews blimp we can already see two riders on the attack. They are Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne Seche).
The two have been let go and have quickly opened a gap.
So far in the Tour, the break has formed almost immediately, from the first attack.
So far in the Tour, the break has formed almost immediately, from the first attack.
@letour Wed, 8th Jul 2015 12:04:26
Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) is wearing the yellow jersey today. He is the fourth rider in yellow after four stages.
The two attackers have opened their lead to over two minutes.
For some reason Edet has dropped back to the peloton. He will be needed later to help Nacer Bouhanni in the expected sprint finish in Amiens.
It seems Bouhanni went down, with four teammates.
Bouhanni reportedly went into a ditch.
168km remaining from 189km
It seems that Bouhanni has been forced to abandon the Tour after his crash.
The peloton is also splitting into echelons because of the strong winds.
Nacer Bouhanni has crashed out of the Tour. He is being taken to hospital by ambulance after crashing with several teammates.
Several riders went down in the crash after just 12km but only Bouhanni failed to get up and chase back to the peloton.
Up front it is Tinkoff-Saxo who is again creating echelons with a series of attacks.
The attacks have been strong that the peloton has caught Edet. Gruppo compatto. But without Bouhanni. 190 riders left in the peloton.
We stand corrected. While Edet has been caught, Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) remains out front alone, leading the peloton by 3:30.
The Cofidis team has confirmed via Twitter that Nacer Bouhanni has abandoned the Tour de France.
@TeamCOFIDIS Wed, 8th Jul 2015 12:40:12
The riders face tough conditions today with wet roads and strong winds.
The peloton is back together after the crash but with several riders showing signs of going down. One is Michael Albasini (Orica), who is covered in mud.
@letour Wed, 8th Jul 2015 12:42:26
Bouhanni seemed to be holding his right wrist after the crash.
Another rider involved in the crash was Brice Feillu (Bretagne Seche).
This time it seems that Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and several riders from Cannondale-Garmin are involved.
Fortunately all those involved seem okay and are back on their bikes.
The wind and rain is making today's fifth stage yet another tough day in the saddle for the riders.
The sprinters are expected to fight for the stage victory but face some rolling, twisting roads with rain and strong winds.
Read our preview to learn more about the stage and the potential winners. Click here for all the info.
The riders covered the first hour at just over 39km/h. The wind and crashes have affected the pace of the racing so far.
Dani Navarro of Cofidis also crashed into a muddy ditch. He is back in the peloton and will become the Cofidis team leader now after the loss of Bouhanni.
The roads are still wet at the moment but the finish are is dry.
@letour Wed, 8th Jul 2015 13:09:43
IAM Cycling will be a different looking team in 2016. Click here to see who's on the outer
We've updated our Nacer Bouhanni story from this morning. Click here to read the latest report
The average speed for the first hour of racing was 39.6 kph
Our lone leader Pierre-Luc Perichon is still out in front of the race with a 1:28 minute advantage
@letourdata Wed, 8th Jul 2015 13:23:16
Bauke Mollema (Trek), Nico Roche (Team Sky) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) are currently off the back of the peloton trying to chase back on
35km per hour wind is hitting the riders from the right hand side of the road
It's grupo compacto again with the fallers rejoining the peloton
Tinkoff-Saxo, BMC and Team Sky are controlling the pace of the bunch at the moment
There is no rain at the moment but the majority of the peloton are still wearing their rain caps
@letour Wed, 8th Jul 2015 13:36:58
Reports of a strong headwind on the finish line today. If it keeps up, timing will be crucial to taking the stage win
Byran Coquard has had a little fall but is back on the bike and going again
Bryan Coquard has had a little fall but is back on the bike and going again
Coquard is one minute behind the peloton but is using the cars in the convoy to make his way back into the bunch
Pierre-Luc Perichon's lead is hovering around the 1:30 minute mark
@TeamEuropcar_fr Wed, 8th Jul 2015 13:45:19
Former French champion Arnaud Demare (FDJ) will be looking to take the stage win today. He had a few words before the start with letour.
"It's a pleasure to be back on home ground in Picardy. I know the final stretch like the palm of my hand."
After losing Bouhanni to a crash this morning, Cofidis manager Yvon Sanquer spoke to letour about the disappointment of losing his sprinter.
"He was taken to hospital in Arras. At first sight, there is nothing alarming but the X-rays will tell us more. He suffers from the ribs, the hips, the wrist, more or less the same problems he had after the French championship. He is also stunned and dejected by this abandon, his second on the Tour after a crash. It's an enormous disappointment because we were tackling three stages that suited him. Now the team will try to remotivate. We are not going to spend two and a half weeks in mourning."
