Italian rider wins Tour’s fifth stage
Vail, CO Colorado
AUTUN, France ” Filippo Pozzato of Italy won the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, and Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara held on to the leader’s yellow jersey for the sixth straight day.
Team Astana riders Alexandre Vinokourov and Andreas Kloeden were taken to the hospital after being injured in separate crashes during the 113-mile trek from the Burgundy town of Chablis to Autun.
Vinokourov lost crucial seconds in a crash with 15 miles to go.
“I don’t know (what happened),” Vinokourov said. “My chain came off.”
With both knees bleeding and a cut on his right buttock, Vinokourov attempted to catch up to the main pack, escorted by six Astana teammates. But the peloton sped ahead to exploit his delay.
The Kazakh rider lost 1 minute, 20 seconds after coming into the stage in 12th place, trailing Cancellara by 50 seconds.
Kloeden fell sideways into a ditch about 45.3 miles from the end. He got up and was soon back into the pack.
Astana sporting director Marc Biver said Kloeden and Vinokourov were taken to a nearby hospital.
“I am more worried about Kloeden, who seems to (have) a fracture of the coccyx,” Biver said.
Vinokourov was third in the 2003 Tour. Kloeden was runner-up to Lance Armstrong in 2004 and third last year.
Other top contenders also had a rough day. Alejandro Valverde briefly stopped at the side of the road before continuing, while Carlos Sastre punctured his tire.
Pozzato won a sprint at the end of the course, ahead of Oscar Freire of Spain in second and Daniele Bennati of Italy in third. They and the main pack finished in 4:39:01.
It was Pozzato’s second Tour stage win.
Cancellara, the only man to wear the yellow jersey in this year’s race, leads Kloeden by 33 seconds. Pozzato is third, 35 seconds back.