Edvald Boasson Hagen would finish 5th in the mass sprint of the 5th Tour de France stage. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) would take his 2nd win of the Tour, just ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep).
In another nervy stage of the Tour de France that saw riders taking on 190km from Arras to Amiens, a lone rider would breakaway in the first half of the stage. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne-Seche) would be the escapee of the day but with strong winds and persistent rain it made it a tough day for the Frenchman out-front as well as for the peloton.
With just under 100km to go, the race was all together with no other riders keen to leave the shelter of the bunch again. The rain and wind intensified in the latter half of the stage, causing for the road surface to become rather slippery. A number of crashes plagued the main group, with Tyler Farrar and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg both needing bike changes after crashing.
BMC Racing upped the tempo in the crosswinds with around 70km to go, causing the peloton to split in half. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Edvald, Tyler, Reinardt, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Daniel Teklehaimanot all represented in the front half and even though all 5 of our riders would be caught up in another crash with 23km to go, they made it back to the lead group in time to contest the sprint finish.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung prepared the sprint for Edvald, bringing the Norwegian rider to a good position from 5km to go and onward. As the sprint opened up Edvald came from 4th wheel and tried to move up the right of the road next to the barrier. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) closed the door on Edvald somewhat and our fast-man had no way through in the end, having to settle for 5th on the line. Reinardt would cross the line in 13th, a credible result by our young South African.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
It was another stressful stage but for the most part I was able to stay in the front and when there was a split we had good representation in front. I was feeling good but the original plan today was to ride for Tyler. All of us actually crashed near the end but we also all got back to the front okay. Daniel did well to help bring me back quickly and then the other guys also got back. After the crash the plan for the sprint had to change and we would now ride for me. I was in a good position on Kristoff’s wheel and I made my sprint down the right. There soon became no space for me to move up anymore against the barrier but I am happy with how I am feeling and the team was great today.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
The Tour de France this year is extremely tough. Each stage so far has just been characterised by really tough racing. Today again we had some extreme winds which made for an extremely nervous riding style. Everyone wants to ride in front and everyone was scared because we changed direction so often. We had a lot of crashes, Reinie was on the floor 3 times today and we had a couple of broken bikes. The roads were super slippery but finally we were part of the game in the end. 110 riders came to the finish and we were present. Our boys did a fantastic job, Reinie had a deep wound on the side of his leg and still did a fantastic leadout. Tyler as well, coming back after the crash to help Edvald. Edvald finished it off with a 5th place and it could have been better if his countryman Kristoff had not blocked him. He easily could have been 2nd or 3rd so it was a super performance from the boys.