Cavendish at last!

Bryn Lennon

Having missed out on the stage one win and a chance to wear yellow Mark Cavendish came back with a vengeance as his Omega Pharma team dominated the leadout to deliver him to a dominant win on stage 5. Simon Gerrans remains in the Yellow jersey as race leader.

It was a stage that some doubted would be a sprinter's finish due to some some hills at the end that might prove too hard for the fastmen. As the the peloton steadily reeled in the break of the day though and passed over those hills without too many difficulties it was clear that it was going to be the first showdown between the biggest sprinters in Marseille however.

Cavendish's team took an early command of the approach to the finish with Tony Martin leading the peloton from 6-7 km out when the last remnants of the break were reeled in. What followed was a messy leadout for most everyone but Omega Pharma. They did their thing, ignoring the jittery riding around them with Lotto and others not quite being able to challenge them but instead trying to establish competing trains and moving from one side to the other. The Omega train had their timing down pat and Cav was delivered to start his sprint from in front of all his nearest rivals who never saw anything but the back of him as he powered the final hundred meters to clinch the win. Behind him Edvald Boasson Hagen and Peter Sagan both came with higher speed than Cav but they were never even close to catching him. With a better position at the start of the sprint Sagan looked like he could have challenged but you can't afford less than perfection when Cavendish gets the setup he did today.

The finish was marred by a massive crash in the peloton in the final hundred meters. We will update as word comes in who was down and hurt. The GC was however not affected and Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEdge finished in the front to maintain his lead and earn another day in the yellow jersey. The other leaders jerseys also remain the same.

Stageresult

1. GBRCAVENDISH Mark 151 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 05h 31' 51''
2. NORBOASSON HAGEN Edvald 2 SKY PROCYCLING 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
3. SVKSAGAN Peter 11 CANNONDALE 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
4. GERGREIPEL André 24 LOTTO-BELISOL 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
5. ITAFERRARI Roberto 145 LAMPRE - MERIDA 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
6. NORKRISTOFF Alexander 103 KATUSHA TEAM 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
7. ESPLOBATO DEL VALLE Juan José 115 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
8. LTUNAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas 177 GARMIN - SHARP 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
9. FRALEMOINE Cyril 215 SOJASUN 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''
10. ESPROJAS José Joaquin 129 MOVISTAR TEAM 05h 31' 51'' + 00' 00''

General Classification

1. AUSGERRANS Simon 181 ORICA GREENEDGE 18h 19' 15''
2. RSAIMPEY Daryl 185 ORICA GREENEDGE 18h 19' 15'' + 00' 00''
3. SUIALBASINI Michael 182 ORICA GREENEDGE 18h 19' 15'' + 00' 00''
4. POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 18h 19' 16'' + 00' 01''
5. FRACHAVANEL Sylvain 152 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 18h 19' 16'' + 00' 01''
6. NORBOASSON HAGEN Edvald 2 SKY PROCYCLING 18h 19' 18'' + 00' 03''
7. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 SKY PROCYCLING 18h 19' 18'' + 00' 03''
8. AUSPORTE Richie 6 SKY PROCYCLING 18h 19' 18'' + 00' 03''
9. IRLROCHE Nicolas 97 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 18h 19' 24'' + 00' 09''
10. CZEKREUZIGER Roman 94 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 18h 19' 24'' + 00' 09''

Points competition

1. SVKSAGAN Peter 11 CANNONDALE 111 pts
2. GBRCAVENDISH Mark 151 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 76 pts
3. NORKRISTOFF Alexander 103 KATUSHA TEAM 76 pts

Mountains competition

1. FRAROLLAND Pierre 51 TEAM EUROPCAR 10 pts
2. AUSCLARKE Simon 183 ORICA GREENEDGE 5 pts
3. FRAKADRI Blel 87 AG2R LA MONDIALE 5 pts

Young rider competition

1. POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 18h 19' 16''
2. USATALANSKY Andrew 178 GARMIN - SHARP 18h 19' 32'' + 00' 16''
3. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 18h 19' 35'' + 00' 19''
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