YPRES, Belgium (AP) — Defending champion Chris Froome took another spill in rainy, slick conditions on Wednesday as the Tour de France began a critical, cobblestoned stage that has preoccupied racers and their teams for months.
A day after hurting his wrist in a crash in the fourth stage, Froome fell again at the beginning of the 152.5-kilometer (94.5-mile) route from the Belgian town of Ypres to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut in France.
The Team Sky rider quickly got back on his bike, though, and rejoined the race.
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is wearing the leader’s yellow jersey for the fifth stage that includes seven rough, cobblestoned sections toward the end.
Forecasters are calling for steady rain throughout the race, which will test riders bike-handling skills like no other stage in this year’s Tour.