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87th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 1 - 23, 2000
Stage 5 - July 5: Vannes - Vitre, 202 km
Welcome to the fifth stage of the 87th Tour de France. Today, the riders will try and recover a little from the all-out effort in yesterday's very tough team time trial, which saw several big names lose significant amounts of time. Riders such as Alex Zülle (56th at 4.19 down), Marco Pantani (79th, 5.26 down), Richard Virenque (88th, 5.46 down), Jose Maria Jimenez (92nd, 6.00 down) are just some of those who have got a lot of work to do in the mountains.
Today, a fast stage is expected with crosswinds at first, and likely tailwinds into the finish in Vitre. Many of the 177 riders have very itchy legs, and will want to take the opportunity to win a stage before the real pain starts.
12:48 CET - 0.0 km
The race is underway, after a 4.2 kilometre neutral section, the peloton are heading toward Vitre, in pleasant 20-23 degree temperatures.
The sprints on offer today are at: Mohon (km 52.5), Ereac (km 85) and Liffre (km 172). There are also a series of category 3 and 4 climbs, at km 23.0 (Côte de Cadoudal), km 34.5 (Côte de Coët-Bugat), km 119.0 (Côte de Calorguen) and km 144.5 (Côte du Chat).
12:57 CET - 7.0 km
The riders are frisky right from the start, with Enrico Cassani (Polti) and Mauro Radaelli (Vini Caldirola) going from kilometre 3. They establish a small gap, but are caught by kilometre 7.
13:05 CET - 11.0 km
There is another attack, this time from Rabobank's Erik Dekker, who made a big effort in stage two with Jacky Durand. He has 15 seconds on the bunch now, but is certainly no threat to Laurent Jalabert's yellow jersey, as he is 3rd last on GC, 16 minutes down.
13:13 CET - 17.0 km
Erik Dekker has been caught through the efforts of Banesto. The peloton are not content to let anything go just yet.
13:26 CET - 28.0 km
The first climb, the category 3 Côte de Cadoudal (23 km) was won by Paolo Bettini (Mapei), with Rabobank's Markus Zberg in second place. Third was Richard Virenque (Polti), followed by Francois Simon (Bonjour)and Telekom's Alexandre Vinokourov. Somehow, that Polka Dot jersey that Marcel Wüst has been coveteing for the last couple of days looks to be leaving his shoulders today.
There's a lot of people on the course watching the race, under slight winds, and generally sunny conditions.
13:38 CET - 38.0 km
The next climb, the Côte de Coët-Bugat (km 34.5, cat. 4) is 1.2 kilometres long, and is taken by Jacky Durand (Lotto) who attacked just before it. In second place was Paolo Bettini (Mapei) and third, Markus Zberg (Rabobank). Bettini looks to have his eye on the 'early' KOM jersey.
13:50 CET - 47.0 km
Three riders are away at the 47th kilometre, obviously with their eyes on the first sprint at Mohon (km 52.5). They are: Stuart O'Grady (CA), Leon van Bon (Rabobank) and Vincente Garcia-Acosta (Banesto). O'Grady is currently second overall in the points competition, with 54 to Tom Steels' 70.
13:53 CET - 49.0 km
The three are caught with a few kilometres to go before the sprint. A fast first hour was covered today at over 47 km/h!
14:00 CET - 53.0 km
Two riders attack leading into the first sprint, Jens Voigt (CA) and Sebastien Demarbaix (Lotto). They are successful in taking the 6 and 4 seconds bonus through the town of Mohon. In third was Telekom's Erik Zabel. The two are 15 seconds clear of the bunch.
14:10 CET - 62.0 km
Voigt and Demarbaix have stretched their lead, with the help of five others: Rafael Mateos (Polti), Erik Dekker (Rabobank) and Koos Moerenhout (Farm Frites). They have 1 minute's lead on the main bunch.
