Tour (st. 5) / Austria (st. 5)
Movistar Team unaffected by new incident -this time, just before the 3k-to-go mark- at Tour de France’s arrival to Saint-Quentin, with back-to-back victories by Greipel (LTB)
The fifth stage of the 2012 Tour de France -Rouen – Saint-Quentin, 196.5km- was a carbon copy of what happened yesterday as Movistar Team avoided any troubles in search for the duo of mountain stage in the weekend and the first long ITT on Monday. The telephone squad protected Alejandro Valverde in the final stages while the teams with sprinters pursued a breakaway -Ghyselinck (COF), Urtasun (EUS), Simon (SAU) and Ladagnous (FDJ)- that would stay away until the final 200 meters, catched by a bunch again led by Greipel (LTB) after a crash just over 3k from the finish that did not affect any of the Blue riders. Tomorrow, after a long, 100k transfer by car this very evening to their hotel, the Movistar Team riders will get into stage seven, over the same scheme of the last two days with 207k from Épernay to Metz and the Côte de Bruxières (Cat. 3, km 145) as the day’s only difficulty.
In turn, at the 64th Tour of Austria, a 12-man breakaway -fought with no success by Lithuanian Ignatas Konovalovas- stood away to dominate stage five, 228km en route to Sonntagberg, as Italian Fabio Taborre (ASA) won over a group of favourites much splitted into the final col -featuring slopes up to 22%- led by Sergio Pardilla, who now sits in 6th place overall. The 185 kilometers between Waidhofen/Ybbs and Melk will be the menu on Friday prior to the two final stages: the 24k ITT at Podersdorf on Saturday and the sprint finish in Vienna on Sunday.