CAP FREHEL, France — Tyler Farrar didn’t contend for the sprint finish today in Stage 5, the crash-marred second of a potential nine sprinters’ stages in the Tour de France and won by Mark Cavendish.
Farrar, who on Monday claimed Stage 3 on the Fourth of July — the first Tour de France individual stage win for the ninth-year pro from Wenatchee — placed 97th in the same time as the winner.
Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) of Britain moved past Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) of Norway to the right and won the 164.5 kilometer (102.2 miles) trek in 3 hours, 38 minutes and 32 seconds.
It was the first triumph of this year’s Tour de France for the British rider, who now has 16 career wins in his four Tour de France participations and 67 overall wins since turning pro in 2007.
Thor Hushovd, the teammate of Farrar on armin-Cervelo, finished 10th in the stage and retained the race lead he assumed when his squad’s team time trial victory in Stage 2.
Hushovd has a 1-second overall margin over Cadel Evans (BMC) of Australia and a 4-second lead over Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek) of Luxembourg.
Strong crosswinds and aggressive racing prompted several crashes. Two-time defending race titlist Alberto Contador (Saxo-Bank Sungard) of Spain and overall top contenders Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (Sky) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) of the Netherlands all crashed but returned to the race.
Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) of Slovenia, one of four potential team leaders and an outside potential overall title contender, left the event following a Stage 5 crash.
The stage was predicted to be a sprinters’ day, but it featured several short, steep climbs, narrow roads and was often exposed to the crosswinds from the English Channel.
For the second time since the race’s 98th edition began last Saturday, a stage featured two new cities to the Tour de France. The stage began in Carhaix, more than 2,000 years old and among France’s oldest cities.
The stage progressed on a northeast route to the country’s far corner, finishing in Cap Frehel, a coastal hamlet with a population of less than 2,000.
Farrar, who is 144th overall among 195 remaining riders and trailing by 10:43, remains fifth in the points or best sprinters’ competition with 68 points.
The 21-day race continues Thursday with the 226.5-kilometer (140.6-mile) Dinan-Lisieux sixth stage — the longest of the race.