Cav in Green… Again

Today’s Tour de France stage was another boring one. The breakaway of Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) and Yukiya Arashiro (Lampre-Merida)¬†was established on km 3. The exciting bits were the intermediate sprints for minor placings. The stage was so uneventful that apart from the castles and stately homes we were even shown contrails of airplanes. And the commentators were telling us stories about chateaus and information about rivers!

The peloton kept the breakaway at around the 3 minute gap for the first part of the stage and then it came down to 2. It was supposed to be a day for the sprinters, so they made sure to keep it under control. BMC also at the front, I guess because they didn’t want a repeat of yesterday’s antics, in their expense this time.

A cat 3 climb 45 km from the end didn’t shake things up in the peloton, it only brought the gap down to around 1 minute. With 35 km to go the peloton started reeling in the breakaway and it took a bit less than 10 km to catch them.

The sprint for the line was quite interesting because there were so many teams bringing riders: Dimension Data, Katusha, Ettix-QuickStep, Lotto-Soudal, Tinkoff. In the end, Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) sat on Marcel Kittel’s (Ettix-QuickStep) wheel and at the right time he jumped forward and cleanly beat him. No team-train this time, just “wheel-surfing”, as Cav described it himself. Oh, and he got the Green Jersey, too!

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) was nowhere to be seen, at the finish line, and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) was on his wheel so he missed the sprint, too. A notable presence was the British Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) who is on his first ever Tour.

Tomorrow there is some proper climbing, so we’ll see if Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) can hold onto the yellow jersey.