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0km - Hushovd has his wheel but couldn't do a thing. Goss came through to take second, with Thor in third.
0km - But Sky's Boasson Hagen takes the win!
0.2km - Boassan Hagen now takes the lead... the sprinters try and follow...
0.5km - It's Mollema...
0.8km - Vino on the front! Attack from a Rabobank rider!
1km - All the big guns are there as the road flats out...
1.2km - Vandenert and Voeckler have a few seconds over the bunch, but it won't hold. They're caught!
1.5km - Van den Broeck holds Voeckler's wheel. Hang on, it's Vandendert from Omega Pharma Lotto!
2km - Now Voeckler attacks! He's caught the wheel of Van den Broeck...
2km - Attack from Van den Broeck! And Contador attacks on the other side of the road! They pass through a roundabout on opposite sides... and it's the Belgian out in front.
2.5km - No one down at the roundabout, and now it's the climb. Malori caught instantly. HTC on the front...
3km - Vinokourov is right up there for Astana, alongside the boys from BMC.
4km - Still 10 seconds for Malori, but in a bit he'll hit the roundabout and then the road will head up to the basillica...
5km - Malori can see the bunch behind pressing on... and there's a crash in the peloton! Levi Leipheimer slips on a white line and crashes into a road barrier...
7km - Malori's lead is down to 24 seconds as the rain continues to lash down.
8km - Omega Pharma-Lotto clearly mean business. Surely their man for today, given that punchy climb, is Gilbert and not Greipel. That said, the German has been rather outspoken about being demoted to the team's number two in the sprints this year...
10km - Last year's last place man Adriano Malori passes the 10-to-go banner. Omega Pharma-Lotto are on the front of the peloton.
11km - That was a rather Hoogerlandish attack from Roux, who is about to be swept up with out too much ado from the peloton. We're not sure what he was trying to achieve with that. Malori still has around 40 seconds.
13km - ATTACK: FDJ's Anthony Roux, not content with his earlier stint in the break, jumps clear from the peloton in pursuit of Malori. It seems rather futile, to be honest.
14km - No crashes so far today... With the rain lashing it down now, and the peloton getting a little nervous, perhaps it's just a matter of time.
15km - Malori won't let up and maintains a 35 second lead. Westra is back with the bunch, while the Chavanel group, which includes Vincent Jerome, Jeremy Roy and Jerome Pineau, is still off the back.
16km - Bad luck for Thomas Voeckler who needs a bike change just as the pace is hotting up. The finish suits the former French national champion...
18km - Westra calls it a day, but Malori refuses to give up and goes on the offensive. And so there was one...
20km - The leaders pass under the 20-to-go banner. The carrots are well and truly cooked for them. 27 seconds is the gap, as Malori looks back in dismay.
22km - HTC's Lars Bak and Peter Velits are driving the pace on these wet roads of Normandy. The duo have just 50 seconds now.
25km - Cavendish and Renshaw are back in the main bunch, but there are still 10 riders in a group off the back of the peloton, including Chavanel and Europcar pair Quemeneur and Jerome. FDJ's Jeremy Roy is there too. They are a couple of minutes off the pace.
27km - Contador clearly has a problem: he's off the back of the bunch again, and being paced back by two team-mates, including Navarro. Must have been another bike change. He did that frequently in the Giro on the stages in which he was keen to attack... perhaps the Spaniard will attack later on that final climb into Lisieux?
28km - Westra taks the point atop the climb ahead of Malori. Job done: Vacansoleil's Hoogerland will be in polka dots tomorrow. The gap is now just over a minute.
29km - But now Contador's out the back: he needs to change bikes and swaps with team-mate Daniel Navarro. Nothing serious, he's back in the bunch quick, but for a moment that looked a little worrying.
29km - Also in that group off the back of the peloton is Andre Greipel, plus several Saxo Bank riders - but not Alberto Contador.
30km - The rain has returned, which will prove tricky for the riders, especially with their tired legs. The leaders are on the Cat.4 Cote du Billot...
