HomeNews & FeaturesRoad CyclingHushovd 10th as Break Stays Clear

Hushovd 10th as Break Stays Clear

Cerv?lo TestTeam avoided trouble in Wednesday’s fifth stage that saw the first successful breakaway in the 2009 Tour de France.

Thomas Voeckler held off the chasing peloton by seven seconds to win out of a five-man escape in the flat but windy 196.5km course from Cap d’Agde to Perpignan. Russian rider Mikhail Ignatiev also held on from the break to claim second with British sprint phenom Mark Cavendish leading the pack across for third.

Thor Hushovd led Cerv?lo TestTeam across the line with 10th while Carlos Sastre finished in the main bunch to remain 29th overall at 2:44 behind race leader Fabian Cancellara. There were no major shakeups in the overall classification.

"The fifth stage of this Tour was nervous from the beginning. It was open country, with narrow roads, crossing from left to right with a lot of crosswinds and headwinds. During the stage there were some splits," Sastre said. "Once again I felt very protected by my teammates and we didn’t have any problems, always staying at the front and in good position. We’ve cleared another important day of this Tour and we’re getting closer and closer to the Pyrenees."

"From the start, with the quality of guys in the break, we knew it was going to be hard to pull them back," said Brett Lancaster, one of the key workers for the team. "Thor is quite happy when he’s been up there in the sprints. It was a bit of a mess of a sprint, but that break stayed away in the end."

There was a tense moment when the course turned into strong crosswinds and the pack split into four groups as it braced against the fierce winds.

"We knew it was going to split right there at the lake where it was windy, so we did a good job keeping Carlos at the front," Lancaster said. "The team felt good today and took it easier after the team time trial. Carlos was real satisfied with how the team rode yesterday. Today we wanted to keep Carlos out of the wind."

The 96th Tour de France continues Thursday with the 181.5km sixth stage from Girona to Barcelona in Spain. The undulating course hugs the spectacular coast road along Catalunya’s Costa Brava before turning inland and looping around toward Barcelona, one of Europe’s most dazzling cities.

There’s a relatively easy Cat. 4 climb at La Conreria with 22.5km to go, but that shouldn’t slow down the peloton. The stage finishes atop the short but steep Montjuic hill overlooking Barcelona’s main harbor. The road is steep enough – with ramps as steep as 6 percent – to split up the main pack and give the peloton’s punchy climber’s a chance to win the stage.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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