Dan Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) may not get the chance to go for a stage win in the Tour as he has been tasked with looking after team-mate Ryder Hesjedal. “That’s my job for the race, looking after him,” he told Cycling Weekly.”It was only really on the Boulogne-sur-Mer stage where you could sense how nervous everyone was. “I was a bit annoyed at the finish, because I was with Ryder but I got held up in the crash. Luckily he [Ryder] was out the way so he didn’t come down.”

Showers, projection screens and coffee machines aren’t enough for Team Sky, who have installed a mobile rice boiler in their team bus. The machine is switched around an hour before the end of each stage and it provides one of the first things the riders eat after their obligatory recovery drinks. Rice is becoming an ever more popular replacement for pasta and bread in pro cycling; its low gluten content means it’s easy to digest, plus it doesn’t soak up water in the gut and de-hydrate the riders.

Without a professional win in his three-year career, Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis) was understandably ruing yesterday’s near miss. The former HTC-Highroad rider was part of the day-long break who were caught in the final 500m into Saint-Quentin. “It was almost the perfect day. The finish was 500m too far for me. The last hill killed me and me legs. I tried, and I lost, but that’s life in cycling,” he said afterwards.

Today’s L’Equipe was scathing of yesterday’s parcours, giving it a 0/10 rating. “The sole climb of the route, the Bonsecours, was situated before the official stage start. It cries of favourtism to Michael Morkov, who had a comfortable day in the polka-dot jersey.”

Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) has been operated on following his heavy crash during Tuesday’s stage into Boulogne-sur-Mer. The sprinter fractured his collarbone in three places, and underwent surgery in Murcia. He still hopes to ride the Olympic road race on July 28.

On the eve of the Tour start Team Sky and Pinarello announced they had renewed their deal for another year, to the end of 2013. Reports had
come out during the Giro d’Italia that the British team were to ride Specialized bikes next year, but while they had been in talks with the American manufacturer, nothing was ever signed.

Tour in numbers…it’s 367 days since Tyler Farrar last won a race.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins

Fourth Tour crash for Farrar

Greipel on a roll at the Tour

Cavendish and Eisel expected to continue after stage four crash

Injury report: Tour stage four

Garmin-Sharp adjust Tour de France plans after injury problems

Sky down to eight after Siutsou crash

Kittel recovering from illness

Explaining the three kilometre rule

Sky’s embarrassment of riches

Rogers back on form and backing Wiggins in the Tour 

Martin to continue in Tour despite fractured wrist

Liquigas coach tips Sagan for future Grand Tour win

Cancellara’s win lifts morale in RadioShack team

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials

CW’s Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever