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Le Tour 2001

89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

Main page    Stage profile    Start List    Results

Stage 5 - Thursday July 11: Soissons - Rouen, 195 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:39 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

12:00 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of Stage 5 of the Tour de France, 195 kilometres from Soissons to Rouen, in the northwest corner of France. Today's stage is another flat one, with no categorised climbs en route, meaning that Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com) will not have his polka dot jersey threatened.

There are however three time bonus sprints, at Brunvillers-La-Motte (74 km), Grandvilliers (117 km), and Forges-Les-Eaux (150.5 km). If the peloton is still together at these places, expect Erik Zabel to contest the sprints in order to keep his green jersey. That said, he may wish to save himself for the final bunch kick, in order to win the stage.

On the other hand, a breakaway might stay away today into the steady westerly wind, but we'll see.

12:30 CEST
This morning in the village depart there was a lot of talk about the problems yesterday for Laurent Jalabert and the CSC Tiscali team, who slipped from first to third in the team time trial after they waited for Michael Sandst°d when he punctured. In today's issued of L'Equipe, there was a big photo of JaJa turning around and making a 'what's going on?' gesture to the team car.

Although Sandst°d was a strong member of the team, they would have lost at least 30 seconds in waiting for him before they eventually decided to continue on without him. After that their rhythm was disrupted for the final 20 km, and the 46 second deficit they finished with at the end cost them the top spot. But that's racing.

12:45 CEST
After a 3.8 kilometre neutral section, the riders officially started the fourth stage at 12:39pm. Despite the headwind, the forecast is for a fairly fast stage due to the flat parcours. Yesterday the winning team ONCE averaged nearly 51 km/h into a headwind - not bad going at all.

12:54 CEST
A total of four kilometres passed before the first attacks started, and now they're happening in earnest. Jacky "Dudu" Durand, master of the long breakaway, has got himself into a few moves so far, but none have yet been successful.

13:02 CEST - 17 km
Despite a number of attacks so far, no-one has established themselves in the lead. Casar and Magnien were involved in a break, which was chased down by the Rabobank team. The pace has been quite brisk so far - around 45 km/h.

13:19 CEST - 31.5 km
The riders are due for some wet weather today, as they head into a large threatening Normandy storm cloud coming off the English Channel. There have been some showers on the course and the West/Southwest wind is picking up.

There has been an attack by seven riders: Viatcheslav Ekimov (USPS), Jakob Piil (CSC), Jimmy Casper (FDJ), Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto), Marco Serpellini (Lampre), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) and Massimo Apollonio (Tacconi). They have 15 seconds at 31 km.

We spoke with Tacconi Sport's Dario Frigo in the village this morning, and asked him about yesterday's team time trial (Tacconi lost 3'45 to finish 18th):

"We thought we wouldn't lose as much time yesterday. We kind of had bad luck. Partly because we had a flat at the beginning and the team didn't ride as well as we thought we would."

Are you disappointed? Yes, we're disappointed. To already lose 4 minutes to guys like Armstrong, Beloki, De Galdeano is a lot if I'm going to get on the podium."

How do you feel? "I'm disappointed from yesterday but piano, piano. I'll try to pick myself up and I'm already thinking about the time trial in Lorient to get back time I've lost."

Note: Frigo is the current Italian time trial champion, and won a time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia last year.

13:36 CEST - 45 km
The seven riders have increased their lead to 35 seconds, although the peloton hasn't given up chasing them yet. Of these, Ekimov is the danger man, being 14th overall at 35 seconds which makes him the "maillot jaune virtuel" at the moment.

13:46 CEST - 52 km
ONCE decided that Ekimov and Verbrugghe were too dangerous to let go, and closed down the break. The peloton is back together again after 52 kilometres. The first hour was raced at an average speed of 48.7 km/h - wind, what wind?

13:56 CEST - 60 km
The peloton is rapidly approaching the first sprint at kilometre 74, with no-one else being able to get clear due to the high speed.

