Vinokourov and Klöden crash

Yellow jersey favourite Alexandre Vinokourov joined his teammate Andreas Klöden in crashing during the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday.

Yellow jersey favourite Alexandre Vinokourov joined his teammate Andreas Klöden in crashing during the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday.

Astana's team leader Vinokourov got back on his bike to rejoin the peloton after crashing inside the last 30km, however unlike his German teammate, the Kazakh rider came down on the tarmac while racing at speed. It is unsure whether Vinokourov has sustained any significant injuries.

Klöden had earlier given his Astana team a scare by tumbling into a ditch. Klöden fell at the left-hand side of the road near the 107km mark of the 182.5km ride from Chablis to Autun, as the peloton continued their pursuit of a four-man breakaway.

The German, a runner-up in 2004 and who finished third in the race last year, lay briefly on the ground before getting back on his bike and continuing the stage. It's also uncertain whether he was injured.

Klöden's teammates Daniel Navarro and Paolo Savoldelli waited for him, in order to bring him back to the peloton in their slipstream, and he soon caught up with the chasing bunch.

Vinokourov is Astana's team leader, and their main hope for the yellow jersey, however Klöden - who is strong in the mountains, and among the best in the time trials - remains a huge threat.

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