Stages 4 and 5 were a couple of days for the sprinters in the Tour de France. Stage 4 saw the Peloton go from Cambrai to Reims, while today’s stage 5 saw the riders take off from Epernay headed for Montargis. It’s been an odd and brutal tour so far, only 5 days in. 197 riders started, and 9 have already been dropped due to injury. There are years I’ve watched the entire race and not seen 9 riders drop.
Yesterday’s sprint was a surprise attack by Alessandro Petacchi. Everyone’s eyes were on Mark Cavendish, who gave up down the stretch when he saw he couldn’t win. Kind of a wimpy finish for the man known as “The Manx Missile”. Thor Hushovd was in the top 10 again, gathering more green jersey points.
Today, Cavendish redeemed himself, capturing the stage at Montargis. However, Hushovd was not far behind, racking up more points to pad his lead in the green jersey competition.
Tomorrow’s stage is still fairly flat, although it does have a few category 4 climbs (the lowest categorized climbs in the tour). As far as I’m concerned, the tour begins on Saturday. The riders start out in Tournus, but in order to make it Station des Rousses, they’ll have to survive 6 climbs, including a category 2 that summits right before the end of the race.