Pierre-Luc Périchon will soon reach the sole intermediate sprint point of the day in Rancourt at the 90.5km mark
The Etixx-Quick Step was ecstatic with victory yesterday. You can watch the reaction from inside the team cars and bus by clicking here
Pierre-Luc Perichon has seen his lead over the peloton increase to 1:48 minutes after 80km of racing
There's a crash in the field and a number of riders are down. Katusha and Saxo both involved.
Coquard is up, arms folded, and looks fed up. He should be able to continue though.
Coquard is being paced back to the peloton, with Etixx, Team Sky and BMC setting the pace at the front of the bunch.
The Coquard group is over a minute down on the peloton, with the bunch split into two main groups.
The crash has brought Tinkoff Saxo to the front, as they look to protect Alberto Contador. With the rain continuing to fall that's a smart move.
And Quintana has taken the opportuntiy to have a bike change, and is now chasing back with his teammates.
A shade over 100km to go as Quintana makes contact with the peloton thanks to the works from his Movistar teammates. Our lone leader has just 51 seconds of an advantage. The pace is up as we approach the intermediate sprint of for the day.
Greipel, Degenkolb and then Cavendish take the points from second to fourth, the Lotto rider coming from the back but looking very strong as he extends his lead in the Green jersey competition.
96km remaining from 189km
Perichon has been caught and the peloton immediately split into three echelons.
The speed was up after the sprint and a crash involving Michael Rogers seemed to spark the split.
The chase is on and the groups are coning back together but that was the first of many expected splits.
94km remaining from 189km
@letourdata Wed, 8th Jul 2015 14:25:08
The race is near the Somme region now and the peloton is passing through the feed zone.
Eating and drinking is important when the weather is wet. It is only 18C at the moment.
Race leader Tony Martin is checking the contents of his musette as he rides at the front of the peloton.
The fans at the side of the road are scrambling to collect the empty bidons and musettes.
84km remaining from 189km
The peloton is still riding into the headwind but will turn right with 79km to go ands the attacks and echelons could begin.
All the big-name teams are riding on the front, ready for any attacks.
Cannondale-Garmin is hogging the left side of the road, with Team Sky on the right.
Tinkoff-Saxo is in the middle of the road, protecting Alberto Contador.
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) is struggling off the back. He is still beat up after crashing at speed on stage 3.
He is fighting his way back through the team cars.
Before the start of the stage, Cyclingnews' report Sadhbh O'Shea spoke to Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin).
The American rider, who was one of the many crashers during last year’s cobbled stage, came through relatively unscathed and now sits 20th in the overall classification at just under three minutes back.
“I think it was pretty much what I expected on the cobbles. You need a little bit of luck and the fight for position before the cobbles is a lot more difficult than the cobbles themselves,” Talansky said at the stage start.
"It was nice, it was a stark contrast to last year when it was wet, more dangerous and slippy. It was nice to just see what they’re like in the dry.
Talansky’s fellow team leaders Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal are both at least a further five minutes behind him but he believes that they can still prove a strong team in the mountains.
“Between myself Dan and Ryder, we’ve got three guys that can be up there when there’s just three guys left in the mountains which is a big advantage that not many teams have. Obviously I’m closest to the top on GC but as Ryder showed in the Giro, three minutes behind in a race like this is nothing by the end.”
Here's the turn right. Hold on to your seats!
The roads is very exposed and cuts through open fields.
Cannondale-Garmin has kicked it off, lining out the peloton!
BMC is also driving hard on the front.
The peloton is lined and we have a first split.
@Cycling_tweets Wed, 8th Jul 2015 14:52:56
It seems Bauer was involved in the early crash that saw several Cannondale riders go down.
73km remaining from 189km
Team Sky has hit the front with five riders as the road rolls through some hills.
Behind riders are being spat out the back.
Majka and Basso have eased up after working for Contador. Rolland is out the back too.
The second group is already 50 seconds behind.
Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale) is also in the second group. There at least 100 riders in the front group.
The race has turned left and back into the head wind. The next turn and so perhaps the next attack is expected in 10km. However the speed remains very high.
The wind is blowing at 35km/h from the west.
Crash! A police motorbike goes into the ditch but no riders crash. The pilot seems okay but he was lucky after passing the peloton.
Flat for Cavendish. He gets a new front wheel and push from DS Brian Holm and sets off in pursuit of the peloton.
The Etixx team car also gives them a draft.
