Andre Greipel
Greipel upset Cavendish again as the Briton was forced to play a bit-part. Getty Images

Mark Cavendish's Tour de France woes continued as he missed out on a win again in the fifth stage in Amiens.

The Manxman was again outsprinted by German rival Andre Greipel who took his second win of the Tour.

Cavendish finished third having hoped to finally claim his first victory on the world's greatest cycle race in two years.

But there was just further disappointment on the 117.7miles (189.5km) stage five from Arras which rolled through the battlefields, memorials and cemeteries of the Somme.

Cavendish made his move several hundred yards from the line but was overpowered by Greipel with Slovakia's Peter Sagan taking second in the final few metres.

It left the British rider, who crashed out of last year's Tour on the opening stage, still stuck on 25 career wins.

Cavendish, who is well-known for his support of Britain's armed forces, had tweeted beforehand: "Nice to see @letour paying tribute today to the brave people that served during the First World War. We will remember you."

And Cavendish had come into this year's Tour in superb form with 13 victories, but it has just not happened for him.

He was forced to chase back to the peloton with 65 kilometres left after a puncture, but he quickly did that with the help of three team-mates so that will not be an excuse.

The Etixx Quick-Step rider was expected to win Sunday's second stage in Holland one year on from his awful crash in Harrogate.

But he came home fourth and was criticised by his Team Director, Patrick Lefevere, for sitting-up in the final metres.

It had cost team-mate Tony Martin the Yellow Jersey by one second and harsh words were exchanged on the team bus.

The mood lightened after the German claimed the leader's jersey in Cambrai on 7 July.

Martin retained it in today's bunch sprint as he remained 12 seconds ahead of Britain's Chris Froome.

The 2013 champion retained his lead over all his main General Classification rivals as, after a hectic few days, the pace eased off in the peloton.

Despite the slower pace their was one multiple pile-up on the slippery roads, but without the costly injuries of 6 Julys high-speed crash in Belgium.

Froome remains 36 seconds ahead of Spain's Alberto Contador and one minute 38 seconds ahead of Italy's defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.