Stage 5: Live updates from the Team Time Trial

5:37 p.m. local timeSo a few of you have asked that we not reveal the winner in the headline or first paragraph, so if you don't want be surprised as you work your way through our now-not-so-live updates click HERE to work up from the bottom and follow the race from the start. For the rest of you today's winner was ... 5:37 p.m.(local time) Here are the preliminary results of the top five teams. 1. CREDIT AGRICOLE 67km in 1:21;32; (49.3kph)2. ONCE, at 31 seconds;3. FESTINA, at 54 seconds;4. U.S. POSTAL, at 1:26;5. KELME, at 1:38; And we have some major changes in the overall

By VeloNews Editorial Staff

Remembering Verdun’s 600,000 war dead along the La Voie Sacrée (the Sacred Way)

Photo: Bryan Jew

5:37 p.m. local timeSo a few of you have asked that we not reveal the winner in the headline or first paragraph, so if you don’t want be surprised as you work your way through our now-not-so-live updates click HERE to work up from the bottom and follow the race from the start.

For the rest of you today’s winner was …

5:37 p.m.(local time) Here are the preliminary results of the top five teams. 1. CREDIT AGRICOLE 67km in 1:21;32; (49.3kph)2. ONCE, at 31 seconds;3. FESTINA, at 54 seconds;4. U.S. POSTAL, at 1:26;5. KELME, at 1:38;

And we have some major changes in the overall standings. Here are the top 20 — we’ll be back with more later.

1. O:GRADY Stuart (Aus), C.A en 20h 54:212. VOIGT Jens (G), C.A at 00:26 3. JULICH Bobby (USA), C.A at 00:27 4. GONZALEZ GALDEANO Igor (Sp), ONC at 00:57 5. BELOKI Joseba (Sp), ONC at 01:07 6. SASTRE Carlos (Sp), ONC at 01:08 7. JAKSCHE Jorg (G), ONC at 01:12 8. MOREAU Christophe (F), FES at 01:17 9. GUTIERREZ Ivan (Sp), ONC at 01:20 10. SERRANO Marcos (Sp), ONC at 01:23 11. BRARD Florent (F), FES at 01:24 12. CASERO Angel (Sp), FES at 01:33 13. PRADERA Mikel (Sp), ONC at 01:42 14. PEREZ Luis (Sp), FES at 01:50 15. ARMSTRONG Lance (USA), USP at 01:53 16. PENA Victor Hugo (Col), USP at 02:10 17. BOTERO Santiago (Col), KEL at 02:11 18. GUTIERREZ José Enrique (Sp), KEL at 02:17 19. ULLRICH Jan (G), TEL at 02:20 20. KLODEN Andréas (G), TEL at 02:32 Stay tuned for complete results and overall standings as well as a complete post stage wrap-up from VeloNews’s Bryan Jew a detailed tech-weenie update from Lennard Zinn and post-race analysis from John Wilcockson.

5:17 p.m.(local time) John Wilcockson has spoken to Christian Vande Velde, who says he actually skidded on the white line painted down the center of the road. It was raining and the painted line was very, very slippery.

We tried to get a word with Bobby Julich of the Credit Agricole team… but he was way too busy whoopin’ and hollerin’ and it may take a few minutes to calm him down after the squad turned in the best time of the day, an impressive 1:21:32. Julich is now in third place overall, only behind his teammates Jens Voight and the man in yellow, Stuart O’Grady.

Another C.A. teammate Jonathan Vaughters said he was releived to “finally have a good day,” after a tough opening at the Tour.

5:03 p.m.(local time) Stuart O’Grady is still the man with the yellow jersey! The Credit Agricole team has turned in an incredible 1:21:32, winning the stage and putting three of its riders into the top three spots on GC.

O’Grady still leads the Tour de France, his teammates Jens Voigt and Bobby Julich round out the top three spots.

Stay tuned for complete results and overall standings as well as a complete post stage wrap-up from VeloNews’s Bryan Jew a detailed tech-weenie from Lennard Zinn and post-race analysis from John Wilcockson.5:01 p.m.(local time) Festina has no finished with the second-best time of the day, turning in a 1:22:26 – moving the Postal team to third and the Telekom down to sixth.

On the course, the Credit Agricole team are down to seven riders, but they are still turning in the fastest times of the day and look well on their way to winning this stage and preserving Stuart O’Grady’s hold on the yellow jersey.

4:58 p.m.(local time) The Credit Agricole team hasn’t suffered too much from the Julich flat tire. They have crossed the 60km time check with the fastest time of the day — 1:13:38.

4:57 p.m.(local time) ONCE has finished with the new best time, with 1:22:03, 55 seconds better than the Posties.

As of now, Joseba Beloki is the new leader of the Tour de France — and remember, this is the man who finished the 2000 Tour in third place.

4:53 p.m.(local time) Julich is back on board and the Credit Agricole team is back at full pace.

