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Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 5

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 5: NOS Avondetappe

The Avondetappe features race highlights. A shot of four wind turbines turning was immediately followed by four or five helicopters with their rotors spinning. The commentator, who has a dry sense of humour, began his gag when we were watching the windmills: they're really environmentally friendly here in France, he said, just as the cameras switched. It's all in the timing.

Niki Terpstra was interviewed, and like his team manager, he was moaning that nobody wants to work with Quick-Step to bring the breaks back. After another Gaviria win, I doubt that will change on the next sprint stage.

As we're racing to Quimper today, the Avondetappe made a short film last night about the PDM team, and the occasion in 1991 when they dropped out of the Tour in Quimper with reported food poisoning. It was the end of Erik Breukink's hopes of winning the French race. It seems that the riders were unwell because of careless storage of a supplement called Intralipid, which was given to them by team doctor Wim Sanders by injection.


Erik Breukink on the left of the photo, PDM team, by Anders, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 5: ITV4

On this Tour, it has sometimes seemed that if the day of the week ends in a 'y', then Adam Yates crashes. Ned Boulting (short, as you may know, for Brined Boultingshaw), David Millar, and I were all thinking 'here we go again' on Stage 5 as a small, light Mitchelton Scott rider was left behind by the peloton. A good few minutes later, ITV4's corrections corner informed us that it was a case of mistaken identity. Mikel Nieve had been doing an Adam Yates impression by the side of the road, and fooled us all.

I will say that it's hard enough telling the difference between Simon and Adam, and remembering which one is in the event, without Nieve confusing things further. Could the former Sky rider maybe grow a moustache, or wear a signature red Cholet handkerchief in his top pocket?

The ITV competition prize includes some Wiggins cycling kit. Bradley as a a fantastic time trialist? Yes, count me in. Bradley as a Grand Tour winner? Ok, but with a few reservations, in retrospect. Bradley putting on a brooding look to try and flog some kit? I'm not buying it.

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 5: miscellaneous

There's a sporting event on this evening, a tiddlywinks contest or something. Go out for a ride when it's on, and the roads are beautifully quiet. Go out for a ride in the couple of hours before it starts, and the impatience of people behind the wheel is obvious. Whoop, whoop, whoop, numpty alert!

When it's been dry for as long as it has been in Yorkshire, you forget that rain is a type of weather that's possible. There was some this evening, though - only twelve drops, but rain drops nevertheless.

Another correct stage winner prediction on today's stage!

Super-happies: 1

Iconics: 0

Correct predictions of stage winners on this website: 2 out of 5

Tour de France 2018 diary Stage 5: comments

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Stage 6, Tour de France 2018

Roc Trévézel

Roc Trévézel, by Moreau.henri, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Stage 6 of the Tour de France 2018 is 181km from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan. There's a 16km finishing circuit, with two ascents at Mûr.

Read about Stage 6 of the 2018 Tour de France.

Stage 5, Tour de France 2018: towns, sights and attractions

Stage 5, Tour de France 2018: Lorient

Lorient harbour

Lorient harbour, by Jackmame, Licence CC BY-SA 2.5

Lorient is a port city on the south coast of Brittany, at the confluence of the Scorff and Blavet rivers. It's in the Morbihan département, and its population is around 58,000.

Lorient began to develop as a port when the French East Indies Company abandoned its base at Le Havre in 1675, and moved here. The French Royal Navy opened a base in Lorient in 1690.

From 1720 to 1790, Lorient was involved in the slave trade. From 1775 onwards, the American Revolutionary War brought a boost to activity, and from 1785, transatlantic lines with the USA were opened.

From 1941, the German navy had a U-boat HQ here - in Keroman. It was built on the orders of Admiral Dönitz. The Allies bombed the U-boat base in 1943-44, but they were unable to destroy the U-boats, which were protected by the massive concrete structure of the base. The Allies then bombed the city instead, dropping leaflets first to warn the locals to evacuate. The Germans surrendered Lorient in May 1945. The city was rebuilt over the next 40 years.

The ports are still important to Lorient, accounting for over 10,000 jobs. Lorient is known as 'the five port city', with military, fishing, commercial, passenger, and yachting ports.

Warships are built by DCNS at Lorient. Several units of the French navy are based in and around Lorient, including the naval special forces.

Each year in August, Lorient hosts the Festival Interceltique, which attracts around 800,000 visitors. In 2018, Wales will be the country of honour.

Lorient is twinned with (the) Wirral in the UK.

Stage 5, Tour de France 2018: Pont-Aven


Pont-Aven, by Brian Smithson, Licence CC BY 2.0

Pont-Aven is a small town on the river Aven and in the Finistère département.

Historically, it was a mill town, with a mill race powering several water mills.

It is known for the Pont-Aven school - artists who lived here in the late C19th including Emile Bernard, Paul Gaugin, and Paul Sérusier. The fine arts museum in Pont-Aven has a permanent collection dedicated to them.

Pont-Aven has a School of Contemporary Art. Brittany Ferries has named its flagship Pont-Aven.

Stage 5, Tour de France 2018: Concarneau


Concarneau, by Peter Stenzel, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Concarneau is a port town in the Finistère département. It has had a fishing industry for a long time, with many local boats catching tuna.

The Fête des Filets Bleus (Festival of Blue Nets) is a Breton and Celtic festival held in August every year, and its name makes a reference to the blue nets traditionally used for fishing in Concarneau.

The modern town of Concarneau is on the mainland, but the old Ville Close is a walled area on an island in the middle of the harbour, connected to the rest of Concarneau by a bridge. There are lots of shops and restaurants in the Ville Close, and a fishing museum.

Concarneau is twinned with Penzance in the UK.

Stage 5, Tour de France 2018: Quimper


Quimper, by Peter Stenzel, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Quimper (Kemper in Breton) means 'confluence'. Quimper is at the confluence of the Steir, Odet, and Jet rivers. It is the ancient capital of the traditional Breton region of Cornouaille.

Quimper was settled by the Romans. It later became the capital of the Counts of Cornouaille, before being united with the Duchy of Brittany in the C11th.

The Cathedral was built in the C13th to C16th, and is dedicated to Saint-Corentin, Quimper's first bishop.

Since 1690, Quimper faience, a particular type of hand-painted pottery, has been produced. The cafés of Quimper serve delicious crêpes and cider.

Amongst other places, Quimper is twinned with Falkirk (Scotland) and Limerick (Ireland).

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