2024 Tour de France Stage 5: Cavendish Breaks Win Record In Saint-Vulbas

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TOUR DE FRANCE 2024 | STAGE 5 | SAINT-JEAN-DE-MAURIENNE > SAINT-VULBAS

A frantic bunch sprint in Saint-Vulbas on Stage 5 was won by Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) in front of an excited crowd to make Tour de France history. Cavendish clinched his 35th Tour stage victory in style, making him the most prolific stage winner in the history of the race outright, now alone in front of the man he had previously shared the honour with, the great Eddy Merckx. Cavendish used all his experience in an electric bunch sprint to grab the historic triumph ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in second and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), who was third. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) remains in the Yellow Jersey with no changes at the top of the GC on the fifth day of racing.

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – CAVENDISH Mark (ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM) – Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

Two riders from Lyon

There were 174 riders at the start of Stage 5 as the peloton rolled out of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne taking the official start after a 4.6km neutralised section. Following a few unsuccessful breakaway attempts, it was finally at km 25 that Clement Russo (Groupama-FDJ) left the peloton, joined at km 31 by Matteo Vercher (TotalEnergies). The two riders from Lyon were permitted to move clear by the peloton and obtained a maximum advantage of 4’35” at km 40. The duo’s gap was calmly controlled by riders from Lidl-Trek and Alpecin-Deceuninck, who led the peloton. The average speed recorded after two hours of racing over flat terrain was 39.2 km/h. At the first categorised climb of the day – Côte du Cheval Blanc (Cat 4, km 104.6) – it was Russo who picked up the solitary point for the Mountain classification, with the peloton then 2’20” adrift of him and Vercher.

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – VERCHER Matteo (TOTALENERGIES), RUSSO Clément (GROUPAMA-FDJ) – Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

More points won

Russo was then first at the intermediate sprint at Aoste (IS, km 123.2) followed by Vercher, before the peloton arrived and Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) won a bunch sprint ahead of Sam Bennett (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). The riders then made their way to second categorised climb of the stage in the rain with the peloton gradually reducing the deficit to Russo and Vercher, finally catching them with just under 36 km to go, as the Côte de Lhuis (Cat 4, km 142,8) ascent started.

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

History made in a grand finale

Going over Côte de Lhuis first and uncontested was Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) for another single Mountain classification point, ensuring him leadership of the climbers’ rankings for at least the next two days. Then at the finish in Saint-Vulbas it was Cavendish who showed his class and strength in the hectic final sprint to make Tour history, crossing the line ahead of Philipsen, Kristoff, Arnaud de Lie (Lotto-dstny) and Fabio Jakobsen (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), whilst Girmay was ninth to secure the green jersey. A ride for the ages.

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – CAVENDISH Mark (ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM)- Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan): “You Have To Go All In. We’ve Done It.”

“Astana put a big gamble on this year to make sure we’re good here at the Tour de France. My boss has done a big gamble for us to come here and win at least one stage. That shows he’s someone who knows what the Tour de France is. You have to go all in. We’ve done it. We worked on exactly what we wanted to do. How we built the team, what we’ve done with the equipment. Every little detail has been put towards specifically today. You see what it means! It doesn’t mean we are going to be top of the UCI rankings or anything but the Tour de France is bigger than cycling isn’t it. Normally it takes me a few days to get into it. I know how it works, my trainer and people around me know how it is. If everybody knew how it was everyone would be a bike rider and my job would be a lot harder. I’ve done 15 Tour de Frances now, I don’t like to have bad days and I don’t like to suffer but I know it’s just in the head and if you push you get through it. You work and you can have an opportunity, things still have to go your way. We didn’t nail it as a team like we wanted to do, but the boys improvised and got me there in the best position and I shot onto whatever train was going and was able to win. Especially when you are not physically as good as everybody else, it’s definitely beneficial to use your head a bit.”

“It’s hard to fully grasp this success, but we worked towards it, and as a team, we did everything possible to make it happen. We have an incredible team, and I have amazing teammates. Throughout not just this Tour de France but all this time, I felt immense support from the entire team, and today we have the moment to celebrate this success together. I am very happy to be part of Astana Qazaqstan Team, where I found friends and, essentially, an incredible family. Today, the team was magnificent, everything was done perfectly, and I managed to win. I believed in success, but the main thing is that the team believed in success, we were on the same wavelength and had a common goal. I received maximum support, and we purposefully worked towards the goal we achieved today.”

