André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the 5th stage of the Tour and reinforced his lead of the points classification. Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tony Martin will wear the yellow jersey as race leader for another day, thanks to staying safe and in front of the 189.5km Le Tour de France Stage 5 on Wednesday. The stage ended in the predicted bunch sprint despite rain and crosswinds before the final kilometers.
The fifth Tour stage was announced as a sprint stage. The peloton had to cover 189.5 kilometres between Arras and Amiens on a course without any hills. The wind could be an extra factor in that region. It did play its role, but eventually the stage ended with a bunch sprint. It’s already the second stage win for Greipel the Gorilla this Tour.
Two riders attacked in the beginning of the stage. Edet and Périchon joined forces at first. But not much later Edet waited for the peloton. Périchon continued on his own. The Frenchman got caught in the middle of the stage, just after the intermediate sprint. Greipel won the sprint of the peloton and gained seventeen points. After that the peloton split in two due to the wind. The first group consisted of about one hundred riders, the second group never returned. In the first group nobody tried to get away and the teams could prepare for a bunch sprint. Greipel was the strongest. With 350 metres to go he was a bit boxed in, but could still make his way to the front. Because of the victory he got another fifty points and tomorrow he’ll wear the green jersey for the fourth day in a row. Tony Gallopin falls back one place on GC and is now fifth at 38 seconds of leader Tony Martin.
André Greipel: “With 350 metres to go I didn’t look so good, I was a bit boxed in. But when I got more space, I gave all I got. It was a tough finish, the kilometre before the last five hundred metres wasn’t completely flat and there was a headwind. I think it was a pure sprint. There was no lead-out for any of us, it was man to man. Sagan moved up quickly at the left, I hadn’t seen him, but it’s the result at the finish line that counts.”
"I couldn't sleep so well last night," Martin said. "I fell asleep maybe at 2 o'clock in the morning and woke up early again, But it was OK for me. I woke up feeling well, thinking directly about the yellow jersey. It gave me a lot of power and morale today in the race. I hope I can find more sleep in the next nights, or else I won't see Paris (laughs). As for the race, I tried to do my job for Cav in the finale. I wanted to lead him until the last kilometer and a half, and stay safe for yellow. I don't know what happened with the sprint after that. I did my job for Cav as well as I could and didn't take any risks. I think the team did well today going into the sprint. We avoided crashes and were always in good position. The race was super stressful. A lot of nervousness, crashing, and fighting for position. I couldn't really enjoy the day as I didn't have time to think about being in yellow. In the end of this kind of stage we were lucky to stay upright. It wasn't really a day for celebration. We will see about the next days. We have some very good riders that can be active in different kinds of stages. With our team you never know what we can do in the next days and weeks. I just want to keep yellow as long as possible, but I am also realistic that when the big mountains come I probably cannot stay with the best riders. Especially since I didn't train for those kinds of stages.. My goal is to stay in yellow until the TTT, not the big mountains."