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Boom wins 5th Tour stage as Froome crashes out

Cycling Tour de France

Britain's Christopher Froome gestures to his teammate Spain's Xabier Zandio, right, as he gets up after a third consecutive crash in two days prior to abandoning the race during the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 155 kilometers (96.3 miles) with start in Ypres, Belgium, and finish in Arenberg, France, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The stage initially contained nine sectors of cobblestone roads dreaded by the majority of the riders in the pack especially under wet conditions, the organization decided to cancel two of the nine stretches because of the weather. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Laurent Cipriani

ARENBERG, France (AP) — Dutch rider Lars Boom has won a chaotic fifth stage of the Tour de France marked by the withdrawal of defending champion Chris Froome following two crashes.

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali, one several high-profile riders to crash, recovered and excelled: He extended his overall lead.

Froome was the Team Sky leader favored to win again, and his departure leaves the three-week race wide open.

Race organizers, sensing the dangers even before the stage began, scrapped two of the nine scheduled cobblestone patches, and reduced the stage by three kilometers (two miles), to 152.5 kilometers (95 miles), from Ypres, Belgium to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut, France.

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