A guide to the Tour de France
6th July 2016
Greg van Avermaet (BMC) won Stage 5 today, and takes the yellow jersey into the bargain.
The fifth stage of the 2016 Tour de France from Limoges to le Lioran involved six climbs. In the mountainous terrain towards the end of the stage, van Avermaet managed to drop his breakaway companions, and ride strongly to the finish line.
Thomas de Gendt was second, and Rafal Majka third, just ahead of a reduced bunch.
This is a video of the closing stages of Stage 5:
There were nine riders in the day's breakaway - Andriy Grivko (Astana), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Cyril Gautier (AG2R), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora Argon), Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), and Florian Vachon (Fortuneo). The gap was up to 15 minutes at one point.
Going over the third-to-last climb, the Pas de Peyrol, van Avermaet and de Gendt had dropped their breakaway companions, and were in the lead. Some of the of the other breakaway riders were between the leaders and a reduced peloton driven by Movistar and Sky. Peter Sagan and Vincenzo Nibali were among the riders dropped on the Pas de Peyrol.
At the top of the penultimate climb, the Col du Perthus, Greg van Avermaet was alone, having dropped de Gendt. Van Avermaet continued to ride strongly up the final climb of the Col de Font de Cère and all the way to the line, to take the win; de Gendt was second; and Majka was the only other breakaway rider to reach the finish before the peloton.
Most of the favourites were still in the bunch, but Alberto Contador was distanced by an acceleration initiated by Romain Bardet about 2km from the finish, and the Spaniard loses 33 seconds.
Van Avermaet said, 'It feels great. The stage win and the yellow jersey - it's the win of a lifetime. I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible. I went on my own because I was strong enough to hold it to the line.'
CyclingNews has the full race results and overall standings.
This is the Stage 5 highlights video:
The 2016 Tour de France begins at Mont St Michel, in the Manche département of France. It tackles the Pyrenees before the Alps, and as always there's a final processional stage to Paris.
Stage 6 is classified flat, although there are three short climbs. It goes south west from Arpajon-sur-Cère to join the river Lot at la Vieillevie, and continues to Flagnac. The first climb, the Col des Estaques, takes the race away from the Lot, and into the coal-mining country of Decazeville and Aubin. The next climb is out of Aubin towards the intermediate sprint at Montbazens. The riders then go to the historic ville bastide of Villefranche-de-Rouergue, and on to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the Aveyron gorges. The final climb is out of Saint-Antonin, then it's a fast run-in via Montricoux and Nègrepelisse to a probable sprint finish in Montauban. Read about Stage 6, Tour de France 2016.
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