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Class is Permanent – Stage 5

Cavendish at the team presentation, by ASO/Charly Lopez
Cavendish at the team presentation, by ASO/Charly Lopez

As expected, Stage 5 of the Tour de France 2024 ended in a bunch sprint in the unprepossessing surroundings of an industrial estate at Saint-Vulbas.

One person was able to elevate the race above the mundane surroundings.

Astana didn’t achieve the perfect lead-out. They had been near the front ever since the climb of the Cote de Lhuis, but it was hard to stay together in the chaotic run-in to the line.

The team positioned Mark Cavendish well enough, though, so that he could latch on to other riders, then sprint the last 100m to win convincingly.

Video Highlights

Video highlights of Stage 5.


The Breakaway

There was a two-man break from 143km to go, featuring Clément Russo (FDJ) and Mattéo Vercher (Total). Their maximum advantage was around four and a half minutes.

They were caught on the Cote de Lhuis, 36km from the finish.

The Sprint

In the closing stages, Cavendish took Jasper Philipsen’s wheel, with a bit of barging involving Phil Bauhaus and Fernando Gaviria.

The Manxman then sensed that Pascal Ackermann was charging fastest, and switched into his slipstream. Ackermann took Cavendish through the middle to the front of the pack. Then as Ackermann went straight on and began to fade, Cav sprinted to the left hand side of the road and over the line in first place.

Philipsen followed Cavendish but wasn’t able to come off his wheel.

Mads Pedersen followed Sam Bennett to the left, but the Dane then seemed to trip over the barriers and crash.

Top Ten

The top ten was:

  1. Mark Cavendish
  2. Jasper Philipsen
  3. Alexander Kristoff
  4. Arnaud de Lie
  5. Fabio Jakobsen
  6. Pascal Ackermann
  7. Arnaud Démare
  8. Gerben Thijssen
  9. Biniam Girmay
  10. Marijn van den Berg

Comments from Cavendish’s Coach

Mark Cavendish’s coach Vasilis Anastopoulos said:

‘You know it has been so many months of hard training with so many setbacks. We spent three months in Greece from 2 April, every day believing and every day training.

We went to Turkey and it was like he was done, gone, he’s not going to sprint but we kept believing.

We brought him back to Greece and had some really good sessions and were optimistic but on the first day he had heat stroke so we thought we had done something wrong but he did it again’.

vasilis anastopoulos
Class is Permanent – Stage 5

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