Chasing The Tour | Stage 6 Blown To Bits

by CyclingTips


Stage 6 from Epernay to Metz was supposed to be a predictable and insignificant stage for the General Classification. Unfortunately, or fortunately – depending on who you ask, it turned out to be anything but that. The General Classification was torn to shreds and the two-man race between Evans and Wiggins looks to be all the more likely as the two favorites managed to stay ahead of the carnage.

The moment that everyone will remember about in stage 6 will be the crash that took out half the peloton near the 25km banner. Not only did it force five riders to abandon (Danielson, Poels, Astarloza, Freire, and we’ll see who doesn’t start tomorrow) but it caused Fränk Schleck, Pierre Rolland, Alejandro Valverde, Michele Scarponi, Janez Brajkovic and large number of others to lose a large chunk of time on GC. Robert Gesink also came down in the crash and lost 3’30”, and Ryder Hesjedal saw his GC hopes shattered as he lost more than 13 minutes in the disastrous day for Rabobank and Garmin-Sharp.

Cancellara, Evans, Wiggins, Nibali, Basso, and Van Garderen all missed the crash, as did most of the Orica-GreenEdge team who drove the pace after the crash and were largely responsible for chasing back the last of the four-man breakaway, David Zabriskie, who was caught in the final 2km. Lotto-Belisol set up the lead-out for Greipel but Sagan showed his astonished us once again with his immense talent. Matty Goss keeps knocking at the door but it’s just not opening for him. So far he’s been up there in the sprint finishes with a 2nd and two 3rds. Goss beat Cavendish at the intermediate sprint today and took 11 points (first behind the breakaway bunch) which is a sign of good things to come.

So who caused the crash? From what I’m told by one of the riders it was Pattachi (Lampre) who removed his shoe covers and gave them to David Viganò (also Lampre) who was putting them in his back pocket and couldn’t break when the pace slowed in front of him.

Stage 6 Photos

Stage 7 Preview

Quiz

Q. Which team won both the white jersey and Prix de la competitive in 2011?
Hint – page 280 of the RIDE Official Tour Guide

Q. Name the three of cycling’s Five Monuments that Fabian Cancellara has won.
Hint – page 166

Q. Which Australian team did Jens Voigt start his professional cycling career with?

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