Astana Wins TTT; Armstrong Closes in on Yellow Jersey
Astana has won Stage 5 of the 2009 Tour.
to the idea of anyone but an Astana rider winning the 2009 Tour. After Cancellara, the next four men on GC are Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloeden, and Levi Leipheimer, all of whom are Astana men. After today's carnage, defending champion Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) is at 2:44, Cadel Evans (Silence) is at 2:59, and Giro d'Italia champion Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is at 3:52. These deficits will force these men to attack in the Pyrenees, which the riders will reach this weekend, to have any chance of winning the Tour.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Armstrong by .022 and Contador at 0:19. Stage 5 will not change this state of affairs. Sprinters' teams will probably control the flattish, 196.5-km run from Le Cap d'Agde to Perpignan, particularly because the Pyrenees are approaching and sprinters will not have opportunities to bag stages until next week. Who will snare Stage 5? Mark Cavendish (Columbia)? Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)? Oscar Freire (Rabobank)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!