Alexandr Vinokurov (General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team):

“For our team, this is a great success, a historic achievement that will remain in cycling forever. Few believed that we would succeed, that Mark’s arrival in Astana Qazaqstan Team would change history, but we believed and did everything to make today’s victory happen. We were close to this last year, but fate had other plans. I believe that real champions should not end their careers after a fall and injury, and I am happy that Mark decided to do another season in the end. This year, we were able to prepare better, create all the necessary conditions to approach the Tour de France as best as possible. The whole team believed in success, and everyone contributed a bit of their effort so that today we could celebrate success. I congratulate the entire Astana project on this historic achievement. But we are not going to stop; only five stages have passed, and most of the race is still ahead. We are ready, and we will continue to fight in each subsequent stage.”

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – CAVENDISH Mark (ASTANA – QAZAQTAN TEAM) vainqueur de l’étape entouré de Romain LE GOFF (invité Continental) et Marcel JACQUIN (maire de Saint-Vulbas) – Photo © A.S.O./Jonathan Biche

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step): “If There Is A Guy Who Deserves This Record, It’s Cavendish”

“It was a pretty average stage, with quite a low pace especially at the start. It’s true, though, that the body experiences a different level of stress in the last 50 kilometres, also because of the rain that made the roads a bit trickier. In any case, we did not have any major problems and the job is done for today. It is very special to witness Mark Cavendish setting a new all-time record, and to share the bunch with him. We have been teammates and it’s been great to be part of his many feats. If there is a guy who deserves this record, it’s him.”

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – EVENEPOEL Remco (SOUDAL QUICK-STEP)- Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez
03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – EVENEPOEL Remco (SOUDAL QUICK-STEP) maillot blanc avec Michel Duprez (invité Krys) Hélène CEDILEAU (VP département de l’Ain) – Photo © A.S.O./Jonathan Biche

Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X): “Hope You See Me a Lot on TV in the Next Few Days”

“Today I was going full gas for Alexander Kristoff, and I’m very happy that he was third at the finish. As for my job, I spent the whole day around him and performed the final part of my duty coming into the last kilometre. I’m happy I’ve worn the green jersey for three days, and now I’m looking forward to spending some more days in the polka dot one. I’ll try to keep it for as long as possible, so I’ll probably have to jump in some breakaways. I hope you see me a lot on TV in the next few days!

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY)- Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez
03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) maillot à pois entouré de Dominique GUILLEMAUT (adhérent Leclerc) et Mara Philip (ajointe au maire de St Vulvas) – Photo © A.S.O./Jonathan Biche

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty): “It’s A Very Beautiful Jersey”

 “It was part of the plan to try to take the green jersey today. Of course, I would have preferred another result in the sprint, but it’s great. It’s a very beautiful jersey, I love this color. Everything is going really well, I was able to win a stage and this time I was still quite close. And I know there will be other opportunities. Mark Cavendish, I saw him win races when I was around ten and I always dreamed of being like him. So to find myself in the race where he beats the record, it makes me very happy, I’m happy for him.”

03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – GRMAY Tsgabu Gebremaryam (INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY) maillot vert entouré de Bruno KLOECKNER (directeur XPO Logistic) et Jean-Loouis GUYADER (Président ComCom Plaine de l’Ain) – Photo © A.S.O./Jonathan Biche
03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – POGACAR Tadej (UAE TEAM EMIRATES)- Photo © A.S.O./Charly Lopez
03/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 5 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l’Ain (177,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) maillot à pois entouré de Dominique GUILLEMAUT (adhérent Leclerc) et Mara Philip (ajointe au maire de St Vulvas) – Photo © A.S.O./Jonathan Biche

TOUR DE FRANCE 2024 | STAGE 5 | SAINT-JEAN-DE-MAURIENNE > SAINT-VULBAS | DAILY STATS

35: CAVENDISH PASSES MERCKX

Arguably the best sprinter in the history of cycling, Mark Cavendish now holds the record for most stage wins in the Tour de France, moving past Eddy Merckx, whose 34 victories stood since 5 July 1975. Here are the 5 riders with most stage wins in the history of the Tour:

