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Tour sees another crash, then sniping

SAINT-QUENTIN, France — In yet another crash-marred finish, Andre Greipel of Germany led a frenzied sprint to win the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday for his second straight stage victory.

Fabian Cancellara retained the overall leader's yellow jersey for a sixth straight day after the mostly flat 122-mile trek from Rouen to Saint-Quentin.

The pack overtook three breakaway riders with 110 yards left, and Greipel edged Matt Goss of Australia. Greipel counted himself "lucky" to avoid a spill. "Somehow I stayed on my bike," he said, "… and it was also luck on our part to catch the breakaway."

Bradley Wiggins remained second overall, seven seconds back. Cancellara, a time-trial specialist, will wear the yellow jersey for the 27th time, a record for a rider who has never won the Tour.

With under 2 miles left, American Tyler Farrar tumbled, his third crash in as many days. He finished bloodied and angry, storming toward Argos-Shimano rider Tom Veelers and shouting, "You don't do that to someone." Neither Farrar, who was led away by teammates, nor Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters would comment on the outburst.

Armstrong fires back: Lance Armstrong accused U.S Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart of waging a "vendetta" against him after reports that former teammates cut a deal for reduced suspensions after admitting to doping in return for testifying against the seven-time Tour champion.

"This isn't about Tygart wanting to clean up cycling — rather it's just a plain ol' selective prosecution that reeks of vendetta," Armstrong wrote in an email.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and the New York Times reported that George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde will testify for USADA, and De Telegraaf reported that they will be given six-month bans that begin in September. USADA refused to confirm the report.

. Fast Facts

Tour de France

Stage 5 winner: Andre Greipel of Germany

Yellow jersey: Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland

Today's stage: A 128-mile flat trek from Epernay to Metz.

Tour sees another crash, then sniping 07/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:02pm]
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