Tour de France: Simon Clarke wins stage five as Pogacar makes statement – as it happened | Tour de France

1) Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): 16 hr 17’ 22”
2) Neilson Powless (EF Education-Easypost) +13”
3) Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) +14”
4) Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +19”
5) Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +25”
6) Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +36”
7) Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
8) Adam Yates (Ineos) +48”
9) Pidcock (Ineos) +49”
10) Thomas (Ineos) +50”

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Insane finish. Powless goes early, with a dash for the finish from 1km to go. He is overhauled by Boasson Hagen with around 400m remaining, who in turn fades before the line. Van der Hoorn and Clarke come past the Norwegian, and Van der Hoorn looks to have won it, but Clarke just pips him on the line after managing to draft behind him.

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The 35-year-old veteran throws his bike for the line and he wins it by a couple of inches! The result is confirmed in a photo finish. Amazing.

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30km to go: The breakaway still has 1’45” to play with. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) crashes while in the main bunch! I think another couple of riders went down, too. There was a piece of a barrier that had gone into the road which is what caused the crash. It was difficult to see but the commentators reckoned Primoz Roglic went down, too …

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96km to go: Tadej Pogacar had a chat with Bernie Eisel of Eurosport before the stage: “The stress before the cobbles is a bit worrying but I have a good shape, and I think if there is no back luck, it should all be going well. You need to ride a good position, you need to ride the cobbles pretty good, you need to find the best line … but even on the [normal] road you can get a puncture from a small rock.

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“I think it’s a pretty tough challenge [to get the yellow jersey today] … There’s going to be a race today, and I’m going to participate in it, and I’ll give it my best.”

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Christian Prudhomme does the necessary, waves the flag, and the attacks begin immediately off the front of the bunch.

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The Hell of the North?

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Today’s Tour de France stage, dubbed a ‘mini-Paris-Roubaix’ by the BikeExchange-Jayco team sports director Matt White, comes loaded with danger for the general classification contenders. As a result it is also loaded with opportunity to gain time on rivals and, potentially, put some of them out of the GC picture altogether.

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“Roubaix,” as it’s known for short, is consistently one of the most demanding, chaotic and entertaining races on the calendar. A puncture at a bad moment or a crash can end a rider’s hopes in an instant as the peloton thunders over the iconic pavé. The difference today is that this one-day classic-style route has been inserted as a single chapter in this three-week, 21-stage Tour de France.

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The route runs for 157km between Lille Metropole and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut – there is one intermediate sprint after 45km at Mérignies – after which the peloton’s attention will turn to 11 cobbled sectors, starting at de Villers-au-Tertre à Fressain after 79.7km. It’s going to be a nervous day for many and one the yellow jersey hopefuls will be relieved simply to negotiate with no major mishaps. And it should be great fun to watch.

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Pre-race reading and more coming right up.

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Stage stage time: 12.25 BST

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