14:17 CET - 67.0 km
The five have stretched their lead to two minutes now, and ONCE seem content to let them go, although Voigt is lying 15th, at 1.36 behind Jalabert. It's a tough day though, and there are plenty of little climbs to come.
14:30 CET - 78 km
The five man break are travelling very quickly now toward the second sprint of the today. Possibly Jens Voigt has his eye on the green jersey? More likely it is the yellow though as he is the best placed of the break.
Two of the riders are a long way down on GC. Rafael Mateos is last (177th) at 23:59, and Erik Dekker 3rd last (175th) at 16:53.
14:40 CET - 83 km
ONCE are in control of the peloton at the moment, however they are not going all out to catch the break who are now at 2'30. We have 2 kilometres to go before the second sprint in Ereac.
14:42 CET - 85 km
Koos Moerenhout (Farm Frites) won the second sprint in Ereac, beating Jens Voigt (CA) and Sebastien Demarbaix (Lotto) for the 6 points on offer. The gap is still around 2 and a half minutes.
14:42 CET - 85 km
Koos Moerenhout (Farm Frites) won the second sprint in Ereac, beating Jens Voigt (CA) and Sebastien Demarbaix (Lotto) for the 6 points on offer. The gap is still growing.
15.01 CET - 102 km
We are now approaching the halfway point, and the riders can look forward to a feed soon. There is certainly no danger yet to Jalabert, as ONCE have the bunch well controlled. The pace is still very high, with a 46.4 km/h average in the second hour. The overall average so far is 46.9 km/h.
15.13 CET - 111 km
Banesto's Alex Zülle celebrates his 32nd birthday today, and he could probably be a little happier, at 4:19 down on Laurent Jalabert. He shares his birthday with Glenn Magnusson of Farm Frites who turns 31. Zülle's teammate, Jose Maria Jimenez experienced a puncture earlier, but has been brought back to the peloton. With the speed of the bunch today, teams will have to be vigilant so that their main riders are protected from falls and punctures. A lot of time could be lost otherwise.
15.30 CET - 124 km gone/78 km to go
Jens Voigt is still virtual Maillot Jaune after the third climb, the cat. 4 Cote de Calorguen. Sebastien Demarbaix (Lotto) beat Voigt (CA) and Dekker (Rabobank) to the top, with the gap to the bunch still around 3'30.
Nicholas Jalabert, brother of leader Laurent is on the front, doing the hard yards for ONCE. They will chase at their current rate, but will not do any more without assistance from other teams.
At the current rate, the race should finish approximately 17:05 CET, ahead of the fastest schedule for the day. The weather is not brilliant, as there is intermittent rain. Huge crowds - the biggest of the Tour so far - line the route.
15.47 CET - 137 km gone/65 km to go
The break continues to soldier on at 46 km/h. Their lead is still hovering at around 3'30, but slowly shrinking as ONCE ride a fast tempo up front. Second overall, Lance Armstrong (USPS) is seen near the head of the peloton, sheltering behind Jalabert.
15.58 CET - 146 km gone/56 km to go
There are still intermittent rain showers, and the break is working smoothly. The only guys riding hard for ONCE at the moment are N. Jalabert and Ivan Gutierrez, and they are holding a 46.3 km/h average, with a three quarter following wind. However, in a short period of time the parcours turns so that the wind is behind the riders. The break is looking unlikely to succeed at this point.
Pantani (call of nature) and Virenque (puncture) both went off the back of the bunch, but were safely ushered back by their teammates.
16.07 CET - 153 km gone/49 km to go
The final climb of the day is another short one, the Cote du Chat (144.5km, cat. 4). Lotto's Sebastien Demarbaix preceeded Erik Dekker (Rabobank) and Jens Voigt (CA) this time. However, Paolo Bettini (Mapei), thanks to his efforts earlier in the day, will wear the climber's jersey tonight. He won the first category 3 climb, and took second in the second one.
