Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Tour de France 2024 LIVE: Stage five route, standings & updates as Mark Cavendish aims for record-breaking win – BBC


Follow live text coverage of stage five of the Tour de France
Flat 177.4 km route from Saint Jean De Maurienne to Saint Vulbas offers sprinters opportunity
Mark Cavendish targeting record-breaking 35th Tour stage win
Tadej Pogacar leads overall General Classification after stage four victory
Remco Evenepoel 45 seconds behind; defending Champion Jonas Vingegaard five seconds further adrift in third
Harry Poole
That was Mark Cavendish's 165th career victory. One hundred and sixty five. Let that sink in.
He was already the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour, now he will likely be immortalised in the race’s history, after eclipsing Eddy Merckx to become its greatest ever stage winner.
The Briton had feared his career was drawing to a close and battles with illness, injuries and depression contributed to him not winning once during 2019 and 2020.
But he returned to the Belgian Quick Step team in 2021 to win four stages at that year's Tour.
Left out of the 2022 Tour and seemingly out of contract at the end of that year, he joined Kazakhstan's Astana at the last minute for 2023.
With his race abruptly ended after he sustained a broken collarbone in a crash when on the verge of history last year, the Manx Missile decided he could not allow his career to end there.
And so, in Saint Vulbas, with a trademark burst to the line, Cavendish achieved the record-breaking moment that has long felt his destiny.
Was it every really in doubt that he would?
Read more here.
We'll be back tomorrow for stage six.
Another sprint stage. He couldn't, could he?
Catch you then.
Two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogacar: "Incredible. A 35th victory for Mark. He came to me and said don’t break the record but I don’t think I can."
An emotional Vasilis Anastopoulos, who is head of performance at Mark Cavendish's Astana Qazaqstan team: "You know it has been so many months of hard training with so many setbacks. We spent three months in Greece from 2 April, every day believing and every day training. We went to Turkey and it was like he was done, gone, he's not going to sprint but we kept believing. We brought him back to Greece and had some really good sessions and were optimistic but on the first day he had heat stroke so we thought we had done something wrong but he did it again.
"We had a plan and stuck to it. Everyone knew exactly what to do. We made a calculation on what pace to follow. He was super strong at the end. He was the old Cavendish."
It is history for Mark Cavendish, a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win.
Head over here to read the developing breaking story.
Here is the man himself, Mark Cavendish, after his record-breaking win:
"We just wanted to get the run-in to do it. I'm in a bit of disbelief.
"It was a big gamble for my boss and the team. You have to go all-in and we have done it. We did exactly what we wanted to do.
"Every little detail has been put towards specifically today.
"The Tour de France is bigger than cycling."
And here is Geraint Thomas speaking about his former teammate and pal Cavendish:
"It’s unbelievable I am super happy for him
"To continue to do what he does at his age…at 39…everyone says you get slower when you get older but he has proved them wrong.
"I thought he could do it. I called it on my pod. He always suffers and has a bad day in the mountains but I knew he could get it with a good team around him and he just has to be there and see the finish line and he always has a shout for the win.
"It is great he has the record alone and is not sharing it with anyone. I said 'mate if you win this stage just drop your bike and walk away' but 'he was like, if I win the first one, I'll want to win more,' so he’s definitely going to hang around isn’t he."
This is what he has been working towards, waiting for, refusing to give up on.
The outright record for Tour de France stage wins belongs to Mark Cavendish.
He can't quite believe it. How did he pull that off?
The Manx Missile darted from wheel to wheel but then when he found the gap, was it ever really in doubt?
He raises his arms as he crosses the line before being embraced by his team-mates.
35 Tour de France stage wins.
Into the final kilometre!
All the big names are there. Who gets this is anyone's guess.
It's fast and furious as the sprint teams fight for position before this final burst to the line.
Mark Cavendish is nicely positioned in the top 10.
Here. We. Go.
Four kilometres left and the General Classification teams will now ease off having brought their main riders into the safe zone.
It is over to the sprint teams to try and complete the job!
The kilometres are quickly going by now and Mark Cavendish gets himself back in touch with the rest of his team at the front of the race after the peloton is reshuffled by the road layout.
The riders enter the final 10km. With all the big players still in contention, this is set to be some finish in Saint Vulbas.
Mark Cavendish's Astana Qazaqstan have the right side of the road as they seek to hold position at the front. They still have strength in numbers.
Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates are still prominent at the front of the peloton as they look to deliver their main man safely to the finish.
It really could have all gone so wrong for him today, but for some remarkable last-minute reactions to avoid some street furniture.
Riders are beginning to look around, others are on the radio to their team.
Less than 15km to go.
Is this the day for Mark Cavendish? Does history lie just up the road?
Not long until we find out now.
Things will soon start to get very serious out there.
A couple of UAE Team Emirates riders are smiling and joking near the front of the peloton as they close in on completing their task of delivering Tadej Pogacar safely to today's finish.
But for the sprint teams, these are tense moments as the pace rises to 60km an hour and the finish line is fast approaching.
With their points today, Mads Pedersen and Biniam Girmay are now tied on 94 points in the green jersey competition.
Jonas Abrahamsen, who is wearing the green jersey today, is now five points clear of Tadej Pogacar in the King of the Mountains competition with the point he took on Cote de Lhuis.
Another crash! And this time it's another traffic island – after Tadej Pogacar came so close to hitting one earlier in the day.
Christophe Laporte has taken a bit of a knock there, but he's back on his bike and is another now playing catch-up.
Alexander Kristoff of Uno-X Mobility hits the deck on the slippery roads! Ouch. He has work to do to get back on here.
The pace is gradually increasing at the front of the peloton and the stress levels are only going to increase from here as we enter the final 25km.
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