  • 35 Mark Cavendish
  • 34 Eddy Merckx
  • 28 Bernard Hinault
  • 25 André Leducq
  • 22 André Darrigade
15: FROM CHÂTEAUROUX TO SAINT-VULBAS

Mark Cavendish’s first victory in the Tour came in 2008, in Châteauroux (stage 5), 15 years, 11 months and 24 days before he scored his 35th victory. This is a new record when it comes to the longest timespan between a rider’s first and last victories. The former record had stood for more than a century: Jean Alavoine won in Toulouse in 1909 and in Nice in 1923, 13 years, 11 months and 22 days after his maiden victory.

69.4: CAVENDISH SPRINTS TO GLORY

After he perfectly navigated from wheel to wheel, Mark Cavendish kicked from 66.2 to 69.4 km/h into the last 200 metres of the day… Biniam Girmay went up to 69.7 km/h but it was too late to counter the Cav’s acceleration towards a record breaking 35th victory. Meanwhile, Mads Pedersen was doing 62.4 km/h when he crashed.

1: GIRMAY FOR AFRICA

Already a history maker with Eritrea’s first stage win in the Tour, Biniam Girmay claimed the green jersey with a place of 9th in Saint-Vulbas. He is the first rider from Africa to lead the points standings in the Tour! South Africa’s Daryl Impey made history with the Maillot Jaune in 2013 and Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot claimed the polka-dot jersey in 2015. Riders from Asia, America, Europe and Oceania had already worn the green jersey.

55: CAV’ ON THE HEELS OF CIPO

With 55 Grand Tour stage wins (35 in the Tour, 17 in the Giro, 3 in La Vuelta), Mark Cavendish has the third highest tally ever behind Eddy Merckx, with a total of 65 (34, 25 and 6), and Mario Cipollini, 57 (12, 42 and 3).

39: THE ELDERS FIGHT BACK

At 39 years, 1 month and 12 days, Mark Cavendish is the 2nd oldest stage winner in history behind Pino Cerami, who won in Pau in 1963 at 41 years, 2 months and 3 days. Cavendish is thus the oldest winner of a sprint and, with Jasper Philipsen and Alexander Kristoff, he embodies the oldest podium this century in a sprint: 34 years and 63 days old on average. This happens on the day after Tadej Pogacar, Remco Evenepoel and Juan Ayuso recorded the youngest top-3 in a mountain stage this century.

5X5: DIVERSITY IN THE SPRINTS

The last 5 sprints in the Tour were won by 5 different riders: Mads Pedersen (last year in Limoges), Jasper Philipsen (Moulins 2023), Jordi Meeus (Paris 2023), Biniam Girmay (Turin 2024) and Mark Cavendish (Saint-Vulbas 2024). On the other hand, Jasper Philipsen had dominated the last 5 previous sprints, across the 2022 and 2023 editions.

1-2: PHILIPSEN DIDN’T SPOIL CAVENDISH’S PARTY

With his 18th top-3 result in the Tour, Jasper Philipsen showed new glimpses of his speed after he couldn’t sprint for victory in Turin. In his last 11 Tour sprints, the Belgian has either finished 1st (6 times) or 2nd (5). Considering all races, this is the 8th time Cavendish and Philipsen take the first two places, and the 3rd time in the Tour. Out of these, Philipsen only beat Cavendish once: last year in Bordeaux, when he prevented the Manx Missile from claiming already his 35th.

20: KRISTOFF BACK IN THE TOP-3

A crash in the finale of the stage didn’t prevent Alexander Kristoff from returning to the bunch and claiming his 20th top-3 result in the Tour (4 wins, 9 x 2nd , 7 x 3rd ), the first since he was 3rd on the Champs-Élysées in 2022.

9: CAVENDISH, ASTANA QAZAQSTAN’S LIGHT

Astana Qazaqstan’s year started with two early victories, thanks to Harold Tejada and Mark Cavendish in Colombia, but their tally was only up to 8 wins, and none in the UCI WorldTour, when they lined up in Florence for the start of the Tour de France. The team made no secret leading Cavendish towards the record for most stage wins in the Tour was their main ambition of the season. And they’re done it!

 

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