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Tour de France 2018: Stage 5


Good morning from the CN blimp and welcome to day five of this year's Tour de France. The riders are signing on and we'll have racing in just 20 minutes. It's another lengthy neutral zone for the riders today with 10 kilometres from their starting point in Lorient and kilometre zero. That's all added to the 204km of actual racing today. 

News just in from our reporters in Lorient that Michael Matthews has abandoned the Tour de France. The Australian fell ill last night and is heading home. Today could have been a very good chance of victory for Matthews. 

Team Sunweb Luke Roberts has spoken about Matthews' abandon, saying that he called the doctor early this morning and told him that he had been throwing up.

Matthews is not the only abandon this morning with Teisj Benoot also having to call time on his Tour de France early. Benoot crashed with five kilometres to go yesterday and dislocated his shoulder. Read more about that here

The neutral start will be in just a few moments. It's another lovely sunny day out there and there are plenty of crowds out to watch the riders depart. 

Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is getting a last-minute look at today's parcours courtesy of an ASO staff member. Today, could be a chance for victory number two.

The riders have rolled out of Lorient. It's the 12th time that this city has featured as a stage start or finish for the Tour de France. 

Greg Van Avermaet is in yellow once again today and could extend his advantage if he goes well at the finish. Here's a quick look at the GC before the racing gets underway. 

Greg Van Avermaet is in yellow once again today and could extend his advantage if he goes well at the finish. Here's a quick look at the GC before the racing gets underway. 

Plenty of riders pressed right up behind the race director's car. There are eight points available in the mountains classification so there will be a few riders interested in taking that. Competition leader Dion Smith has just one point, so it's all to play for. 

There are 50 points available in the green jersey classification, so we could see that change hands. Though, I think it's unlikely that Fernando Gaviria will outkick Peter Sagan on that final climb into Quimper.

We have more on the abandon of Michael Matthews, who has been forced to leave the Tour de France with a fever. Read the full story here

The flag has dropped and we have racing. Direct Energie is the first to have a go with Cofidis in hot pursuit. 

Thomas De Gendt is very close to the front. Has he been given some freedom today?

We have a crash in the bunch and it looks like one of the Katusha riders had come a cropper on some road furniture. Meanwhile, Gianni Moscon has been dropped by the peloton. It appears he has crashed at some point too. 

Reports coming in that it was Robert Kiserlovski who crashed and he has been forced to abandon. It has been a difficult couple of days for them with Ilnur Zakarin losing quite a bit of time yesterday

A group of seven riders has jumped clear of the bunch and now have almost a minute of an advantage. Sylvan Chavanel, Lilian Calmajane and Julien Vermote are among the number. 

The full list of riders in the breakaway is: Sylvain Chavanel, Lilian Calmejane Direct Energie), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis).

190km remaining from 204km

Lilian Calmejane is the best placed of the breakaway riders in the general classification. He is just 1:51 behind the yellow jersey of Greg Van Avermaet, and with the lead going out to 2:32, he is the virtual leader on the road. 

Mark Cavendish back and having a long discussion with the race directors car. A penny for his thoughts. 

Perhaps he was discussing with them the difficult start to today's stage. Katusha-Alpecin reporting that Kiserlovski may have fractured his collarbone in the accident. 

A puncture for Gorka Izagirre. No stress for the newly crowned Spanish champion. He's got a new front wheel and he's back on his way. 

Quick-Step Floors did a lot of the work yesterday, taking a lot of the pressure off BMC Racing. The team of the yellow jersey is lined out on the front this afternoon as they keep Van Avermaet out of trouble. 

Van Avermaet is among the favourites for the stage win today, though he is putting that particular burden on the green jersey wearer Peter Sagan. After his national side lost in the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup, Van Avermaet is hoping to cheer up his compatriots with some success today. 

The break has extended their lead up to three minutes. They're unlikely to get as much as yesterday's move with the tricky finish making it a bit easier for a breakaway to stay away. The final few kilometres are on tight and twisty roads, which is more advantageous for a small group over a peloton. 

