Tour de France Andre Greipel claims his second stage win in 2015.

Andre Greipel's superb start to the Tour de France continued as he prevailed in a bunch sprint on stage five to retain the green jersey.

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Andre Greipel claims his second stage win in 2015 Tour de France. play

Andre Greipel claims his second stage win in 2015 Tour de France.

(Omni Sports)
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Green jersey holder Andre Greipel claimed his second success in this year's Tour de France on stage five, as Tony Martin stayed in yellow.

Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) had been victorious in the previous sprint finish on stage two and once again prevailed in a tight battle that had been anticipated given Wednesday's relatively flat 189.5-km route from Arras to Amiens.

Etixx-Quick Step did their best to set up a 26th Tour stage win for Mark Cavendish, who had earlier been hampered by a puncture and a pile-up 25km from the finish.

Yet it was Greipel who emerged from the pack to reach the line first, edging out Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) - the leader with 200m remaining.

Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) retained the yellow jersey, having maintained a position in the lead group along with all of the main general classification contenders.

On a day that saw blustery winds provide the most significant challenge, Nacer Bouhanni was forced to abandon after he was hurt in a crash involving several of his Cofidis team-mates, while Jack Bauer also ended his participation in the race.

Wednesday's route saw riders pass First World War battlefields and sites of remembrance.

Chris Froome and Sky team-mate Peter Kennaugh laid wreaths in Arras prior to the start of the stage, while members of the Orica-GreenEDGE team wore black armbands to commemorate the fallen ANZAC soldiers.

Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) made an immediate break along with Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), the former staying ahead of the peloton for 90km and taking the intermediate sprint honours shortly before being reeled in.

There were a number of early incidents - the most serious leading to Bouhanni's abandonment. And it was not only those on bicycles suffering as a motorcyclist accompanying the peloton crashed into a ditch at the roadside.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Cavendish each suffered mechanical problems, but swiftly regained their positions either side of a split in the peloton that saw the likes of Kennaugh, fellow Sky rider Richie Porte, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) slip well off the pace of the lead group.

A host of riders, including Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Cavendish, were involved in a mass pile-up with 25km remaining and had to work hard to get back to the pack.

Cavendish was soon back among the leaders, but he and Kristoff were edged out as Greipel timed his break perfectly to strengthen his grip on the green jersey.

There were no significant changes in the general classification as the likes of Froome, Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador posted the same time, although a second-place finish on the day lifted Sagan up to fourth overall.

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