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As it happened: Another chaotic final bunch sprint on Tour de France stage 5


Bonjour and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 5 of the 2024 Tour de France!

After an explosive day in the high mountains on stage 4, today's stage gets underway at 13:20 CEST, with the official start of racing from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne at 13:30 CEST. Thankfully for the whole peloton, it's a likely sprint stage on the menu after yesterday's big climbing test. 

Key points on stage 5 route

Make sure to read Stephen Farrand's preview of today's sprint stage, with another shot at the record 35th stage win being eyed by Mark Cavendish and his Astana Qazaqstan teammates:

Tour de France stage 4: new race leader Tadej Pogačar

Tour de France stage 4: new race leader Tadej Pogačar  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Catch up with how Pogačar achieved his stunning solo victory with Barry Ryan's report from stage 4:

Riders are at the start and being presented on stage in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

We've also got fresh analysis from expert Philippa York to unpack all the exciting action from yesterday's stunning Galibier stage. Read how she broke down Pogačar's assault of the GC climbing field on stage 4 below:

For more reaction to the ominous UAE team performance on stage 4, read Dani Ostanek's analysis of a team climbing performance for the ages. João Almeida, Juan Ayuso and Nils Politt were among the highlights of a perfect day for the Emirati team:

Dylan Groenewegen is back with his new sunglasses at the team presentation after causing some controversy when he debuted them on stage 3, so maybe the UCI has allowed them after all:

Here's the profile of today's 177.4km stage, with a downhill start making it difficult for a big break to get away. The last Cat.4 climb could give the less pure sprinter's teams an opportunity to try and sting the legs of the heavier fast men, but it arrives quite far from the finish so shouldn't play too much of a role. 

Bahrain-Victorious were having fun on the podium with Wout Poels announcing late arrivals Pello Bilbao and Jack Haig to the crowds in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Their focus will be all in on Phil Bauhaus today, after the big German sprinter only managed sixth in the first flat opportunity in stage 3.

After the crash-marred sprint on stage 3 into Turin, there will be multiple teams who didnd't even get the chance to see their sprinter in action. Notably Astana with Mark Cavendish, Alpecin with Jasper Philipsen and Visma with Wout van Aert. It's going to be another day of building tension until the chaos breaks loose in the final run to the line. 

Under half an hour until the stage of stage 5 now. 

Here's Groenewegen back in the "Batman" shades on stage with Tour de France on stage announcer Marc Chavet.

More news coming out of Soudal-QuickStep with the confidence growing in the team after Remco Evenepoel's strong performance on stage 5. He's lived up to the billing so far on his Tour debut, with a focus now turning to staying safe until the stage 7 time trial where he will go all in racing his favoured discipline.

Here's what Wout van Aert had to say pre-stage 5 thanks to Visma's social media. After a day of struggling in the mountains, he's unsure whether he will go for the sprint.

Here's Cavendish ahead of the start where he was met with a great reception again. Could today be the day the record 35th stage win finally comes?

Not only is Pogačar in a full yellow skinsuit as the new leader of the race, but UAE's dominant team performance has unsurprisingly landed them the lead of the teams classificaiton - yellow helmets all round for the men in white. 

We saw history on stage 3 when Biniam Girmay won the first sprint stage and the first for a Black African at the Tour de France. Here's what he had to say before stage 5 to Eurosport:

Stage 5 Start

Pretty mild conditions at the start of the day which will be welcomed, with windy and cloudy conditions. 2km until the race reaches the départ réel.

Here's Pogačar back in the yellow race leader's jersey after he reclaimed it on stage 4. He'll be off duty just trying to stay safe throughout the fifth stage. 

177.4km to go

Well, the answer to whether anyone would go on the attack has been provided. It was a no. Full status quo in the peloton and it looks like all eyes will be on the latter stages of the route. 

All 174 riders who finished stage 4 have started stage 5 which is great news. Still only 2 abandons so far at the 2024 Tour de France. 

As it was on stage 3, Mark cavendish is back off the bike and in full discussion with his team mechanics at the car. A real tinkerer of his position and he's trying to make sure his Willier setup is absolutely perfect to the very millimetre to be as fast as humanly possible. 

A look at an incredibly calm peloton on stage 5 of the Tour de France. We're far from full gas and actually just at full conversation for now.

Big headwind in the valley so no on is fancying any sort of move. Juan Ayuso and Oier Lazkano have started racing off the front and having all sorts of fun, with the latter just bunnyhopping over the island in the middle of the road. Not a serious attack by any means. 

170km to go

Tim 'El Tractor' Declercq has assumed his position on the front of the peloton, with Victor Campenaerts now even faking an attack at the start of stage 5. Proper non serious 'racing' so far if you can even call it that. Imagine this will continue for some time. 