32km - It has been a long day over some hilly roads and through some frightful conditions. Some of the riders are beginning to feel it in their legs: a group has formed off the back of the peloton, including the likes of HTC pair Marks Cavendish and Renshaw, as well as Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel.
35km - It's easy to see why Lieuwe Westra is nicknamed 'The Beast' - he's really cranking it up. The gap is still 2:25.
36km - Italian Adriano Malori (Lampre) was the lanterne rouge in his debut Tour last year, finishing 170th almost four and a half hours down. But he's doing much better this year: currently 101st at 6:26. The current lanterne rouge is France's Vincent Jerome (Europcar), who crashed twice on day one and is currently 33:57 down on Thor Hushovd.
40km - Westra and Malori have 2:48 over the peloton so should stay out over the forthcoming Cat.4 climb.
42km - Hoogerland is caught by the peloton moments after Roux rejoins the pack after his moment of roadside relief. Duque is still in chase of the two leaders, but he only has 20 seconds on the peloton.
44km - The camera just switched from the two leaders to an image of Anthony Roux pulling up along the side of the road. Just as he prepared to go ahead with his call of nature with the whole world looking on, the image froze before going for an ad break. You could almost here the producer shouting "Cut for commercial! Cut for commercial!".
45km - It was a clever move by Westra to attack there: the five leaders were being reeled in and so something had to be done. But also, if he can stay out over the next climb, then team-mate Hoogerland will be assured of the polka dot jersey tonight.
46km - That's more like it: "Thomas" has thrown a completely random prediction into the ring: "To pick a name nobody else will, Anthony Charteau with an attack with 20km to go." Keep them coming...
50km - The peloton has taken their foot off the gas a little and the lead creeps up to 2:30. Westra and Malori have 45 secodns over the three chasers. Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara drops back to chat with his team car. It looks like he needs a new pair of sunglasses.
59km - ATTACK: Vacansoleil's Lieuwe Westra catches his breakaway companions by surprise with a big dig. Only Lampre's Adriano Malori can follow, the others clearly believing that any counter would be futile, given the peloton's fast return.
60km - Astana, Katusha and Leopard Trek are on the front of the bunch. The lead is now 1:55. So, who will win? With that punchy climb ahead of the finish, perhaps it's a day for Thor Hushovd? The yellow jersey is the only rider to finish in the top ten on all stages so far this year...
65km - In fact, Hoogerland is not guaranteed the polka dot jersey just yet. With Roux netting 1pt on the first climb and two just then, he's on three in total, one behind Johnny's total. That means, if the break stays out until the next Cat.4 climb, then there will be a royal ding dong battle for the solitary point up for grabs. You see, if Roux wins it, he'll be the polka dot by virtue of a higher place in the GC. But with the lead now just 2:10, and the climb another 35km away, it may not happen.
69km - The peloton cross the summit 2:30 down on the leading quintet.
70km - But Roux does just that, attacking first from the front to take the two points. Hoogerland manages to take one point in second, ahead of Duque. But that puts him onto an unassailable four points, so he will be in polka dots tonight.
72km - The leaders are onto the third category Cote du Bourg d'Ouilly. It's not that steep, but the road's long and straight. Given Hoogerland let the others take all the intermediate sprint points, it would be a surprise is anyone contests him for the polka dot points over the summit.
75km - Techinical problem for Robert Gesink, who drops back, dismounts, then throws his bike down onto the road in disgust. The Rabobank rider is having a painful day after that huge fall yesterday. He has five team-mates waiting for him, as much to pace him back as to try and lift his fragile morale.
76km - The second climb of the day is not far away so expect Hoogerland to pick up the points to secure the polka dot jersey before, no doubt, the leading group calling it a day. The gap is 3:00 now.
80km - The bad weather is behind the riders now: quite literally, in the daunting form of some huge grey rain clouds. Up ahead it's white fluffy clouds and blue skies, much to the riders' pleasure. The leaders have seen their gap whittled down to four minutes now.
