Turpin Wins Stage 5 of Dauphine Libere
Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r) has won Stage 5 of the Dauphine Libere. Turpin soloed away from the field to win the mountainous, 155-km ride from Sisteron to Briancon in 4:06:49. Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) finished second at 0:26, and Francisco Mancebo, Turpin's teammate, finished third at 0:27. Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) remains the overall leader.
From the start, the racing was fast and aggressive. On the Col de Sarraut, Turpin, Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Volodymyr Gustov (CSC), and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) attempted to escape, and, on the descent, Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) bridged up to them. The break was reeled in, but at the base of the descent, Turpin and Hushovd tried again. This time, Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) joined the move, and this time, the break stuck. At 95 km, the trio led the field by 8:25.
On the Col d'Izoard, Hushovd accelerated and dropped Pineau. Seven km from the summit Turpin dropped Hushovd. At this point, he led the 30-strong peloton, which contained all of the favorites, by 2:15.
In the peloton, Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) accelerated, and Mayo, Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval), and Eddy Mazzoleni (T-Mobile) followed him. Leipheimer waited for Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who was in second place overall, to start chasing. At the summit of the Izoard, Turpin led Mayo, Piepoli, Leipheimer, and Mazzoleni by 0:45.
On the descent, Turpin extended his lead to 1:00. Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile), Mancebo, Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole), and George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) joined the chase group. On the uphill finish, Turpin struggled, but he held off Mayo.
In the overall, Leipheimer leads Menchov by 0:28 and Moreau by 1:48. Stage 6 will be another demanding ride. The mountainous, 169-km ride from Briancon to La Toussuire will feature the Hors Categorie Col du Galibier, the Hors Categorie Col de la Croix de Fer, and the Category 1 finishing climb. The stage will provide Leipheimer's challengers with one final opportunity to unseat him. Will they succeed? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!