Two-Man Break Storms Stage 5 in Seaside Resort of Villers-Sur-Mer

After a 100km breakaway in the company of Frenchman Joel Pelier, Dutchman Johan Van der Velde won the sprint at this seaside resort and as a plus took the yellow jersey. It was surprising that the pack let go two riders of such high quality. Pelier with his gritty attacking style has occasionally been called the next Hinault. Van der Velde has won both the mountainous Tour de Romandie and Dauphine Libere, and finished third overall in the 1982 Tour de France behind Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk.

But Van der Velde also has had his downside: winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 1981 and then testing positive, convicted of burning down his own house for insurance money, and the victim of a high-speed crash and skull fracture in the ’83 Tour that almost ended his career.

Since that date Van der Velde, in exile in Italy, has done nothing of note apart from a Giro d’Italia stage win. In making his move, the Dutchman realized Systeme U might want to give up some of the responsibility of policing the racing all day long. Working well together, Pelier and Van der Velde at one point had 5:43 on the bunch. Despite both having to dismount on a super steep Cat 3 climb 6.5 km from the finish, they still had a comfortable 1;15 margin in Villiers. The sprint was almost a formality, with Van der Velde leaving Pelier lengths behind.

Once again, there were many crashes, including one that forced Fagor team leader Pedro Munoz to abandon. You could see it that evening on French T: Team 7-Eleven’s veteran rider Doug Shapiro turned to clown on the camera and plowed into Munoz, taking them both down.

In 194th and last place on the stage, losing 7:09, was Alexi Grewal, who crashed with 25km to go just as the speed was picking up for the finish.

The GC after today’s stage:

1. Van der Velde 19:01:50
2. Gaigne :36
3. Marie :42
4. Mottet :45
5. Fignon :49
26. Bauer 2:36
29. LeMond
40. Hampsten 2:57
85. Stieda 5:19
104. Phinney 5:57
105. Heiden s.t.
130. Bob Roll
142: Jeff Pierce 6:22
151. Chris Carmichael 6:38
157. Doug Shapiro s.t.
159. Ron Kiefel 6:41
185. Grewal 12:09

Today’s race clip shows the last minute of the break, the finishing sprint, and the bunch rolling on through.

Please join us tomorrow for coverage of Stage 6 of the Tour de France!

This stage’s race coverage is brought to you by Shimano Dura-Ace Track: good news for cyclists that demand only the best.

Shimano Dura-Ace Track


Post your reaction to today's race results!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s