It is so slow in the peloton that Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) is actually putting on more layers. It's been a disappointing Tour for him so far, with any sort of GC effort ending yesterday. Now that he's 12 minutes down, he should switch full focus on winning a second stage to add to his Alpe d'Huez triumph from 2022.

Ayuso and Lazkano are back in from their fun off the front. Even TotalEnergies have decided to do nothing as their team radio comes in and confirms that there is no point wasting the energy. 

Finally, we may actually have a big of a change in pace. There are small splits forming with Declercq deciding to test the legs and open things up a bit. No real pace or commitment in the group but perhaps a willingness to not let the day go on forever. 

Here's all four classification leaders after stage 4 of the Tour. Remco Evenepoel in white as best young rider, Jonas Abrahamsen in the green points jersey and Tadej Pogačar in the maillot jaune. The polka-dot jersey and KOM classification is being donned by Valentin Madouas who isn't pictured, but he is only wearing it on behalf of Abrahamsen who also leads that contest for the moment

Pace is back down to 30kph as the peloton fans out on this wide road. We're still heading gradually downhill for a lot of this opening phase, with a good chance for a nature break coming now.

160km to go

Some jokes being shown here from World Champion Van der Poel and yellow jersey Pogačar as they both come right to the front to 'pace'. Such an odd beginning to a stage but this is what happens after the most brutal start to the Tour in years and with a nailed on sprint stage on the menu. 

More groups have rolled slowlly off the front with just a few rouleurs showing their strength in such an easy start. Tim Declercq (Lidl-Trek) and Kobe Gossens (Intermarché-Wanty) are among them but it still isn't any sort of committed move. 

We had all come back together but suddenly, some of the French teams have decided to go racing. Groupama-FDJ have two men moving up the road, with EF, Cofidis and a few other joining them. 

In a non-surprising response, Alpeicn-Deceuninck sniffed any sort of a real move and they've closed down the small split. Pace is up at 57kph in the peloton now. 

150km to go

With Groupama-FDJ possibly riding away with the combaitivity prize off the front of the peloton, fellow French team TotalEnergies have sent Mattéo Vercher to chase him down so they are represented. 

Current situation 143km to go

The French duo making sure their sponsors are on the TV have been allowed to build a 4:22 gap starts heading west in the direction of Lyon. 

Lidl-Trek, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Astana Qazaqstan are the teams leading the peloton, with Visma-Lease a Bike and DSM-Firmenich PostNL just behind. They are working for Pedersen, Philipsen, Cavendish, Van Aert and Jakobsen respectively. 

130km to go

While we have the chance, he's a look at final few kilometres of today's stage. A few late roundabouts will require the best positioning from the sprint teams, while a kink in the road with 300m to go makes the right-hand barrier the best place to fully open up your effort. Hopefully this won't cause any danger as it did in the opening sprint stage of the 2023 Tour where Philipsen closed-off Van Aert to the barriers, causing him to break. 

Yellow details everywhere for UAE Team Emirates on stage 5, right down to the bottles for race leader Tadej Pogačar.

120km to go

As the peloton leaves the Alps, it's important to note that the two leaders Vercher and Russo are both local riders, born in Lyon and would've grown up riding these roads.

We'll be seeing a lot of Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Tim Declercq (Lidl-Trek) today as they are the two domestiques left to hold the gap at the desired level.

110km to go

Here's a look at Wout van Aert before the start of today's stage. He looked good on stage 1 and was emotional after returning to the podium of a Tour de France stage on stage 1 after an arduous period of injury recovery in spring. Van Aert amazingly hasn't won a Tour stage since stage 20 of the 2022 race when he triumphed in the ITT to Rocamadour.

We've just seen a near miss for Robbe Ghys (Alpecin-Deceuninck) going over a small bump in the road after almost crashing. He managed to hold it up thankfully and has been laughing at himself to the cameras.

The gap has started to come down to the two leaders, with it now down to 3:30.

Russo and Vercher are onto this section of uncategorised climbing with a 3:30 lead on the chasing peloton. 

100km to go

Here's two former German national champions sharing a chinwag in the peloton. It'll be an easier for Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) after his great work chasing the break and pacing for Pogačar yesterday, while Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech) will be looking to contest the bunch sprint. 

90km to go

If Cavendish achieves history today and nets a 35th stage win at the Tour, it must be said how every detail of his setup has been optimised to the absolute maximum, with Astana not leaving any stone left unturned in their pursuit of the record. Read about the micro changes and aero gains he's looked for thanks to our great tech team:

80km to go

Pogačar and Roglič debriefing after the hellish mountain battle on yesterday's stage 4. They won't be back fighting for the GC until the stage 7 time trial.

The rain has started to fall on the two men out in front, which could make things all the more sketchier as the pace builds towards the sprint finish.