Cyclingnews spoke with Mario Chiesa (Fassa Bortolo director) in the village today: "We don't really have anyone for the GC in this race so we came to the Tour to win some stages," he said. "We have guys for flat stages like Ivanov and Basso and mountain stages like Belli. For the time trial stage, Gontchar could do a good ride. We take it day by day since we don't have a big team leader."

When asked why sprinter Alessandro Petacchi wasn't in the team, Chiesa replied "Petacchi has already raced a lot this season. He's had big successes. He's had a full season from the beginning and has already raced the Giro. He's supposed to do the Vuelta so he never planned to do the Tour. "

14:04 CEST - 68 km
Mikel Pradera (ONCE, 143rd at 7'30) and Miguel Martinez (Mapei, 103 at 4'23) have attacked the peloton, but were quickly caught. Just 6 kilometres to go until the first sprint.

14:13 CEST - 75 km
A group of 17 riders, including Floyd Landis (US Postal Service), Bobby Julich (Team Deutsche Telekom), Mikel Pradera (ONCE-Eroski), Jose Javier Gomez and JosÚ Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme-Costa Blanca), Arvis Piziks (CSC-Tiscali), Thor Hushovd and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), Jimmy Casper and Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com), Bram de Groot and Karsten Kroon (Rabobank), Laszlo Bodrogi and Robert Hunter (Mapei-Quick Step), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Banesto), Alessandro Cortinovis (Lampre) and Stefano Casagranda (Alessio). got away just before the sprint.

either Erik Zabel nor Robbie McEwen was in the break and Baden Cooke won the sprint in front of Karsten Kroon and Stefano Casagrande.

The break now has 15 seconds lead.

14:20 CEST - 81 km
The lead of the 17 breakaways grows to 35 seconds, which means that Floyd Landis (US Postal) is in the Maillot Jaune virtuel. This will put pressure on CSC-Tiscali and ONCE to chase.

For more info about Floyd Landis, he is submitting a daily diary for Cyclingnews, which you can access here. Also, part one of our detailed interview with him can be found here, under The Legend of Landis.

14:30 CEST - 89 km
The Bonjour team have decided to close the gap down, helped also by Cofidis and Fassa Bortolo. The lead of the 18 riders has shrunk rapidly, and they are caught at 89 km.

Rubens Bertogliati (Lampre) is chasing back on through the caravan, after a mechanical.
Tom Steels
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

14:34 CEST - 92 km
The peloton pass through the feed zone at Noyers-Sur-Martin with Laszlo Bodrogi leading the way just off the front. Bodrogi ensures that he gets his feed bag, and the peloton enjoy a brief respite as they collect their musettes.

It's reported that Tom Steels (Mapei-Quick Step) has given up. Bad luck for the Mapei sprinter, who was looking for form ever since the Tour started. Today has been brutally fast.

14:41 CEST - 97 km
Half the peloton has stopped to answer the call of nature, and the pace slows down to accomodate them. The average speed so far has been around 48 km/h for the first two hours.

Richard Virenque cruises out the back of the peloton, and wants something, but it's not clear what yet. His team car drives up, but he doesn't seem interested.

He's waiting for the race doctor, as he has a problem with his knee.

14:51 CEST - 101 km/94 km to go
The race has started again in earnest, as Erik Dekker, then Servais Knaven pick up the pace at the front. There is a general bagarre and the CSC-Tiscali team has now got a few riders in a group of 15 just off the front. Laurent Jalabert is there, and CSC are giving it everything.

The main peloton is at 10 seconds, and another group is chasing them. The wind is really making it tough.

We spoke with Johnny Weltz (CSC director) this morning about yesterday's team time trial, and today's tactics.

"I don't think ONCE will defend the yellow jersey by riding hard. They have to ride 200 km today and again tomorrow and I don't think that's their intention. (Note: Weltz used to be on ONCE). I think they're more likely to put a guy in the breakaway. And of course they have the option to get the jersey with another guy. I don't think it's their intention to use all their guys before the mountains.

On Jalabert's posibilities of getting the jersey: "It's not like an exhibition here. I don't think it would be too wise for the other teams to give Jalabert 10 minutes. Jalabert is not obsessed enough to contest every bonus sprint to try to get the jersey."