But att he finish line, the big news is the impressive time turned in by the Postal team… besting Jan Ullrich’s Telekom team by 25 seconds.

4:51 p.m.(local time)Julich has flatted and is chasing to get back on. The CA squad is waiting.

With Armstrong pulling the team over the last kilometer, the Postal team has finished with a time of 1:22:58 — the new best time of the day.

4:45 p.m.(local time) The Postal team is back on its rhythm and has resumed its pace.

Kelme has now turned in the day’s best finish time at 1:23:10.

4:36 p.m.(local time) All is back to normal on the Postal squad. That crash was disruptive, but it looks like they have resumed their rhythm.

The Credit Agricole team has crossed the team has crossed through the 45km check point, so we have the top five at this time check:1: Credit Agricole, 45km in 55:29;2. O.N.C.E. – EROSKI, 55:52;3. US POSTAL SERVICE , 55:564. FESTINA Watches 56:03;5. KELME – COSTA BLANCA, 56:13.

4:31 p.m.(local time) Crash in the Postal team!

With 18km to go, Christian Vande Velde has tapped the wheel of Jose Luis Rubiera. He went down and took out Roberto Heras.

Ahead, the team has slowed to bring the two riders back on.

The whole team is back together and have resumed the pace.

Telekom has finished the TTT in 1:23:23 for second place.

4:28 p.m.(local time) The Telekoms are closing in on the finish. They are maintaining a strong pace, even though they are down to six men.

4:24 p.m.(local time) At the 45km mark, the U.S. Postal team has turned in the best time of the day — 56:13. A lot of the work is being done by Lance Armstrong. He’s even pulled for more than a full kilometer at one point.

Telekom has had a bit of a hiccup. The man in the green jersey has had a flat and the team appears to be willing to let him go.

4:14 p.m.(local time) The rain has really kicked in on the course.

Here are the top teams for the 19.5km check point

1. CREDIT AGRICOLE 19.5km in 24:12;2. FESTINA at 05 seconds;3. RABOBANK at 12 seconds;4. O.N.C.E. – EROSKI at 18 seconds;5. KELME – COSTA BLANCA at 23 seconds;6. U.S. Postal at 26 seconds.

4:09 p.m.(local time) We have a new fifth-placed team. The Domo Farm Frites squad of U.S. national champion has finished in 1:25:20 — 2:01 down on the Rabobank squad.

The Credit Agricole team of yellow jersey holder Stuart O’Grady has crossed through the 19.5km checkpoint with the fastest time of the day — the first squad to beat the Rabobank squad at that point. The team, with Americans Bobby Julich and Jonathan Vaughters clocked a 24:12.

4:05 p.m.(local time) Here are the standings of the first five teams to complete the 67km team time trial here at the Tour de France:

1. RABOBANK 67km in 1:23:19; 2. COFIDIS at 1:08; 3. BIG.MAT – AUBER at 1:09; 4. JEAN DELATOUR at 2:35; 5. EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 2:58;

3:56 p.m.(local time) Rabobank is the new team to beat. Finishing with a time of 1:23:19, the Dutch squad has turned in a time more than one minute better than second-placed Cofidis.

Rabobank, leading at every time check, may hold this lead for a while.

3:53 p.m.(local time) Those Rabobank fellas are flyin’!

Thay have crossed through the 60km more than a minute faster than the previous best, Big Mat.

3:46 p.m.(local time) Lampre-Daikin has finished with a time of 1:27:30.

The Big Mat team has finished with a time of 1:24:28.

3:46 p.m.(local time) All teams are now on the road. The Credit Agricole team of race leader Stuart O’Grady left the starting gate a minute ago and teams are beginning to tricle in at the finish.

3:39 p.m.(local time) Festina is now on the road. This Tour’s first yellow jersey, Christophe Moreau is the big man to watch on this team.

The Big Mat squad has clocked a 1:16:09 at the 60km mark.

Euskatel has finished at 1:25:17 — 1:50 behind Cofidis.

3:34 p.m.(local time) Rabobank, the leader at the 19.5km mark, has set a new standard at the 45km checkpoint.

The team has crossed through at 56:33 – a full minute ahead of the second fastest team, Big Mat.

Telekom, meanwhile has crossed through the checkpoint, turning in the fifth fastest time — 25:01.

3:28 p.m.(local time) The U.S. Postal team is now on the road. They started “clean and very fast,” said VeloNews’s Lennard Zinn.

It’s raining harder out on the course, right now.

The Cofidis squad has finished, turning in a time of 1:24:27.