Big news on Astana Qazaqstan's future coming out from our team on the ground at the Tour. Read all the details of their new investors here:

Still Dillier and Declercq leading the peloton who are no 2:44 behind with the two-man breakaway finally reaching the lower slopes of the first categorised climb - the Cat.4 Côte du Cheval Blanc.

Russo takes the single point on top of the KOM sprint, crossing the line alongside Vercher with a 2:30 lead on the slow chasing peloton.

70km to go

Puncture and a change for Ben Healy (EF Educaton-EasyPost) but it won't be much of a problem to get back in for the Irishman. 

Both the pace and tension building up now for Lidl-Trek and Alpecin-Deceuninck who lead the peloton. It's a big day for the Belgian team after nearly everything went wrong in the opening  sprint on stage 3. Van der Poel had a late puncture so couldn't help in the lead out and fast man Philipsen went down in the crash 2km from the line. 

60km to go


It was actually yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar who started the domino affect of the crash which rippled through the back of the peloton. He nearly went head first into a traffic island in the middle of the road but made a late move to the right of it. Those behind him came off worst but there looks to have been no serious injuries from the incident thankfully. 

Everyone is back from the crash and we are back to normal. No blame to the Slovenian just to clarify, as he was avoiding crashing himself due to road furniture that he had no vision of. 

Uncontested sprint between the two men in front, with Russo rolling across it first. Can't say the same for the peloton behind. Big charge from Intermarché for Girmay.

Pedersen, Philipsen and Bennett are all here too. Here comes the sprint to the line and it's the Dane at the front. Close finish between Pedersen and Bennett but it was the Lidl-Trek man who got there in the end. Philipsen's positioning not ideal.

A look back at the aftermath of the crash with none of those involved too badly hurt. Here's Gregor Muhlberger, Nelson Oliveira and Sébastien Grignard getting going again.

50km to go

Two-man breakaway is nearing it's end with their lead just going under the one-minute mark now. Good effort from Russo and Vercher to get stage 5 going. 

GC teams coming to the fore, Ineos, UAE and Visma taking over with the nerves upping in the wet conditions. Mark Cavendish is also well-positioned with his Astana boys. Not even a chance to put on a rain jacket with the rain worsening. 

Insane bike-handling skills from Pogačar to keep this one up.

With the rain falling, the peloton is also closing in on the final categorised climb of the day - the Côte du Lhuis - where the purer sprinters could be challenged by the likes of Lidl-Trek and Intermarché-Wanty, who have more versatile sprinters. 

Here's how the top five of the green jersey points classificaiton stands after the intermediate sprint. But this is due to change with 50 points available on the line in Saint Vulbas for the winner and lots for the places behind:

Astana Qazaqstan, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Lidl-Trek are all nicely positioned at the front of the peloton as they close in on both the breakaway and the final climb of the day. The two men in front have under 30 seconds of a lead now.

40km to go

Here's a look at World Champion Mathieu van der Poel on stage 5. After a puncture ruled him out of lead-out duties on stage 3, he'll be keen to get involved today and help Jasper Philpsen take the victory. 

Russo and Vercher are onto the climb now but their day in front will end very soon on the inclines. Chapeau to both but I'm not sure how the race will decide who gets the combativity prize. 

Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe and Visma-Lease a Bike bookending the peloton for now onto the 5% slopes of this climb. No real injection of pace but that is probaby because we are still a long, long way from home. 

35km to go

Nice moment of respect from the local lads as Russo and Vercher fist-bump at the head of the race before being swept up. All focus on the final sprint now. 

Abrahamsen is moving up as the only rider interested in trying to take the solitary KOM point available at the crest of the final climb today. He's moved off the front now without challenge. He extends his lead and despite probably losing green today, he will be in the polka-dot jersey. 

Cavendish has been positioned very well by Astana for now at the head of the race. Lots of their blue jerseys are right at the front after getting caught behind the crash on stage 3 while being positioned further back. Still far from full gas in the peloton however. 

Couple of flat tyres for Nils Politt and Stefan Bissegger. They both have lots of time to get back in so better now than near the finish and will be important for bringing leaders home in the finale. 

30km to go



Laporte and Kristoff are 26 and 57 seconds down so they may struggle to play a part in the sprint today.

With the pace actually coming out, Laporte is back in and Kristoff's experience and a teammate for help should get back him in within the next few kilometres. 

Here's the moment Kristoff thankfully got back up quickly from his crash. 

20km to go

Philipsen for Alpecin and De Lie for Lotto are two riders and teams yet to really hit the front in this final run-in. They will want to move up late to save their lead-out trains for the final, hectic race for home.

Bahrain Victorious are now moving well to position Phil Bauhaus. After the crash-affected sprint on stage 3, everyone will still fancy their trains to be the best if they can get it right. Tension building at the Tour de France. 

Astana have been positioned brilliantly but they got split up on stage 3. Is today the day they get it right and Cavendish breaks the record to stand alone on the most Tour stage wins? We are about to find out. 