Chad Haga is onto his second Grand Tour of the year after supporting Tom Dumoulin at the Giro d'Italia in May. He calls Matthews' departure today a blow but says the team will now rally around their GC man Dumoulin. 

163km remaining from 204km

Of the riders in the breakaway, it is only the Direct Energie pair that has won a stage at the Tour de France previously. Calmajane made a name for himself last year with his victory on stage 8 ahead of Robert Gesink. Chavanel has won three stages in the past, the last of which came in 2010. He's enjoyed stints in the yellow jersey and has twice won the overall combativity prize. 

Chavanel has already earned himself a stage combativity award this year following his solo effort on stage two. Direct Energie have another with Jerome Cousin wearing the red dossards today for his role in yesterday's breakaway, though I think Guillaume van Keirsbulck deserved it for being the last man standing in the breakaway. Nevertheless, Direct Energie have been ever present in the breakaways so far this year. 

A mechanical for Pierre Latour and t's taking quite some time to supply him with a new wheel. He's finally on his way again. AG2R La Mondiale are down a man after Axel Domont crashed and abandoned yesterday. 

Our correspondent, and former rider, Philippa York has cast her eye back on the opening few days to see how the general classification riders have fared in the chaotic finales. Read her full comments here.

148km remaining from 204km

Adam Yates once again sitting towards the back of the bunch. That has caught him out in the opening days and he'll want to move further up once they pass through the intermediate sprint and the climbs begin. 

Philippe Gilbert knows the parcours of today's stage, having ridden the Tour du Finistere as a stagiaire in 2002. The race finishes in Quimper and uses these climbs. He finished seventh on that day and he's likely to be up there at the finish, if not winning, today. 

A little more from Gilbert at the start this morning.

If you didn't get a chance to watch yesterday's stage, then you can catch up with the action the highlights, here

It's not just the men riding a Grand Tour at the moment with the women's peloton taking on the Giro Rosa. Today is a big day for the general classification riders but yesterday was one for the escapees. See what happened in yesterday's thrilling finale here.

Lawson Craddock rooted firmly to the back of the peloton at the moment. Who can blame him? He's riding on with a broken scapula after crashing in the neutral zone of the first stage. As well as trying to help his team when he can, Craddock is also riding to raise money for hurricane relief. Read about it here.

Riders dropping back to pick up bidons. It's very hard to get back up the peloton today with the roads being so small. Very few main roads today, almost all country. 

126km remaining from 204km

In the breakaway, Julien Vermote has never won a Grand Tour stage but has played a part in setting up so many. He was a key man for Quick-Step Floors and their run of five last season before he moved to Dimension Data over the winter. His team leader Mark Cavendish hasn't really been up there in the sprints so far and they'll be keen to get a win as soon as possible. By having Vermote in the break, he takes the pressure off the team in the bunch, who are likely to be working for Edvald Boasson Hagen for today's finish. 

BMC Racing continues to lead the peloton. No help from other teams just yet. 

Rigoberto Uran had managed to keep his nose clean in the opening few days of the Tour de France but he found himself stuck behind Benoot's crash with 5km to go. Thanks to a quick bike change from one of his teammates and he managed to avoid losing any time, unlike Katusha's llnur Zakarin. Read Uran's post-stage comments here.

As well as being the finish of the Tour du Finistere, Quimper has also featured in the Tour de France in the past. It first featured in 1991 when Phil Andersen took the victory. The last time the Tour came to town in Quimper was 2004, with Thor Hushovd claiming the spoils.

Here is Thor Hushovd taking that victory in 2004. That was a sprint finish, today will certainly not end like that. 

Speaking of sprint finishes, the peloton has just gone through the intermediate sprint point with Gaviria mopping up the maximum left after the leaders went through. Sagan was on his wheel with Kristoff just behind him. As Matthews knows from last year, anything can happen and it's good to be up there just in case the riders in front drop out of the race for whatever reason. 

