We all prayed for winds on the Tour de France today, and indeed we got them. Lasting attacks took their time to come about, but when the only real move that stuck came, it was a pretty interesting one. Chris Froome and Peter Sagan were the big names, and eachwere accompanied by one team mate. Sagan had Maciej Bodnar, and Froome had Geraint Thomas. So yeah, just your average day, with the green jersey and yellow jersey attacking ten kilometres out. The circumstances of the attack? Tinkoff had been looking to make an attack all day, and indeed started off aggressions early in the stage. They attempted a move a few kilometres earlier, but Tosatto's gears slipped and foiled that move, alerting GC contenders to move up. Then, when Sagan went, Froome was right there. He did his share of the work in the final kilometres, and even fought for the stage win, forcing Sagan to sprint for the win, which of course he got.
Froome took second place, with the attached bonus seconds. Alexander Kristoff barged in six seconds later, giving the yellow jersey only twelve seconds of a gain. Feel free to debate how much that's worth with at least some of Ventoux tomorrow, and Froome going on the limit in the final kilometres today.
The loser today was Joaquím Rodríguez, who suffered badly when Froome attacked, losing over a minute and his place in the top ten. Thibaut Pinot also had a bad day, crashing into a ditch earlier on, and spending the rest of the day yo-yoing in between groups.
Leigh Howard and Arthur Vichot could also have had a better day, drawing the short straw of being in the day's breakaway, which never had a chance and was recaptured at around seventy kilometres to go. Mark Cavendish lost out as well, a touch of wheels late on taking away a chance for a fourth (and thirtieth) stage win.
Other than Tinkoff and Sky, who were the aggressors? Well, Trek had a go, for Bauke Mollema and Edward Theuns, another crash victim. One notable absence was Movistar, who stayed in the middle of the peloton, playing another failed game of defence.
Is Froome winning fans with all these unexpected attacks in all these unexpected places? And why are they coming so frequently? We might find out tomorrow.
|Edvald Boasson Hagen
|Sondre Holst Enger