Reminder that in the UCI's new testing period, today's period of relief for the GC teams will be at the 4km-mark instead of the 3km-mark. Good news for trying to keep racing calm in the finale. 

10km to go

Speeds are absolutely rocketing up with exposed roads also offering up a chance at crosswinds and splits before this final. 

A look at the furiously accelerating peloton on stage 5. Final run to the line incoming now. 

Speeds are flying up and every team wants to be at the front for the next few tough corners as the race navigates some roundabouts. Astana have already lost a few positions and need to move up. 

Pogačar and Vingegaard are being looked after incredibly to make it to the 4km to go mark safely. Yellow jersey in third wheel with the sprint teams all around him. 

Astana were moving up well but Lidl-Trek just took over their spot for Pedersen. Politt is drilling things on the front to get Pogačar home safely. Heat is on on stage 5. 

5km to go

DSM and Alpecin are now showing themselves and hoping for better than the first sprint on stage 3. 

Visma have now taken over possibly with double ambitions of keeping Vingegaard safe and letting Van Aert go for the finish. 

Here come Jayco AlUla for Dylan Groenewegen. He got blocked in on stage 3 but looked very fast. It could be his day in the Dutch champion's jersey. 

4km mark reached and the GC men should be safe and moving out of the way to let the sprint teams do their thing. 60kph + now in the peloton. 

3km to go

Cavendish is in a much better spot than stage 3 but does he have the legs for history? 

Bahrain now at the front alongside Lotto and De Lie is in great shape to go for a win on debut. 

Final few corners being navigated now but remember the road does kink in the final 300m. 

So many sprinters need to move up if they want to contest the day. Philipsen and Groenewegen out of position for now but here they come. 

1km to go

Just the finale now to get through and it is so hectic with Uno-X on the front. DSM, Alpecin and Astana all well placed. 

Timing is so important today and no one wants to go too early with 500 metres to go into a headwind. 

Here comes Trek but Pedersen isn't on the wheel. Opening now is the finale sprint. 

Cavendish hits the front and it's history at the Tour de France! The greatest of all time has the magic 35th stage win, more than anybody. 

Mark Cavendish wins stage 5 of the Tour de France and the record is smashed!

Cavendish was along in the finale, waiting for his moment and kicking away from those behind him. He had Philipsen on his wheel and in the slipstream, but unlike in last year's race, the legend of cycling had enough in the tank to bring it home and it's an incredible 35th stage win for the greatest sprinter of all time. Cycling at its very best on stage 5 of the Tour de France.

Cavendish has all his family there in Saint Vulbas for perhaps the biggest and best win yet. With all the pressure and all the talk, he's done it again. Just like he has 34 times in the past, the greatest fast man the Tour de France and cycling has ever seen on top at the sport's biggest race.

Here's the moment the record was beaten. What a win and what a way to do it.

Here's how an emotional and delighted Michael Mørkøv summed up an incredible day for all of Astana Qazaqstan:

Here's what the man of the moment Mark Cavendish said after winning stage 5 of the Tour de France:

Summed up perfectly by his Astana team here: 'The GOAT'

Amid all the chaos of the Cavendish win, there was a nasty crash for Mads Pedersen who got out into the barrier as the sprint behind Cavendish swung across the road from right to left. Here he is thankfully being helped to the line by Tim Declercq but look out for more updates from Lidl-Trek on social media on his condition. 

Make sure to read the full stage report from Barry Ryan, alongside our gallery of the day's action and analysis of the finale:

And here's Alasdair Fotheringham summing up what was another step in the already cemented legacy of Mark Cavendish as cycling's best-ever sprinter:

More reaction from Dani Ostanek in France from Cavendish's close friend Geraint Thomas, who was one of the riders who hugged Cavendish past the line in Saint Vulbas after his incredible history-making victory:

GC standings after stage 5

Would it have been a Cav win without the trademark chain drop over the line when he stops dropping the power down? 

Tour de France 2024 Stage 5 results

Take a trip through history to look back at all 35 of Cav's Tour stage wins, right from the first on stage 5 of the 2008 race in Châteauroux to today's 35th. It's a career that has spanned the eras of so many great riders, from sprinting against Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel in the last 2000s, to his great rivals Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel in the 2010s, and then to his most recent triumphs in 2021 and 2024 against the new generation's best Jasper Philipsen - Sir Mark Cavendish has been a constant in cycling's modern era.

More reaction from Cavendish's coach Vasilis Anastopoulos, after the pair spent hours and hours in Anastopoulos' native Greece, working on their preparation for 'Project 35' throughout 2024. All the work has finally paid off for their magic moment on stage 5:

We break down exactly how Mark Cavendish earned his 35th Tour de France stage win from six kilometres to go and into the final 150 metres until he crossed the finish line.

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