Australian Simon Clarke wins in Arenberg on the crazy cobblestone stage, Tadej Pogacar impresses

Australian Simon Clarke wins in Arenberg on the crazy cobblestone stage, Tadej Pogacar impresses


“The little cannibal” has never worn his nickname so well. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) did not win the fifth stage of the Tour de France, Wednesday July 6, but hit hard in the quest for a third consecutive yellow jersey. The victory went to a strong man, who left in a breakaway at the start of the day. The 35-year-old Australian veteran, Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), was indeed stronger than Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) in an exhausted sprint.

In this construction stage, the Jumbo-Visma experienced a nightmarish stage. After his demonstration on the fourth stage, Wout van Aert had a hell of a comeback. Even before the start of the cobbled sections, after just over 40 kilometers, the leader of the general classification was thrown to the ground after a roundabout. He had to impose a ten kilometer chase where he almost fell again but finally returned. The Belgian had to catch up more than a minute behind with Steven Kruijswijk.

At the finish, Wout van Aert finally kept his yellow jersey for 13 seconds. “The team gave everything, it was not a good day for us”summarized the leader of the Tour at the microphone of France Télévisions after the stage.

It is not Jonas Vingegaard who will say the opposite. At 37 kilometers from the finish, panic reigned again within the Jumbo-Visma when the Dane suffered a mechanical problem. Nathan Van Hooydonck gave him his bike, but the Belgian being much taller, Vingegaard couldn’t do much. He dismounted again a few meters further, where Steven Kruisjwijk then handed over his machine to him. Another failure. A few seconds later, the Jumbo-Visma car stopped alongside him and he was finally able to take his second bike, in his size. Vingegaard had, at that point, lost more than a minute on the peloton.

Stage 5: The black day of the Jumbo-Visma

As if that were not enough, 30 kilometers from the finish when he was the only headliner of the team to get by, Primoz Roglic also tasted the bitumen of the North. After a roundabout, a Groupama-FDJ rider touched a bale of signal straw and brought it back to the center of the road. The Slovenian couldn’t avoid it and crashed. After a few seconds on the ground, the unlucky one got up and left with a disbursement of more than two minutes that he never managed to fill.

After these three major race facts, no more member of the Jumbo-Visma was in the peloton, Christophe Laporte having got up to help his leaders. In the end, Roglic, designated leader of the team, conceded two minutes and his final victory in the Tour de France is strongly called into question. Vingegaard took advantage of the immense work of Van Aert and Laporte in the last 25 kilometers to concede only 13 seconds on Pogacar. Nothing is over for the Dane.

Good news in the French clan with the fine performance of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), who remained in the group of favorites until the end. Romain Bardet (Team DSM), a time behind with the Ineos Grenadiers of Geraint Thomas, finally finished in the right peloton, as did Thibaut Pinot and Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic).

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