Cavendish wins crash-filled fifth stage

Cap Frehel: Briton Mark Cavendish became one of the top 10 stage winners in the Tour de France when he raced to victory in an incident-packed fifth stage in Cap Frehel on Wednesday.

The Briton surged in the last stretch of the 164.5-km ride from Carhaix to upstage Belgian champions Philippe Gilbert and Spain`s Jose Joaquin Rojas on the line.

The Manxman`s 16th stage success in the Tour drew him level with the number of stage victories by five-times Tour winner Jacques Anquetil.

Norway`s Thor Hushovd retained the overall leader`s yellow jersey.

Before Cavendish dashed to his first stage win in this edition, almost all the big names in the peloton hit the tarmac in a windswept ride along the Breton seaside, starting with three-times champion Alberto Contador.

The Spaniard, who had thought he had won the fourth stage before realising he had been pipped by Australia`s Cadel Evans, fell with 88 km to go and threw his bike in anger before making it back inside the peloton.

The unluckiest team were RadioShack, who lost their leader Janez Brajkovic. The Slovenian crashed four kilometres before Contador and was forced out of the race.

"It`s a hard day. But there`s nothing you can do. It`s the Tour de France, it`s a lottery. Almost everybody crashed. We were hoping to have four leaders in the Pyrenees and there will be only three," said RadioShack team director Alain Galopin.

Brajkovic was diagnosed with concussion but a brain scan at an hospital in Guingamp revealed nothing serious. The Slovenian was also treated for a shoulder injury.

Among the other team leaders involved in pile-ups were Dutchman Robert Gesink, who bruised his knee and elbow, and Briton Bradley Wiggins, who lost a minute after a massive crash but was brought back into the pack by his Team Sky team-mates.

Quick Step were almost as hard hit as RadioShack with three riders down, especially former world champion Tom Boonen of Belgium, who crossed the line long after the main pack with an injured shoulder.

Bureau Report

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