84km - Tom Boonen drops back have a word with his team car and hand over his rain vest. The Belgian was in the wars yesterday and deserves a lot of credit for taking to the start today. Boonen is one of the guys who features on our regularly updated video page... Latest videos from the Tour
88km - Rabobank's heavily bandaged Robert Gesink has dropped off the back of the peloton again and will need pacing back. The five leaders are just five minutes ahead now as the rain eases up and the roads dry.
90km - Roux takes the points at the intermediate sprint, ahead of Duque, Westra, Malori and Hoogerland. Six minutes later, the real battle happens: and Cavendish is first over, ahead of Rojas, Farrar, Renshaw, Gilbert, Petacchi, Delage, Ventoso, Eisel and Moinard in that order. That was a pretty regular sprint for a change so the race commissaires can put their feet up...
95km - The lead continues to plummet as the day's intermediate sprint approaches.
100km - At the back of the peloton, Robert Gesink looks in a bit of discomfort. He's surrounded by Rabobank team-mates, while Spaniard Carlos Barredo has his arm around him giving him a little pep talk. The Dutchman crashed heavily yesterday and has multiple cuts and bruises. He needed stitches to a gash on his leg too. The longest day in the saddle has come at a bad time for Gesink, that's for sure.
101km - The gap is coming down fast: 7:45 at the latest check. And with more than 100km still left to ride, it may well be too much to ask for the five leaders to stay out in front till the end.
105km - The peloton is certainly getting its act together now, with BMC, HTC and Garmin-Cervelo all heavily present on the front of the peloton.
111km - The leaders pass through the feeding zone in Vire. The Tour visited Vire in 1997 - it was the site of a victory for Mario Cipollini. Hoogerland is back with the group. The forecast for Lisieux is a mixture of rain, cloud and sun. It's not cold though - just pretty miserable. Weather forecast for Lisieux
112km - Hoogerland has to stop for a mechanical and is now chasing back to rejoin the four other leaders, getting a nice "sticky bottle" from his Vacansoleil team car to help him on his way. The rain has returned, and Hoogerland is now wearing a black waterproof.
114km - The lead has dropped under the 10-minute mark as Garmin-Cervelo begin to up the pace on the front of the peloton. While there's a lot of water on the road, it's not raining at the moment and so this presents the peloton with a good chance to slash the deficit a little.
116km - Duque drops back to his Cofidis team car in search of a pair of arm warmers. If there's blue sky behind the riders, there's nothing but grey up ahead. It will be a surprise if there are no crashes today. In fact, that might explain why this leading group are making so much headway - no one in the peloton wants a repeat of yesterday and so no risks are being taken.
120km - With 3 points, Hoogerland is now the leader of the kind of the mountains competition. He sits up and waits for his fellow escapees. The five leaders are now 11:25 ahead of the peloton. The weather really is atrocious - although there is some blue sky in the distance.
125km - Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) gets the two points at the top of the climb to move into the lead of the kind of the mountains competition. The Dutchman has 50 seconds over the rest of the breakaway. Roux (FDJ) passes over in second place to take the remaining point up for grabs.
127km - ATTACK: As expected, Johnny Hoogerland goes on the offensive in search of those two mountain points atop the Montjoie climb. Typically crazy attack there from Hoogerland, whose tactics sometimes raise eyebrows. Instead of waiting until moments before the summit, he breaks clear at the start of the climb. That won't please his co-escapees much...
130km - Regarding today's trivia question, Matt and Peter are correct: the sequence showed the last five winners of the previous Tours' longest stage. Chapeau! "mgh0302" had an interesting guess, but when did Brice Feillu ever win back-to-back stages of this or any race?!
130km - The five leaders - Hoogerland, Westra, Malori, Roux and Duque - are onto the third category climb. It's fair to say the weather is pretty apocalyptical. The gap has grown to a massive 11 minutes now. If this break stays together till the end, Duque will be the danger man in the sprint. Hoogerland should take the mountain points and wear the polka dot jersey. Let's see how things pan out...
