Robbie rebounds to down Boonen

Robbie McEwen ends Tom Boonen's winning run with a half-wheel victory in Montargis at the end of ano

Robbie McEwen ends Tom Boonen's winning run with a half-wheel victory in Montargis at the end of ano

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

If being beaten roundly on stage two and relegated on stage three hadn't provided enough motivation already for Robbie McEwen, talk of Tom Boonen winning five, six, seven or even eight stages in this Tour de France certainly must have done. A couple of days back the Davitamon-Lotto sprinter suggested that if his luck changed for the better then a win was not too far away for him, and so it proved as the Australian ended Boonen's winning run at two by edging the Belgian for victory in Montargis.

The margin was narrow, just half a wheel, but the manner of the Australian's success was extremely impressive. The final few kilometres offered the usual treacherous mix of road furniture clutter and numerous sharp corners, one of which saw Cofidis's Janek Tombak and a couple of others slide off into the straw bales without apparent long-term damage. Damp roads just added to the danger.

Davitamon and Quick Step had done most of the chasing of an earlier four-man break involving Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Caffita), Kjell Carlstrom (Liquigas-Bianchi) and, once again on the attack, Laszlo Bodrogi (Crdit Agricole). These four were reeled in 11km from home after, in Flecha's case almost 150km away.

But, coming into the finish, a variety of other teams came to the front to set the pace. Matt White was prominent for Cofidis, Ag2r worked hard for Jean-Patrick Nazon for the first time, and Discovery Channel were also up there keeping race leader Lance Armstrong out of trouble.

By the final kilometre, Francaise des Jeux and Quick Step were at the front of the line, and it was French team who moved first, Baden Cooke setting up Bernhard Eisel for the final dash. But as the FDJ pair went on the right, Boonen's lead-out man Guido Trenti kicked to the left to set up the Belgian, who made his move on the slightly uphill run with about 150 metres left.

McEwen and Thor Hushovd were right on the Belgian's wheel, however, and as Boonen led the trio clear of the rest the Australian made his move, to the left of green jersey holder, got alongside him, and then took the win with the final 'throw' for the line. Perhaps to make a point that he'd been watching Boonen's victory celebrations, McEwen pointed at himself with both forefingers as he flew past the photographers and finish line TV cameras as if to say that he was the boss, for today at least.

There was no change in the overall standings, although the stage did start without a rider in the yellow jersey (see separate story), albeit only briefly. The Tour did lose its first rider as Saunier Duval's Constantino Zaballa adandoned early in the stage.

Stage 5, Chambord-Montargis

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 183km in 3.46.00 (48.58kph)
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis
5 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Domina Vacanze
6 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Franaise des Jeux
8 Baden Cooke (Aus) Franaise des Jeux
9 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC
10 Robert Frster (Ger) Gerolsteiner

26 Andreas Klden (Ger) T-Mobile
27 Robert Hunter (SA) Phonak
30 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile
31 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r
35 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile
45 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel
48 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
53 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
56 Chris Horner (USA) Saunier Duval
58 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros
67 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon-Lotto
70 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step
77 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC
92 Brad McGee (Aus) Franaise des Jeux
100 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
103 Luke Roberts (Aus) CSC
105 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak
107 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC
110 Matt White (Aus) Cofidis
127 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Liberty Seguros
134 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel
176 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC

Overall standings

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 13.45.12
2 Hincapie 0.55
3 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 1.04
4 Julich 1.07
5 Jos Luis Rubiera (Spa) Discovery Channel 1.14
6 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 1.16
7 Vinokourov 1.21
8 Benjamin Noval (Spa) Discovery Channel 1.26
9 Zabriskie
10 Basso

14 Ullrich 1.36
17 Roberts 1.38
20 Landis 1.50
24 Hunter 2.12
28 Klden 2.29
30 Leipheimer 2.31
33 Beloki 2.43
36 Heras 2.58
47 Davis 3.22
53 Evans 3.29
60 McEwen 3.41
69 Rodriguez 3.57
79 Rogers 4.11
80 McGee 4.12
85 O'Grady 4.23
102 Horner 4.54
116 White 5.15
147 Mayo 5.48
158 Gerrans 6.06
161 Cooke 6.34

Points

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 106
2 Hushovd 77
3 O'Grady 76
4 McEwen 61
5 Wrolich 60
6 Davis 58

King of the Mountains

1 Erik Dekker (Hol) Rabobank 6
2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5
3 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval 4
4 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crdit Agricole 3
5 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 3

Young rider: Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel
Team: CSC

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