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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Nicolas Roche loses almost 14 minutes on day of crash, Boom, cobbles

The Irishman finished well down the field after stage five from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.

Nicolas Roche is now back in 53rd place after five stages.
Nicolas Roche is now back in 53rd place after five stages.
Image: Sirotti

STAGE FIVE OF Tour de France was 152 kilometres and there were almost as many crashes on a day of cycling carnage.

Defending champion Chris Froome fell twice in the stage’s 40 minutes — ending his involvement in Le Tour — as the field set searing paces in torrents of rain. The Netherlands’ Lars Boom rode away from a battle-weary field in the closing stages of a race that included 13km over rain-slickened cobblestones and began the day in Belgium.

Alberto Contador was installed as the new race favourite as soon as the Team Sky car closed on Froome and drove him away from the scene of his second crash. The Spaniard was unable to rely on a number of teammates for support, and to fend off attacks, as they were having problems of their own.

One of Contador’s senior teammates is Ireland’s Nicolas Roche but he suffered a crash of his own, 25 kilometres from the finish, and finished 13 minutes, 51 seconds behind Boom. Following a gruelling stage, Roche tweeted:

Fellow Tinkoff-Saxo riders Rafal Majka, Jesus Hernandez Blazquez and Sergio Moreira Paulinho finished 22 minutes, 40 seconds behind the stage winner. The only teammate to stick with Contador was Daniele Bennati. Both men finished 2:54 back.

Yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Nibali finished third [19 seconds adrift] but increased his General Classification lead over many of his main rivals.

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Patrick McCarry

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