Tour de France 2009: Stage 5 preview
When Wednesday July 8
Where Le Cap d'Agde - Perpignan
How long 196.5km
IMPACT ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Yellow Jersey: 1/5
Green Jersey: 4/5
Polka-Dot Jersey: 1/5
Another flat day with a couple of fourth category pimples for the bunch, as the race head south to Perpignan. This should be fodder for the thoroughbred sprinters, as their last chance of stage victory for almost a week. However, the strong Mediterranean wind could be an issue. It is possible that a breakaway group with the right composition could be allowed some freedom; undoubtedly, the outfit with the post-TTT yellow jersey will not want to ride on the front all through the Pyrenees.
- The Tour has visited Perpignan thirty-five times; last time round, in 1997, Laurent Desbiens was the stage "winner", even though breakaway rival Sergei Outschakov crossed the line first. The Ukrainian was adjudged to have changed his line in the sprint and was demoted to the back of the group.
- Cap d'Agde saw its only stage finish in 1998, when Tom Steels won a bunch gallop.
- The route passes through Béziers and near Narbonne, two happy hunting grounds for British cyclists. David Millar won a Tour transition stage in Beziers in 2002, while Mark Cavendish claimed victory last year in Narbonne.