"After the prologue and the first couple of stages, and then after seeing the TTT course, Jalabert said he thought we can win the time trial and take the yellow. I think there's going to be another opportunity."

14:58 CEST - 107 km/88 km to go
Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre), Michael Sandstod (CSC), Christophe Edaleine (Jean Delatour), Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r), and Stefano Casagranda (Alessio) have managed to counter-attack, after the 15 man group was caught. None of them are really dangerous for the GC, so at the moment they have a small gap of 28 seconds.

15:04 CEST - 112 km/83 km to go
The five leaders have increased their gap to 1'00, as ONCE gets to the front and sets a steady tempo. Christophe Edaleine is the best placed of the break, 111th on GC at 4'47, so ONCE do not have to close it down - they should let the sprinters teams do that.

15:11 CEST - 117 km/78 km to go
The next sprint at 117 km (Grandvilliers) is won by Casagrande with a half hearted effort (it's worth money). Sandstod is second, followed by Edaleine.

The gap to the peloton is now 2'07

Note: Tom Steels' abandonment at the feed zone was the first in this year's Tour. There are now 188 riders in the race.

15:21 CEST - 125 km/70 km to go
Gonzalez de Galdeano drops to the back of the peloton to have a word with his team director and get something from the car. In front, ONCE have five guys there followed by US Postal. They are not chasing hard at the moment, and the gap is now 3'10 with 70 km to go.

The riders in the break again: Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre), Michael Sandstod (CSC), Christophe Edaleine (Jean Delatour), Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r), and Stefano Casagranda (Alessio). Edaleine is the best placed, 111th on GC at 4'47.

15:28 CEST - 130 km/65 km to go
The gap is still growing, and is now 3'51 with 65 km to go. ONCE is controlling the tempo in the peloton, with occasional help from Bonjour. No team has decided to start chasing in earnest yet.

It's been announced on French TV that Laurent Jalabert has extended his contract with CSC-Tiscali for another year.

15:36 CEST - 135 km/60 km to go
The breakaways' advantage has stablised to 4'06, as the five leaders trade off turns. Edaleine therefore is not in the virtual yellow jersey yet (he needs 4'47).

15:42 CEST - 140 km/55 km to go
The chase still hasn't started, although the gap to the leaders is not getting any bigger. ONCE-Eroski lead the peloton, protecting Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano's yellow jersey.

The average speed in the third hour was 43.5 km/h, with the overall average for the stage 46 km/h. At this rate, the race will finish before 17:00.

15:50 CEST - 147 km/48 km to go
The sprinters teams are now starting to come to the fore, with Lotto-Adecco taking over the pace from ONCE. The gap has grown to 4'52, so it's time...

15:54 CEST - 151 km/44 km to go
The final sprint in Forges-Les-Eaux is taken by Sandstod, followed by Casagrande and Kirsipuu, but there was no attempt to sprint. A big crowd cheers the breakaways through the town.

Behind them, the peloton has picked up the tempo with Credit Agricole, Lotto-Adecco and Francaise des Jeux doing the work. The gap is now 4'30.
Anquetil memorial
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

16:03 CEST - 156 km/39 km to go
The peloton is really flying now, as they realise they need to get cracking in order to catch the break, which is now just 4'06 in front. Christophe Edaleine's time in "virtual yellow" was short. He is just 22 years old, and has ridden for Jean Delatour since the beginning of 2001 when he turned pro. He has yet to score a professional victory.

Today's stage finishes in Jacques Anquetil's birthplace in Rouen. Anquetil was one of the greatest French riders, winning five Tours de France (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964). There is a memorial in Rouen dedicated to his exploits.

16:10 CEST - 160 km/35 km to go
As the peloton makes its way up a small climb, they're having difficulty closing down this gap to Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre), Michael Sandstod (CSC), Christophe Edaleine (Jean Delatour), Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r), and Stefano Casagranda (Alessio), who are all very strong and will work hard to try and win the stage. It's still 4'06.

Surprisingly, Telekom hasn't assisted the chase yet.

16:20 CEST - 168 km/27 km to go
It's now Credit Agricole/Lotto-Adecco/FDJeux.com powering the chase, and the gap has come down to 3 minutes. It's going to be close.

16:24 CEST - 172 km/23 km to go
The peloton pass under the 25 km to go banner 2'47 behind the five leaders, who are still working well together. Two of them are national champions (Kirsipuu and Sandstod), Dierckxsens and Casagranda are very strong, while Edaleine seems to be suffering and is sitting at the back.

McEwen is sitting in about 15th wheel behind the Credit Agricole/Lotto train. Just behind him is yellow jersey wearer Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. Fabien de Waele is also helping the chase, despite not having his friend Tom Steels in the race any more. He hopes to get Oscar Freire up for another stage win.

16:29 CEST - 177 km/18 km to go
With 18 kilometres to go, the gap has fallen to 2'28. A quick calculation: If the break is doing 43.5 km/h, the peloton needs to do 48 km/h to catch them.

A big fall in the back of the peloton takes out most of the Euskaltel team, and possibly Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto). Pinotti (Lampre) looks bad too. He is lying on the ground, not moving. The race doctor is treating him. Verbrugghe is ok, and gets on his bike.

16:34 CEST - 179 km/16 km to go
Casagranda is doing a lot of work in the break, and Edaleine is now contributing again. The gap: 2'20 with just over 15 km to go.

16:37 CEST - 183 km/12 km to go
FDJeux.com teammates Vogondy and Brad McGee are chasing back on after the fall. Roberto Laiseka, Jerome Bernard, Servais Knaven, David Etxebarria, Gorka Arrizabalaga are also chasing.

There is a very real chance that the five leaders will stay away, as their gap is still 1'55 with 12 km to go. The best sprinter is obviously Kirsipuu, but things change in a break as he won't have a leadout train.

16:40 CEST - 185 km/10 km to go
10 kilometres to go, and still its Dierckxsens, Casagranda, Kirsipuu, Edaleine and Sandstod leading the race, 1'30 in front of the bunch. Telekom has now got two guys on the front, but it's probably too late.

16:43 CEST - 187 km/8 km to go
The five leaders are still all working together, as they know they'll have to cooperate right to the end in order to stay away. Will we get an attack from Ludo Dierckxsens? Or possibly Sandstod or even Kirsipuu, who won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in a solo time trial effort.

1'18 with 8 km to go.

16:46 CEST - 190 km/5 km to go
It still seems as though the peloton has miscalculated. 1'00 with 5 km to go - it's going to be tough for them to close the gap, but it's still possible.

The peloton pass under 5 km to go at 57 seconds.

16:49 CEST - 193 km/3 km to go
Ludo Dierckxsens attacks, but gets Kirsipuu on his wheel straight away. The others catch back up. Massive crowds greet them as they pass by the cathedral in Rouen.

45 seconds lead.

16:50 CEST - 194 km/1.5 km to go
Casagranda attacks, followed by Ludo and Kirsipuu. Sandstod and Edaleine have problems getting them, but they do. Sandstod attacks with 1 km to go.

It doesn't work.

16:51 CEST - 195 km/0 km to go
Casagranda leads the sprint, but Kirsipuu is always there and is too strong. Sandstod decides to attack first, and goes hard. Kirsipuu is right on his wheel and gets him. Diercksens is third.

McEwen wins the bunch kick for 6th, in front of compatriots Stuart O'Grady and Baden Cooke. Erik Zabel still didn't look fast, placing 9th in the stage.


1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                  4.13.33
2 Michael Sandst°d (Den) CSC-Tiscali
3 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre Daikin
4 Stefano Casagranda (Ita) Alessio                        0.03 
5 Christophe Edalaine (Fra) Jean Delatour                 0.08
6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                        0.33
7 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
9 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
10 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport

General classification after stage 5

1 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski         
2 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                         0.04
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service                 0.07
4 J÷rg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski                          0.12
5 Abraham Olano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                         0.22
6 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) US Postal Service         0.25
7 Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                          0.27
8 JosÚ Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski                          0.28
9 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
10 Marcos A.Serrano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski                     0.30


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