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Stage 5, Cholet - Chateauroux... LIVE!

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Gerolsteiner's big test today.

The motivations of grand tour teams make things pretty interesting at times. As opposed to classics, where every man jack is completely dedicated to either winning or setting up a teammate to win, in grand tours each day brings a mix of objectives. Today, Gerolsteiner will be somewhat desperate to retain the yellow jersey, an unexpected windfall for a team who came to the Tour with modest hopes.

Their biggest nemesis will almost certainly be the inevitable breakaways, who will be racing with extra incentive today... because all of the GC teams will be desperate to do as little as possible. Assuming there is a break, it will be largely up to Gerolsteiner to shut it down, with only faint hopes of help from the sprinters' teams.

The sprinters' teams include teams who won't want to work due to other concerns (Rabo, Silence); teams with tough choices to make in that regard (Columbia); and teams with little help to offer (Barloworld). That leaves Credit Agricole and Quick Step as possible allies.

Fortunately, Gerolsteiner have cards to play: Kohl and Lang are both under 2' back on GC, and capable of joining/covering breaks. Markus Fothen is 3' back as well. So, with enough attentiveness, they may keep things under control after all. Fun? Well, it's no Tour of Flanders, but it will make for good drama today. Enjoy!