As the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion, John Degenkolb went into yesterday’s stage as the big favourite. However the form book was thrown on its head though when Tony Martin launched a late attack to take the stage and yellow.
The disappointment was evident in Degenkolb’s reaction as the usually calm and collected character let out a scream of frustration before issuing a few choice German expletives. After having the chance to sleep on it, he had a smile on his face as he focused on today and another shot at the stage win.
“I was really disappointed of course but it was just for a moment and you have to switch on to the next stage because the Tour is long and it’s really important. There are also some nice opportunities to come, so you’ve just got to get your mind set up again and that’s very important. I’m really looking forward to the next days,” he told Cyclingnews outside the team bus.
“Today is also a really good opportunity and weather like this I think is in my advantage and if there’s wind then we will see what’s going to happen and where we will be in the end… I think it’s going to be really hard, there will be cross winds all day and it will be pretty much compared to the stage that we saw in Zeeland.”
@letour Wed, 8th Jul 2015 15:07:29
Cavendish has three teammates helping him to return to the front group.
Cavendish can see the back of the group now.
Etixx is back on and the riders look happy to have closed the gap.
The front peloton is spread across the road with riders eating and drinking before the next turn and perhaps the next attack.
The route turns right very soon and the exposed roads could spark more attacks.
The riders have just passed the monument to South African soldiers killed in the war. They will soon pass a British memorial.
The roads are dry now but the tension is high.
The second group is 2:42 back. it will be impossible for them to get back up now.
Cyclingnews is producing a special Tour de France podcast after every stage in association with EurosportUK. We have expert analysis, rider interviews and all the inside news from the race thanks to our reporters on the ground.
Click here to listen to the latest episode.
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Flat for Luca Paolini (Katusha). He quickly gets a wheel change and is bake riding. He will play a vital role for Alexander Kristoff in the expected sprint finish.
Crash! Steve Morabito (FDJ) touches the kerb and goes down on his shoulder.. He is up and chasing.
47km remaining from 189km
This appears to be the calm before the storm. No attacks yet.
@LottoJumbo_road Wed, 8th Jul 2015 15:32:44
Surprisingly both Richie Porte and Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) are in the second group and not with Froome up front.
43km remaining from 189km
The roads are wet from rain again and seem to have dampened the fireworks. This will only favour the sprinters.
The riders hit a series of speed bumps in the town of Albert.
The peloton spits to go around a huge roundabout.
Team Sky is on the right, Astana and BMC on the left of the road.
@letourdata Wed, 8th Jul 2015 15:44:25
The wind is blowing from the left of the road but nobody is going on the attack.
37km remaining from 189km
Lotto-Soudal team manager Marc Sergeant didn't expect a normal bunch sprint in Amiens when Cyclingnews talked with him this morning in Arras.
“A sprint, yes, but not with 200 riders. In these circumstances with the rain and the wind I’m not banking on a bunch sprint,” Sergeant said. He was confident Greipel could win again. “André is going super well. Then there’s Cavendish but also Degenkolb who won the sprint yesterday, and Sagan is also still there.”
Due to the injuries from Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson the lead-out man for Greipel will now be Jens Debusschere. “He already did it for Kris Boeckmans, and also at WorldTour-level at the Tour Down Under. It’s not much of a difference to be second-last or last in the lead-out train. He’s got the speed. I think that right now he’s faster than Henderson.”
To remember Australian war victims, many spectators have gathered at the 18km to go point.
After Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) lost time, Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) has become the best placed rider for the classification.
However he played down that label when speaking at the start.
“My goal is to finish in Paris and then after that I was to try and win a stage. For the GC we will have to see because it’s still a long way until the first stage in the Pyrenees and I can maybe lose time maybe in the time trial. I am just taking the race day by day,” he told the large number of journalists that had huddled in the rain under the Giant-Alpecin awnings.
Click here for the full interview story.
The rain is falling hard and the skies are grey ahead of the race.
The riders seem to have agreed a truce for the finale today. Perhaps we will see the race explode in the final kilometres before the sprint.
Earlier in the stage, behind lone leader Perichon Greipel won the intermediate sprint at 99km from the finish line.
That was interesting since team manager Marc Sergeant asked greipel not to go flat out.
“We first asked him not to do the intermediate sprints. When he won stage 2 by such a small margin he understood why it mattered. Then again, everybody is doing the intermediate sprints so now we ask him not to go flat out,” Sergeant told Cyclingnews.
27km remaining from 189km
The riders are passing between huge fields of grain. The riders are exposed but there are no attacks.
The riders have side wind from the left but will soon turn left and face a stiff head wind.
at least 20 riders go down after a touch of brakes on a wet road. Riders went down like skittles.
