Tour de France 2013 Stage 10
Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo 197km
Since Peter Sagan has a commanding lead in the Points competition, he and Cannondale Pro Cycling could afford to sit back and make the other teams earn whatever points they could get. So long as Sagan can stay close at the intermediate sprint and finish line, it will be hard for his Maillot Vert rivals to steal the jersey off his back.
The pack let five riders roll off three kilometers into the day. The escape rolled out a five-minute gap, and then the teams behind worked together to keep the gap under five minutes, while slowly dragging themselves back. First, it was Sky, the team of race leader Chris Froome, then they sat back when it was time for the sprinters' teams to set up for the intermediate sprint.
That line came with 69.5km remaining. Lotto-Belisol for Andre Greipel and Omega Pharma-Quickstep for Mark Cavendish picked up the pace a bit, and then Cannondale came to the front en masse for Sagan. As his leadout riders faded left, Greipel, sitting on Sagan's wheel, jumped early to the left riding around the fading Green Team as Sagan went straight down the middle of the road. At the line, Greipel took it, with Sagan second and Cavendish third.
With the intermediate sprint accomplished, Lotto and Omega Pharma collaborated to bring back the break. But the five escapees were not tiring as quickly as expected. The field was committed to the chase but with the crosswinds and the position fighting, the capture was taking forever.
Finally, with just over five kilometers remaining, the break was brought back. Omega Pharma went to the front for Cavendish, only to be drag-raced by Argos-Shimano, and then passed by Lotto with two kilometers remaining. Argos briefly gained the front in the final kilometer, with Lotto just behind, Cavendish following Greipel and Sagan following Cav'. As Greipel opened the sprint alongside Argos' Kittel, a teammate of Kittel's bumped into Cavendish, and crashed. Cav' got by cleanly, but Sagan had to swerve, and both lost their shot at victory. Just in front, Kittel out-kicked Greipel for his second win of the Tour, with Greipel just missing, and Cavendish coming in third ahead of Sagan.
Sagan saw his lead in the Points competition narrowed, but it was expected. The key today was to lose as little of his lead as possible.
Sagan explained his position after the race. "This stage was not for me. I’m fast, but not fast like Kittel, Greipel, and Cavendish. I was fourth. I lost a little bit of points, but another stage, I hope to take more. I was happy not to crash. One rider from Argos was coming back from front and touched Mark. I was behind Mark, and it was close. I hope that my stage is coming up and I can keep my lead for the Green Jersey."
Tomorrow, Sagan's lead will not change. Stage Eleven is a 33km time trial from Avranches to Mont Saint-Michel. This race of truth is fairly flat, where the wind, they're on the Atlantic, will be a much bigger factor than the terrain. Yellow Jersey, Froome, is probably one of the best time trialists in the race. He'll race to gain time on his rivals and will contest the victory against time trial specialists like Omega Pharma's Tony Martin and Garmin-Sharp's David Millar. Every rider in Cannondale Pro Cycling will ride to conserve energy, as there are no points on the line and the following two days will be important in the defense of the Maillot Vert.
Tour de France 2013
Stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo 197km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano in 4:53:25
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at same time
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step same time
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling same time
5. William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr same time
Stage Results Cannondale Pro Cycling
41. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) 0:00:11
52. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) same time
61. Kristijan Koren (Slo) same time
136. Alan Marangoni (Ita) same time
140. Brian Vandborg (Den) same time
151. Moreno Moser (Ita) same time
178. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 0:06:23
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 41:52:43
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:25
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:44
4. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:50
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:51
General Classification Cannondale Pro Cycling
74. Peter Sagan (Svk) 0:52:01
86. Kristijan Koren (Slo) 1:00:13
88. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 1:00:25
102. Moreno Moser (Ita) 1:12:18
110. Alan Marangoni (Ita) 1:16:00
115. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) 1:18:06
116. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) 1:18:56
155. Brian Vandborg (Den) 1:41:50
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 269 pts
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 186
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 166
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 132
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 131