16.16 CET - 160 km gone/42 km to go
Not that much has changed since the last time check. ONCE are continuing to tap away, not using their full strength. No sprinter's teams have yet come to aid them, and the gap is still 3:31.
16.25 CET - 166 km gone/36 km to go
Slowly but surely the gap is reducing, however it looks pretty healthy at this stage with ONCE still at the head of the chase. 3'20 to the leaders, and Jens Voigt is still in the virtual yellow. (They should invent another classification for that).
16.31 CET - 171 km gone/31 km to go
3"07 and falling, with about 40 minutes left to race. The peloton need to gain 6 seconds per kilometre on the break, which still contains Jens Voigt (CA), Sebastien Demarbaix, (Lotto) Rafael Mateos (Polti), Erik Dekker (Rabobank) and Koos Moerenhout (Farm Frites). The next best placed rider on GC is Moerenhout, 117th at 6:49.
16.38 CET - 177 km gone/25 km to go
The results of the third and final sprint at Liffre (172 km): 1. Jens Voigt (CA) 2. Sebastien Demarbaix (Lotto) and 3. Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank). Voigt is still virtual Maillot Jaune, with just 26 kilometres to go. Rafael Mateos (Polti) has been sitting at the back for a while.
Jens Voigt attacks, taking Erik Dekker with him.
16.44 CET - 181 km gone/21 km to go
Things have started to heat up in the chasing peloton, with the Festina team coming to the aid of the boys from ONCE. Could this be the day for mountain goat, Marcel Wüst to take a stage win? The gap is a more manageable two minutes now.
16.48 CET - 184 km gone/18 km to go
Voigt and Dekker attacked with 25 kilometres to go, and have a 1.35 lead in total to the peloton. Demarbaix is trying to bridge from the remnants of the break.
On the front, Festina, Bonjour and Mapei are leading.
16.58 CET - 192 km gone/10 km to go
Voigt and Dekker are alone in front of a ragin peloton, being led by Festina and Bonjour with just 11 kilometres to go. The gap is still decent, at just over a minute, and they have 6 seconds per kilometre to lose.
Voigt is no longer the Maillot Jaune Virtual.
17.00 CET - 194 km gone/8 km to go
Jens Voigt and Erik Dekker might well pull off a coup here, as they still maintain over a minute's lead with just 8 kilometres to go.
17.02 CET - 196 km gone/6 km to go
6 kilometres left to travel, and the two leaders have 38 seconds. It's going to be close, but they should hold them off.
17.06 CET - 199 km gone/3 km to go
3 km to go. Peloton at 20 seconds. Telekom at the front, but Bartoli attacks!
Dekker is powering, going flat out at 1 kilometre to go. They're not going to do it. The peloton is being led out by Captain America (Fred Rodriguez) going all out. He's got two Telekoms on his wheel, followed by Steels. The catch the two escapees.
Now, Fagnini leads out Zabel. Steels leads Zanini. Then, Marcel Wust comes off Zabel! He wins with the polka do jersey!
17:08 - 202 km/0.0 km
Dekker is powering, going flat out at 1 kilometre to go. They're not going to do it. The peloton is being led out by Captain America (Fred Rodriguez) going all out. He's got two Telekoms on his wheel, followed by Steels. They catch the two escapees with 300 m to go.
Now, Fagnini leads out Zabel. Steels leads Zanini. Then, Marcel Wust comes off Zabel with 150 m to go! He wins with the polka dot jersey!
There's going to be champagne tonight in the Festina camp.
1. Marcel Wust (Ger) Festina 4.19.05 (46.78 km/h) 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom 3. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei 4. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei 5. Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco 6. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Farm Frites 7. Jans Koerts (Ned) Farm Frites 8. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 9. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola 10. Christophe Mengin (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux GC: 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 14.28.23 2. David Cañada (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.12 3. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 0.24 4. Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.35 5. Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service 0.43 6. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.49 7. Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.49 8. Marcos Serrano (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.52 9. Miguel Angel Peña (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0.54 10. Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service 0.55