It's chaos as the riders try to get going again.
Nobody seems hurt but Pinot was involved and is chasing.
Kruijswijk, Scarponi, Pozzato and Tosatto all went down.
Svein Tuft (Orica) is waiting for a new bike.
22km remaining from 189km
Several groups are chasing to get back to the front group.
Tyler Farrar is chasing to get back on, with his teammate Boasson Hagen also chasing.
20km remaining from 189km
20km to go to a probable group sprint finish, the first in this year's Tour de France.
Here we go! a descent from a hill has sparked an acceleration at the front.
BMC is upping the speed.
Poor Thibaut Pinot was caught up in the crash and has only just got back on as the group eases again.
It seems his mechanical problems of yesterday were caused by a loose wire on his electronic gears.
13km remaining from 189km
The second group is 7:00 back. They are riding steady to the finish.
Etixx is riding to set up Mark Cavendish for the sprint.
Tinkoff-Saxo is riding to protect Alberto Contador until 3km to go and then will try to help Sagan.
@TeamMTNQhubeka Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:24:55
@katushacycling Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:25:29
The head wind is estimated at 25km/h.
The other sprinters in the front group are local rider Arnaud Demare (FDJ), John Degnkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is also there but is so far staying hidden in the group.
@LottoJumbo_road Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:27:25
6km remaining from 189km
Sagan, Cavendish and Kristoff are locked shoulder to shoulder, fighting for Renshaw's wheel.
The GC contenders will stay up near the front until 3km to go.
Knowing they will get the same time as the leaders in the case of a crash, they can slip back to avoid the hectic sprint finish.
4km remaining from 189km
A roundabout splits and shuffles the bunch.
Europcar hit the front for Coquard. MTN also at the front.
But Etixx goes up the right side with Kwiatkowski and Martin riding for Cavendish.
Martin leads it out into the final 3km.
2km remaining from 189km
Here comes Giant for Degenkolb.
Lotto for Greipel too.
Laskt KM! Giant versus Etixx in the lead outs.
The Gorilla gets it!
In the hectic finale Cavendish lost Renshaw.
Demare and Kristoff hit out first but it was too soon.
Cavendish went early too but Greipel was near him and timed his effort better, hitting top speed to go clear as the line approached.
Peter Sagan finished second.
Sagan vented his anger by banging his bike into the road. Mark Cavendish was third with Kristoff fourth.
@Movistar_Team Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:40:59
Edvald Boasson Hagen was fifth in the sprint, with Degenkolb sixth.
Sagan came from behind in Degenkolb slipstream. He seemed the fastest but ran out of road.
Thanks to his win Greipel extended his lead in the green jersey points competition.
@TourDeJose Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:45:53
@Laura_Weislo Wed, 8th Jul 2015 16:50:10
Andre Greipel has now won eight stages at the Tour de France.
Tony Martin finished in the front group and so retained the leader's yellow jersey.
He hopes to keep it until the team time trial and even the Pyrenees.
It is a good day for German cycling, with Greipel winning the stage and Martin the first to retain the yellow jersey this year.
Stay with our live coverage from the Tour de France as we bring you brief rider interviews and reaction after the stage.
We have a brief report and some early images from the stage here.
Greipel generously paused his Lotto Soudal teammates for helping him win.
"Tony Gallopin, Marcel Sieberg and Lars Bak, they brought me to the front. Marcel Sieberg did the work of three and it was quite an amazing job. Normally with 300m to go I would be finished but somehow I got out of it and managed to launch my sprint," he said.
Greipel won the sprint in the green jersey, wearing a green helmet and riding green bike.
This images shows the chaos in sight of the line.
A total of 189 riders finished the stage. The two DNF are Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), who crashed out early in the stage and Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Garmin) who is also believed to have crashed hard during the stage.
According to Dimension Data, Greipel sprinted to victory at 59.58km/h.
Michael Matthews (Orica) finished the stage despite his injuries for the stage 3 crash. As a reward he was given the most combative prize for the stage.
We now have a full stage report, full results an photo gallery fro stage five.
Click here to read it and see the action in photos.
Stage six of the Tour de France is from Abbeville to Le Havre on the northern coast of France.
The stage is 191.5km long with the final along the coast before a kick up to the finish line.
Winds and the finish could play a decisive role in the outcome and final winner.
Join us on Thursday for blow by blow coverage of the stage.
Check back later for our special podcast after the stage with expert analysis and rider interviews thanks to support from EurosportUK.
Click here to subscribe to our podcast via itunes.
A demain mes amis du Tour!
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