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Well last night’s stage sure put the general classification upside down on it’s head. It was predictable that Thomas De Gendt (race leader starting the stage) would have been absolutely smashed from yesterday’s massive effort, but Voeckler managed to hang in there pretty darn well. As always he put in a gutsy ride, but dropped out of contention on GC in the last 9kms.
The decisive move took place on the descent of the Col de la Mure, 9km’s from the finish, when eight riders broke clear. Klöden was lead out by his team-mate Brajkovic, who perfectly set him up for the sprint. I was surprised to see him beat Sanchez, who is usually excellent in these small bunch kicks. Remember him in Beijing?
Klöden is part of the cast in one of my all-time favorite and most memorable TdF stages. Stage 17 in 2004 (see video here). This is how I most remember Klödy’s sprint.
If you’ve never seen the movie Höllentour (Hell On Wheels), it is an absolute must see. Zabel, Aldag and Klöden back in the day. Riveting stuff!
For those of you interested, here is Christophe Le-Mével’s Garmin Data for this stage. Thank you to Peter for sending in.
Stage 5 Results
1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 4:59:00
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
4 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad
5 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana
7 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack
8 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:18
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:19
General Classification After Stage 5
1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 24:26:13
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:04
3 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
4 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:00:10
5 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana
6 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack
7 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
9 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:28
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:29