Yesterday we said there will be fireworks and their was, but not the kind you would have expected.
A rather large break today managed to pull almost 20 minutes on the peloton before they got onto the final climb of the day, the category 2 Col de Manse. Sagan tried to break the group apart on the decent before the climb but was unable to do so. However as the climb kicked in a group of 12 riders, including Sagan broke free. It was from this select group, about 3km from the top that Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) broke free and solo’d to the stage win with Sagan in hot persuit.
Sagan must have broken plenty of mirrors in his previous life. Will he be able to win a stage of the Tour this year?
In the GC battle it all happened on Col de Manse as well, but rather than on the climb, it was on the descent. Nibali showed he still has his heart set on racing by attacking from the Yellow Jersey group on the way down. As everyone chased Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas got taken out by Giant-Alpecin’s Warren Barguil. Rather than taking the conventional line through the corner the Frenchman went straigh and bounced off Thomas, sending the Welshman off the road and into a telegraph pole.
Luckily Thomas was ok and managed to ride in to the finish just 40s off the Yellow Jersey group.
- Today was a stage of two races. The race for the stage win and the race in the general classification standing; the latter concluding over 17 mins after the winner crossed the finish line.
- High speeds, helped along by tailwinds, characterised today’s stage as Peter Sagan (TCS) chased another elusive stage win in the breakaway; in the end, it was Ruben Plaza Molina (LAM) who timed his effort perfectly to win the stage for his Italian team.
- With 35 km remaining, the time gap between the main breakaway and the peloton was 19’ 35”; the biggest time gap between the main breakaway and the peloton yet on this year’s Tour de France.
- Geraint Thomas (SKY) suffered a spectacular crash on the final descent of today’s stage after he collided with Warren Barguil (TGA), despite the crash, Thomas managed to hold onto his 6th position in the general classification standing.
- Team MTN Qhubeka finished second in the team classification today, the highest position the team has held so far. Overall, their riders have finished in the top five on six stages including taking a stage win on Sunday.
Day in data:
- The descend from Col de Manse in the final 12 kms of today’s stage, provided a steep spiraling descend into Gap; host city of the Tour de France for the 23rd time.
- 2654.8 km – the distance covered from the start of this year’s Tour de France in Utrecht.
- 170 – the number of riders who started today’s stage. Only four complete teams remain in this year’s race: Team Lotto NL – Jumbo, Team Europcar, Team IAM Cycling and Team MTN Qhubeka.
- 53.6 km – the distance covered by the lead group in the first hour of today’s stage.
- 41.11 km/h – the average speed of Sagan (TCS) in the final kilometre leading up to the intermediate sprint in Die.
- 19.79 km/h – average speed of Pauwels (MTN) as he took maximum points for winning the climb up Col de Cabre – click here to see his speed profile up the climb.
- 61.61 km/h – fastest average speed recoded down Col de Cabre by Perichon (BSE).
- 23.8 km/h – average speed of Plaza Molina (LAM) as he won climb at Col de Manse – click here to see his speed profile up the climb.
- 18.12 km/h – average speed up Col de Manse.
- 41.09 km/h – average speed on the stage.
- 30’ 36” – time between first and last rider.
ESP | Ruben Plaza Molina | LAM
Stage time: 4h 30’ 10”
Average speed: 44.64 km/h
Overall Jersey Leaders:
Tomorrow is a well deserved rest day in Gap. From here the Tour heads to the Alps for the final 4 days of mountains.