Of the first ten teams through the 19.5km time check, the results are — 1. RABOBANK 19.5km In 24:24; 2. CSC-TISCALI At 17 Seconds; 3. BIG.MAT-AUBER 93 At 38 Seconds; 4. DOMO-FARM FRITES At 39 Seconds; 5. COFIDIS At 55 Seconds; 6. JEAN DELATOUR At 57 Seconds; 7. IBANESTO.COM At 59 Seconds; 8. EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI At 1:05; 9. LAMPRE-DAIKIN At 1:30; 10. AG2R PREVOYANCE At 1:39; 3:20 p.m.(local time) Bonjour just passed 19km at 24:40 and the Lampre team passed through the 45km mark at 59:36.

3:18 p.m.(local time) The rain is picking up again.Time checks from the road are coming in fast.At 19.5km, the Domo Squad passed through at 25:03 and the team from Spain turned in a 25:23.

At the 45km mark, Jaan Kirsipuu’s Ag2R team came through at 59:02.

3:09 p.m.(local time)The Telekom team is now on the road. Zinn reports that the team left the start as an “incredible example of coordination and precision.” That’s what counts in the team time trial. We’ll see how they do. The Euskatel team have passed through the 45km time check at 58:36.

The CSC team of Laurent Jalabert has passed through the 19.5km at 24:41.

Once riders reach the 24km mark, they pass through the famous La Voie Sacrée (the Sacred Way) a memorial to the hundred of thousands of young soldiers who died here during World War I.

John Wilcockson reports that there are WWI re-enactors standing at attention in original uniforms at every kilometer mark along the La Voie Sacrée. It’s a stark reminder that the strong young men of 85 years ago faced dramatically different challenges.

3:04 p.m.(local time) Cofidis have now passed the second time check at 45km. Their time is 57:53.

2:57 p.m.(local time) Jean Delatour has passed the 19.5km time check point, at 25:21.

Rabobank has just turned in a 24:24 – they are now the fastest on the course.

VeloNews technical writer Lennard Zinn says he’s struck by the disparity of the teams as they leave the starting gates.

“Some of them are so organized. Everything is together. Everything is matched from the bikes down to the shoe covers. Bonjour, for example, seems to be so well funded that their team car has exact duplicates of the time trial bikes as spares. Other teams have riders starting on two or three different models of bikes. It does make a difference in the end, too.”

We’ll see how much of a difference as the day goes on.

2:47 p.m.(local time) Lennard Zinn tells us that right before they started, the CSC team were downing energy gel packs — a British product called “Hi Five.” The team were also sticking gel pacs up their jersey sleaves for use during the stage and, in case you’re interested, the flavors of preference are Banana and Orange.

The Domo-Farm Frites just took off. All of the team are wearing ultra aero’ Lazer TT helmets… except Museeuw who has opted for style, wearing his fancy bandana, instead.

19km time checks for Lampre and Big Mat are in…

Lampre: – 25:54Big Mat: – 25:02, so far, the fastest of the day.

2:44 p.m.(local time) Laurent Jalabert and the CSC team are now on the road.

The time check for Jaan Kirsipuu’s Ag2R squad at the 19.5km mark is 26:03.

2:38 p.m.(local time) We have our first time checks. At the first checkpoint, at 19.5km, Cofidis passed through with a time of 25:19.

The Euskatel squad has passed through, turning in a time of 25:29.

2:25 p.m.(local time) The wind is definately a factor here today. John Wordin – the man a lot of people thought would be at this race with his Mercury team — is here.

Wordin and the Mercurys were here after Criterium International and found this area to be “headwind city.” Wordin, by the way, is here at the Tour hoping to make progress in ensuring that both of the United States’ Division I teams are invited to next year’s Tour.

Meanwhile that other U.S. division I team, the Postal squad, have just switched out their front wheels to make adjustments for the wind.

The were using those three-spoked carbon wheels made in Spain — variously marketed as HED, Specialized and DuPont — and switched to the five-spoke Mavic cosmic. Postal mechanic Alan Butler says the smaller surface area of the Mavic is what led to the decision. “The wind is so strong, I almost expect that they might ask to switch the rear wheels, too.”

The postals are using disc wheels in the rear… for now.

2:10 p.m.(local time) We have two teams on the road right now, Cofidis and then Euskatel.

John Wilcockson thought it might be interesting to follow the Euskatel team. They allow press cars to follow the teams during the TTT at the Tour.

I can imagine that would be fun…having a bunch of reporters following your every move throughout the one of the tougher events of the Tour.

2:00 p.m.(local time) Good afternoon! Or good morning for you caffine-swilling early risers in the U.S.

We are just about 10 minutes away from the departure of today’s first team, Cofidis. The 9-man teams (well, four of them are now down to 8) will start at five-minute intervals, with the Tour’s currently top-ranked team Bobby Julich’s Credit Agricole squad leaving last at 3:45.

John Wilcockson reports that the weather is again taking a turn for the worse. It’s raining “not hard, but enough to get you quite wet within a few minutes.”

Winds at the starting area are gusting up to 20mph (look we did a number in miles!) which can be a major factor in an event like the TTT.

Go refill that coffee and then stay tuned for updates throughout the stage.