135km - The lead dipped a little during that shower, but now it's back up to 9:45. Before the start of today's stage, Eurosport had a chat with polka dot jersey Cadel Evans, poised just one second behind Thor Hushovd in second place in the GC. Asked about his strategy for today, the Australian said: "Just stay out of trouble, which is a lot easier said than done." Video: Evans on stage six
135km - Eurosport caught up with the battered Tom Boonen this morning ahead of stage six. The Beigian crashed heavily yesterday but vows to race on. What hurts him most? "The entire upper body. I took a hit on my head and feel really dizzy still. My shoulder and my hip are sore too." Video: Boonen on stage six
140km - The rain is now lashing down - what a difference from the opening few sunny days of this race. The pounding rain comes just moments before the first climb of the day, the Cat.3 Saint-Michel de Montjoie, which is going to be far from joyous in these conditions.
145km - The lead creeps up to 9:10 for the five leaders, who are looking good for staying out until the end. It's a pretty fierce pace they have set - almost 50km/h. Only two stages in Tour history have had an average above 50 km/h: in 1999, when Mario Cipollini won with a record 50.356 km/h, and in 2003 when Pablo Lastras won at 50.185 km/h.
150km - As the riders hug the coastline, the weather up ahead does not look good...
155km - TODAY'S TRIVIA QUESTION: What is the sense behind the following sequence - Mark Cavendish, Brice Feillu, Mark Cavendish, Fabian Cancellara, Robbie McEwen.
160km - The gap is still getting bigger: 8:30 now. Yesterday, Mark Cavendish won his 16th career stage scalp on the Tour, equalling the tally of Tour legend, the five-time winner Jacques Anquetil. The HTC man then delivered an entertaining press conference where he covered everything from his love of Philippe Gilbert, libellous journalists and the death of his old pet dog. Our blogger looked at the day's action through a Thomas the Tank Engine prism... Blazin' Saddles: Sweet 16 for Cav
165km - The pace is much higher today: 49.4 km/h over the first hour of racing. The peloton is now passing the pretty Mont Saint Michel on the Normandy coast. The gap is now a huge 7:25.
168km - Finally, Frenchman Anthony Roux (FDJ) has five UCI wins to his name this season, three coming in May's Circuit de Lorraine and two in April's Circuit de la Sarthe race. This is the 24-year-old's second Tour, and as the best-placed rider of the five in the GC (50th at 2:25), Roux is the virtual yellow jersey on the road.
170km - All rounder Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) is one of those rare breeds of riders who can sprint and also climb a little. The 31-year-old Colombian is making his third Tour appearance but has yet to win a stage. Still without a win this season, Duque's best career moment came in 2007 when he took stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana.
173km - Hoogerland's compatriot and team-mate Lieuwe Westra, 28, is also making his Tour debut on the back of an impressive season which has seen him notch two UCI wins. He was in the break in Saturday's opening stage too. Lampre's Adriano Malori, 23, had his Tour debut last year, when he finished 170th at Paris. A time trial specialist, the Italian was in fact the Lanterne Rouge in last year's race, finishing almost four and a half hours down on winner Alberto Contador.
175km - Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) broke through the ranks with an excellent Vuelta in 2008, in which he finished 12th. Despite his attacking panache, the 28-year-old has yet to record a major UCI win, although he has won a lot of fans with his never-say-die attitude. This is Johnny's maiden Tour de France, and if his performance in the Giro is anything to go by, he'll attack day in day out. In fact, he already went on a break in Tuesday's stage four.
178km - With the lead ballooning to 4:20, let's take a closer look at the five leaders.
180km - Jose Rojas was not impressed with the decision to disqualify him from the intermediate sprint yesterday. He tweeted: "And this is the best race in the world? God I come and see it! Disqualified because they feel like, well, more like Gilbert." The Spaniard also claimed to have been punched by Alessandro Petacchi towards the end. "I could hardly breathe and I was off centre and it is because of this that I have failed to beat Cavendish," he said.