The riders are almost at the halfway point and the gap has dropped back to four minutes. With the intermediate sprint done and dusted, we move onto the real interest point of today's stage, the climbs. 

Here we have the full results of today's sprint. There was no contest in the breakaway with Sylvain Chavanel leading the seven over the line. 

As we approach the climbs, Sylvain Chavanel has attacked. He wants a jersey to show for his final Tour de France. There is no response from the rest of the breakaway. 

Chavanel's attack for the mountains points has been so forceful that he's pulled out a gap of 26 seconds. He'll only get one point here so he'll need to take at least another climb to take the jersey. 

As the other escapees cross the KOM, the gap is 31 seconds. Will Chavanel continue alone or wait for his companions?

It does look like Chavanel is going to forge on alone. There is no sign of him waiting up. 

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish isn't looking so good as he is dropped on the first climb. Is he saving energy for another day or is there something wrong? Normally, he wouldn't find himself off the back on a climb such as that. 

Direct Energie DS Benoît Genauzeau told the team's former rider Thomas Voeckler (who is on a motorbike for France Television) that they plan on playing just one card today and the other rider will have to sacrifice himself. It looks like Chavanel is that rider. 

After getting dropped on the first climb, Cavendish got back into the peloton. Let's see how he does on the second ascent of the day. 

90km remaining from 204km

Tom Dumoulin has been back to the team car. Let's hope he's all ok. Remember, his teammate Michael Matthews had to leave the race this morning after developing a fever overnight. 

A number of teams, including Movistar and Astana, have moved to the front to help with the pace setting. In this part of the parcours, it is crucial that the GC contenders stay as close to the front as possible. If there is a crash, the road will very quickly be blocked. 

A hairy moment for Elie Gesbert as he crashes out of the breakaway. On a short descent, the young rider veered suddenly towards the grass before flipping over the handlebars. Let's hope that he is ok as it looked like a nasty fall. 

It's hard to say what happened to Gesbert there. It could have been a touch of wheels or a ridge in the road that caused him to lose control of his bike. Gesbert was the youngest rider at last year's Tour de France and is just 23 years old. 

83km remaining from 204km

Over in Italy, today's stage of the Giro Rosa has come to its conclusion with the maglia rosa changing hands. See who won and who is in pink here.

Sylvain Chavanel still plugging along as he makes his way to the third climb of the day. 

Meanwhile, Gesbert is back in the peloton now after his crash earlier. 

73km remaining from 204km

Cavendish off the back again as the road rises upwards, as Craddock holds on. He's not looking in great form at the moment. Is he ill? He was dropped on the first climb of the day. 

Marcel Kittel is off the back now. Dylan Groenwegen looks to be in a bit of trouble as Bora-Hansgrohe take up the pace setting. They want to get rid of as many sprinters as possible for Sagan. 

Skuijns attacks the chasing group and Calmajane and Edet set off in chase. Vermote and Du Buyst have been distanced. 

There is still five kilometres until the next KOM, so they could catch Chavanel and spoil his party. 

Chavanel still has 29 seconds on the chasers but he's got 2km to go until the KOM.

While all of this has been going on, the peloton has pulled back the gap to three minutes. The three chasers are just 20 seconds behind Chavanel. It's going to be touch and go for the Frenchman. 

Calmajane attacks. 

Skuijns is trying to chase him down. Interesting tactics from Direct Energie. 

Calmajane is brought back and the chasers can now see Chavanel up the road. 

64km remaining from 204km

he gets some help from Kwiatkowski and starts going again but his hand goes up and he has to stop for a second time. He gets a new bike and he's on his way again. 

Up front, Chavanel manages t hold off to take the full points at the second climb of the day. Calmajane makes sure that he takes the other available point. There are four points still available but he should take the polka dot jersey by the end of the day. 

Froome now has three teammates with him pacing him back up to the bunch. There is no panic now as there is still plenty of time for him to get up front. 

