As the expression goes, you don’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. The tour isn’t going to be a exciting race if their is no drama for anyone, and wind was playing it’s role today as OPQS, Belkin and Saxo Bank took advantage and the teams that suffered were Movistar, Sky, Lotto, Argos and Euskaltel. And on unlucky Stage 13, you may have had a sense something unfortunate was going to happen for someone.
Mark Cavendish got to waltz to the win, his 25th Tour win which is the most road race (non-TT) wins in the race, 3rd all time in all wins. Cavendish was the beneficiary of some amazing work by his team to bust the peloton and form echelons, and he rewarded that work with the win. Peter Sagan was second over the line and able to keep swallowing points for the green jersey. The biggest egg to crack, and that expression is hugely unfair to Alejandro Valverde, who had a flat at the wrong time and was behind when Belkin and OPQS were going hard. The result, the man placed second, now drops to 16th! finishing 9’54” behind.
Team Saxo Bank, and Alberto Contador are always game to race, either on the strength of their leader, or on tactics and today it was primarily the latter. The result, Chris Froome lost 1’09” and appeared to beat a disadvantage with his weakened Sky team and couldn’t close the gaps opened by Saxo Bank.
This makes for significant changes in the overall as Valverde drops out of the top ten, and Contador and Mollema close the gap to Froome. It’ll be interesting what Movistar does as Quintana logically was the only rider not to drop back and help Valverde, but Nairo still trails Froome by over 5 minutes. Will Valverde try and break away and get back into the race? Or is his tour over, and does he solely help Quintana? Great form, but bad luck.
All in all, a dynamic day with heartbreak for some, and success for the others, but it made for a great day of racing. When Mark Cavendish wins the combative rider award, you know the guys are out for blood.
Stage 13 Top Five
1. Mark Cavendish (OPQ)
2. Peter Sagan (CAN)
3. Bauke Mollema (BEL)
4. Jacob Fuglsang (AST)
5. Niki Terpstra (OPQ)
Overall Classification after 10 stages
1. Chris Froome (SKY)________47h19’13″
2. Bauke Mollema (BEL)_______+2’28″
3. Alberto Contador (TST)______+2’45″
4. Roman Kreuziger (TST)_____+2’48″
5. Laurens Ten Dam (BEL)_____+3’01″
6. Jacob Fuglsang (AST)______+4’39
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ)__+4’44″
8. Nairo Quintana (MOV)______+5’18″
9. JC Peraud (ALM)__________+5’39″
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)___+5’48″
11. Dan Martin (GRM)__________+5’52″
12. Cadel Evans (BMC)________+6’54″
13. Michael Rogers (TST)______+7’28”
14. Andy Schleck (RLT)_______+8’32″
15. Maxime Monfort (RLT)_____+10’16”
16. Alejandro Valverde (MOV)____+12’10″
18. Rui Costa (MOV)__________+14’22″
21. Mikel Nieve (EUS)_________+16’49″
23. Igor Anton (EUS)_________+19’43″