185km - It looks like this break will stick: the gap is now 2:55 and there have been no more attempts from riders out of the peloton to join them for a while. So, what do you think - will stage six be the first time a break stays out till the end, or will it be reeled in by the finish? If so, who is your man for today - and remember that the finish is not your regular bunch sprint-friendly finale: there's a punchy climb 3km from the end before the run-in to Lisieux. Have your say below...
190km - A poll on the Eurosport cycling page asks whether or not Alberto Contador can recover from his early setbacks to win this Tour. At the moment, it's 61% in favour and 39% against. Why not have your say? One man who has a point of view on this is John Lelangue. The BMC directeur sportif claims that the Spaniard's exertions in the Giro, plus his early crashes, will make it too hard for Contador to win the Tour this year. BMC: Contador win 'almost impossible'
195km - Four riders have just tried to jump clear of the peloton with a counter attack, including Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel. It comes to nothing, but serves as a springboard for another attack, this time by another QuickStepper Jerome Pineau and Euskaltel's Gorka Izagirre. But this too fails to stay out ahead. The five leaders now have 1:20 over the bunch.
200km - The five leaders have 55 seconds on the peloton, who managed to catch the pair riding in pursuit. This is a bit of a coup by Vacansoleil, who have two riders in the group. They clearly eye the polka dot jersey, what with three climbs on the agenda today. Hoogerland already has one point in the competition, so could easily better Evans' two points at the top of the standings. King of the mountains standings
205km - Mark Cavendish's win in yesterday's stage propelled the HTC sprinter up the green jersey standings, which is now being led by Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Previous leader Jose Rojas drops to second after being docked of his intermediate sprint points along with Tom Boonen. The pair shut the door on Cav yesterday and the race commissaires were not impressed. "Both riders blocked Cavendish when he was trying to race up the inside. As a result both riders lose the points." Green jersey standings
210km - A five man group has formed out in front, with two in pursuit. The leaders are Vacansoleil pair Johnny Hoogerland and Lieuwe Westra, Leonardo Duque (Cofidis), Adriano Malori (Lampre) and Anthony Roux (FDJ). The two chasers are Fabrice Jeandesboz (Saur-Sojasun) and Jurgen Roelandts )Omega Pharma-Lotto).
215km - ATTACK: Two riders ping off the front - Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Anthony Roux (FDJ). They're being pursued by Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) and Leonardo Duque (Cofidis).
220km - Norway's Thor Hushovd maintained his slender one-second lead over Auistralia's Cadel Evans in the overall standings. If a break succeeds today, there's an outside chance the world champion will lose the jersey today, but not too likely. Evans will certainly be happy to stay second, so don't expect a big dig from the BMC rider in that final climb - unless he's defending his quarters from the likes of Schleck and Contador, that is. General Classification
225km - It's a calm start so far in today's stage - just what the doctor ordered after all those crashes yesterday.
227km - They're off! One non-starter to report: Euskaltel's Ivan Velasco, who crashed heavily towards the end of yesterday's stage and has a suspected broken collarbone. The Spaniard joined Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) who also retired yesterday, but the likes of Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel (both QuickStep) are present today despite injuries sustained in a chaotic stage five.
11:55 - The remaining 194 riders are approaching the end of the neutral zone at the start of stage six. The weather at the start is variable: we have had some early showers but also the sun has managed to peak through the clouds a little. Weather report
10:50 - Today's stage is far from straight forward: the road cuts through the forests of Normandy, goes up and down for large portions, and then the stage finishes with a 1.5km climb to the basilica of St Therese before a flat run-in to the finish in Lisieux. While all eyes will be on Cavendish, perhaps today's the day a break finally sticks. Stage Six guide: Cavendish looks to double up
10:35 - Welcome to live coverage of stage six of the Tour de France, a hilly ride from Dinan to Lisieux. At 227km, it's the longest stage in this year's Tour de France and presents Britain's Mark Cavendish with a possible chance to double up after yesterday's heroics.