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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
McEwen takes fifth stage sprint
Robbie McEwen
Australian Robbie McEwen won the fifth stage of the Tour de France edging out sprint rival Tom Boonen.

Belgian Boonen took second place and Norway's Thor Hushovd finished third, with Lance Armstrong holding on to the race leader's yellow jersey.

In stage three of the Tour McEwen lost third place to Stuart O'Grady after organisers ruled he had hindered his fellow Australian's line at the finish.

McEwen said: "My team's done a mountain of work - it's good to pay them back."

However, the Davitamon-Lotto rider conceded defeat to Boonen in the race for the green jersey.

"I haven't changed my mind... I was 44 points down this morning, now I'm down to 45 because I didn't do the intermediate sprints," he said.

I hurt my ribs and it was painful when I had to breathe deep, but I'm happy to have made it through OK
David Zabriskie

"It would be a miracle to make it back into contention or it would take Tom a lot of very bad luck which, of course, I don't wish on him. Now I'm here for stage wins."

Boonen has enhanced his reputation by already winning two stages in the 2005 tour, both sprint finishes.

Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha tried his luck early on in Wednesday's stage but was then caught by three pursuers - Hungary's Laszlo Bodrogi, Italian Salvatore Commesso and Finn Kjell Carlstrom.

That quartet of riders built up a lead of up to several minutes but were reined in by the peloton with just over 10km to go.

At the start of stage five Armstrong had not wanted to wear yellow as a mark of respect for compatriot David Zabriskie, who lost the overall lead after crashing at the end of Tuesday's team trial.

But Armstrong, who is on course for a seventh Tour win, was told by organisers to wear the yellow jersey.

Meanwhile, Zabriskie came home 176th - but was happy to just to have made it to the finish.

The CSC rider admitted his high-speed fall had left him in some discomfort.

"I hurt my ribs and it was painful when I had to breathe deep, but I'm happy to have made it through OK," he said.

"I hope I can come around in a couple of days," the American added.


Stage results:

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 3.46.00 (48.584 km/h)
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis
Le Credit Par Telephone
5 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Domina Vacanze
6 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros-WŘrth
7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Franšaise Des Jeux
8 Baden Cooke (Aus) Franšaise Des Jeux
9 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC
10 Robert F÷rster (Ger) Gerolsteiner, all with same time

Overall standings after stage five:

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 13hours 45mins 12secs 2 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel at 0.55
3 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 1.04
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.07
5 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) Discovery Channel 1.14
6 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 1.16
7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.21
8 Benjamin Noval (Spa) Discovery Channel 1.26
9 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC




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