Stage 5 of the Tour de France took the riders from Arras Communauté Urbaine to Amiens Métropole over a distance of 189.5kms. With no climbs on the route, it was always expected to be a stage that would suit the sprinters and that’s how it turned out.
Unfortunately for one of the big name sprinters in the race, Nacer Bouhanni, the Frenchman crashed after just 11kms along with some of his Cofidis team mates. Bouhanni was forced to quit the race as he was escorted away by ambulance.
There were numerous other crashes during the stage, and amongst those involved were green jersey wearer Andre Greipel, French sprinter Bryan Coquard, Belgum’s Greg Van Avermaet and Trek Factory leader Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands. However, all escaped unhurt. Greipel appeared unaffected as he took second at the intermediate sprint behind early escapee Pierre-Luc Perichon (BSE).
After the intermediate sprint, the bunch came back together but it split when Team SKY, BMC and Tinkoff-Saxo increased the tempo shortly before a sharp turn at kilometer 110. Richie Porte, Rafal Majka Thomas Voeckler and Peter Kennaugh were among the riders dropped.
25 kms from the end, there was another major crash which involved some 30 riders. Amongst those caught up were French riders Thibaut Pinot and Jean-Christophe Peraud, both on the Tour podium last year. They made it back in the bunch as the sprinter’s trains organized. Andre Greipel took his second win of this Tour when he overpowered Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish to strengthen his hold on the green jersey.