Chavanel is back with company now, making it a four-rider group at the front with two chasers in no man's land. 

Froome is back with the bunch and making his way up the group. All ok for the defending champion at the moment. 

We've got no visuals on it at the moment but it appears that Vermote has dropped De Buyst and is making his way back to the front group. He was dropped quite quickly before that last climb. 

Jasper De Buyst has been brought back to the peloton so we just have the four up front and Vermote in the middle now. There were originally seven riders in the breakaway. 

56km remaining from 204km

One of the Mitchelton-Scott riders has been caught up too, and it looks like it might be Adam Yates. 

Further back down the road, Cavendish has Jay Thomson has dropped back to help him. The Manxman is three minutes behind the peloton and more than five behind the leaders. 

The crashers were: Nieve, Smith, Offredo, Bevin, Turgis. We're hearing that they're all back on their bikes, which is good news. 

50km remaining from 204km

No sign of dissent in the breakaway just yet, but it can't be long before we see some more attacks flying. The peloton is closing in quickly as the leaders start the fourth climb of the day. 

Lots of action in the bunch as the GC leaders try to get into position. This is what they are set to face. 

Peter Sagan's name has come up a lot as the favoured contender for today's finish. When asked if he was the favourite, the green jersey wearer remained his usual coy self. 

45km remaining from 204km

Another push and Edet is distanced again. There are some very steep ramps on this climb. Skuijns goes again, he wants the mountain points. Calmajane has no answer for him. 

Skuijns takes the points at the KOM and waits up for Calmajane. He wants the company over the coming kilometres. One more classified climb to come. 

The peloton gets over the climb with no issue. They're just two minutes behind the escapees as Chavanel gets brought back. Only three remaining from the original seven. 

If Skuijns takes the points on the next climb it will be down to finishing positions to decide who takes the polka-dot jersey at the end of the day. 

Some 18 kilometres to the next classified climb, can the breakaway hold out that long? The gap continues to tumble. 

Edet continues to yo-yo off the back of the breakaway. He had got back on but now he's off the back again. He's working hard to reconnect with his companions. 

Andre Greipel joins the list of sprinters that have lost contact with the peloton. He held on much longer than a lot of the others. 

We zoom back up to the breakaway and something has got Lilian Calmajane's goat. He is having a heated discussion with Toms Skuijns about something. 

Edet is back with the other two, but for how long? The peloton has eased up slightly, allowing the break to eek out a couple of seconds. 

The Côte de la montagne de Locronan comes in just 10 kilometres. It will quickly be followed by the bonus sprint, where bonus seconds are available for the overall classification. 

The riders are currently making their way towards the coast, but they will turn sharply back inland when they reach this final climb of the day. There is a small breeze at the moment, but it will be nothing more than a bit of light relief for the riders. It shouldn't have an impact on the race. 

For most of the day, Calmajane has been the virtual leader but with the gap coming back down Van Avermaet becomes the race leader once again. The Belgian will be more concerned with the likes of Philippe Gilbert and Julian Alaphilippe, who are only a few seconds behind him in the overall classification. 

More discussions between Skuijns and Calmajane. the latter will have to take the KOM points if his teammate is to secure the lead in the mountains classification. 

Just 1.7km to the top of the final KOM. Huge crowds out once again to watch the riders go by. 

A small crash in the peloton as they round a sharp, tight corner. All the fallers look ok and they're back on their way. 

At the head of proceedings, Skuijns puts in a dig but Calmajane is right on his wheel. Edet is going backwards again. 

Calmajane isn't doing any pulling at the moment, he's just sticking to Skuijns' wheel at the moment, waiting to pounce. 

23km remaining from 204km

The gap dropped to just under a minute on that climb. It edges out a touch to 1:08. BMC Racing would like them to stay away at least until after the bonus sprint. 

Earlier in this feed, I mentioned the quick bike change that helped save Rigoberto Uran after he was caught up in the crash in the final kilometres of yesterday's stage. It was the youngster Daniel Martinez that helped him out and the move hasn't been missed by his boss Jonathan Vaughters. Read what the American had to say about his young charge, here.

