Ok, ok, I know. But seriously, it’s not often that you see Cavendish lose a flat sprint. It’s certainly not often that you see Cavendish lose a sprint to Andre Greipel, and that’s not to take away from Greipel, because he’s a legit sprinter, it’s more the fact that they almost never race against one another. Why? Well, they used to be teammates. For those who don’t know, Cav once said of his former teammate that he is only good for wins in “Shit-small races.” This meant, for us fans, that there was a little part of all of us cheering for the big gorilla to win a stage in the biggest race in the world. For Greipel, he also now has the ability to say he’s won stages in all three grand tours, which is a exclusive club to join.
The stage wasn’t only with the surprise defeat of Cavendish, it was also surprising because we saw some unusual tactics from the jersey wearers. Voeckler (in yellow) and Gilbert (in green) attacked the peloton with only 10km remaining and looked legitimately interested in trying to either take the win or shatter the HTC train.
All told, today’s stage was about as good as it gets for a flat sprint stage, and tomorrow we get another before we head into the mountains. Hopefully, it’s just as good. Greipel vs Cav round 3? The tie-break? We’ll see.
Stage 10 Top Five
1. Andre Greipel (Lotto)_________(45)_____3h31’21”
2. Mark Cavendish (HTC)________(35)
3. J.J. Rojas (Movistar)_________(30)
4. Thor Hushovd (Garmin)_______(26)
5. Romain Feilleu (VacanSoleil)__(22)
Complete Stage results: Le Tour
General Classification Top Three after Stage 10
1. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)_______42h06’32”
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)______+1’49”
3. Cadel Evans (BMC)_________________+2’26”
4. Frank Schleck (Leopard)___________+2’29”
5. Andy Schleck (Leopard)____________+2’37”
Complete Overall results: Le Tour
Green Jersey (points) Top Three after Stage 9
1. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)______(226)
2. J.J. Rojas (Movistar)_______(209)
3. Mark Cavendish (HTC)______(197)