For the second consecutive day, Andre Greipel was the stage winner at the 2012 Tour de France. In the race's only truly flat stage with no king of the mountains points available, Thursday was supposed to be a big day for the sprinters, but Stage 5 almost didn't work out that way.
The breakaway almost had its day in the spotlight with a great ride, but just barely failed to hold on. Pablo Urtasun accelerated away from the rest of the four-man break in the last two kilometers and went under the one kilometer to go banner with a sizable lead on both his breakaway mates and the peloton. He couldn't maintain his speed down the stretch, however, and was caught with just over 100 meters to go.
With the breakaway finally out of the way, the sprinters set up for a mad dash to the finish, with Greipel defeating the field to win his second consecutive stage. Matthew Goss came up just short in second place, while Juan José Haedo finished third and Mark Cavendish finished fourth. A crash three kilometers before the finish slowed up American sprinter Tyler Ferrar and green jersey holder Peter Sagan, who were unable to participate in the sprint.
Sagan still holds the green jersey with Goss, Greipel and Cavendish chasing him. Fabian Cancellara remains in yellow, and none of the main general classification contenders lost any time on Thursday.