17km remaining from 204km

Confirmation that it is Skuijns who holds the lead in the KOM competition. The decision is not made on finishing position, as I previously stated, but order in which they crest the final ascent. As Skjuins went over the top of the final climb first, he gets the polka-dot honours. 

15km remaining from 204km

12km remaining from 204km

Skujins sits up and Calmarjane drives on to try and take the bonus seconds but he's overhauled before the line. Alaphilippe takes the full compliment with Van Avermaet in his wheel. They could be crucial in this finale. 

Alaphilippe started the day just seven seconds back on Van Avermaet. He's trimmed that to six with that little move. 

Direct Energie aren't done just yet. Rein Taarmae goes on the attack now and he's got a decent gap. 

Taaramae was once a promising GC prospect way back in 2011 when he finished 11th overall at the Tour and second to Pierre Rolland in the young rider classification. However, he never managed to live up to that promise. 

7km remaining from 204km

Team Sky have taken up the pace setting. After a difficult start to the Tour, they want to keep Chris Froome well out of trouble. Michal Kwiatkowski could contest the victory here too, though tomorrow might be better for him. 

5km remaining from 204km

Team Sky continue to lead the way. Van Avermaet doesn't seem to have anyone with him now and he sits at the back of the Sky train. Sagan is also up near the front. Alaphilippe, too. 

The pace eases up again and it's getting tight and twisty. Bahrain-Merida have joined the party at the front. Colbrelli fancy his chances today?

Gaviria has been dropped along with a few other riders.

Kwiatkowski doing a big pull with a Wanty rider in his wheel. Froome is in third wheel. 

Quintana is up there trying to move up the side of the bunch. 

This is all strung out

Sagan and Colbrelli sit on Froome's wheel

Gilbert goes

Gilbert still leads the way with Simon on his wheel

Van Avermaet is closing in on him and Gilbert sits up briefly

Sagan is behind Van Avermaet

Van Avermaet starts the sprint

It's a two-way sprint between Colbrelli and Sagan but the Italian fades just before the line and Sagan takes it.

For a brief moment, it looks like Colbrelli had Sagan's number but he just ran out of gas before the line. Sagan thumps his chest in celebration, that's his second win of the 2018 Tour de France. 

Gilbert finished third with Van Avermaet down in seventh. The latter has done enough to keep hold of his yellow jersey for at least another day but tomorrow will be a very different story with the Mur de Bretagne. 

This is how it finished today. 

A quick snapshot of the general classification with Philippe Gilbert moving up to third due to the time bonuses. 

Here are a few words from your winner today, who says he had lady luck on his side. 

A very happy looking Sagan doing his post-stage interview. 

Prior to the stage there was plenty of talk that we would see gaps between some of the overall contenders because of the narrow roads but that didn't happen in the end with all of the main GC riders finishing on the same time as the stage winner Sagan. 

Philippe Gilibert said after the stage that he thought he might be able to get the jump on the other riders when he went early. 

This is the moment that Sagan crossed the line in first place. 

Full results are coming in and we've got plenty of photos all in our stage 5 report. Check it all out here.

Greg Van Avermaet kept hold of his yellow jersey today but he tried to take the stage win too and it didn't work out. This is what he had to say after the stage. 

You can find a selection of quotes from the finish line today, here.

Dan Martin tried to get into the mix today and finished sixth in the end. He said afterwards that his training for the mountains meant that he didn't have the sprint for today's finish. 

Tomorrow's finish is a bit more challenging than today's with two climbs up the Mur de Bretagne. Martin should be up there, along with the likes of Gilbert, Alaphilippe and Valverde all potential contenders. This is what the peloton will face tomorrow. The yellow jersey will be up for grabs once again. 

That is it for our live coverage today. Look back at all the action with our report and stay tuned for plenty of reaction from today's stage.

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