TDF 2013: Stage 7: Lean Green Team Sheds Sprinters: Sagan is Victor
Albi, France. July 5, 2013. By Jen Benepe
The lean, green team of Cannondale led a blistering pace through Southern France today, shedding almost all the
sprinters in the field along the way, and delivering wunder boy Peter Sagan to the finish line in Albi.
It was a brilliant move by the team who seemed to have planned it from kilometer one.
A small break by two riders, Blel Kadri and Jens Voigt stayed away for a good part of the stage, but the Cannondale Team pushed the tempo, catching the break, and splintering the field behind them.
Shedded off the back more than 12 minutes and 30 seconds at the finish were 25 riders among them Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel.
Team Orica GreenEdge’s Daryl Impey, the South African who found himself in the Yellow Jersey after a field split, is still in the overall lead.
The only other big time sprinter who was able to hold onto the main peloton was Edvald Boasson Hagen, who was fifth in the final sprint.
On this 205.5 km stage from Montpellier, to Albi, an early break was established by Sep Vanmarcke (BEL), Jens Voigt (RTL), Gasparotto (AST), Perez (EUS), El Fares (COF), and Blel Kadri (ALM), but that break soon dwindled to the 41-year-old Voigt and Kadri.
There would be four categorized climbs today with points for the polka-dot jersey awarded at the col des 13 Vents (cat-3 at 80km), col de la Croix de Mounis (cat-2 at 94.5km), cote de la Quintaine (cat-3 at 149km), and the cote de Teillet (cat-4 at 171km).
Daryl Impey who was the first South African to take the Yellow jersey yesterday, was at the top of the overall rankings with a lead of 3 seconds over Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY). Impey consistently performed over the first 6 stages; he came in 11th in stage one, 8th in stage two, 22nd in stage three, 1st in stage four, and 13th in stages five and six.
About 37 minutes into the stage there was a crash involving several riders including Vande Velde (GRS), Boasson Hagen (SKY) and Moreno (KAT). Ahead, the break of Kadri and Voigt was more than 2 minutes in the lead.
After 11 km Vande Velde (GRS) was forced to abandon the Tour after suffering two crashes in three days. ”The multiple contusions and abrasions he suffered in today’s crash, compounded with the injuries he sustained in stage five – which included a blood clot in his neck muscle, a loosened screw in his clavicle plate and upper back injuries – made it impossible for him to finish today’s stage.” the team doctor told reporters.
It was the third abandon for the rider, who has started 11 Tours: While riding for Team U.S. Postal, in 2001 he crashed out during a wet team time trial stage, and in 2010, he fell on the Côte de Stockeau in a mass pile-up and had to abandon in the third stage. Now there were 189 riders in the Tour.
As the leaders increased their advantage to more than 6 minutes, Teams Orica GreenEdge and Omega Pharma Quickstep took turns at the front of the peloton to drive the pace. Team Cannondale then came to the front, in a bid to bring their man Peter Sagan to the finish line first in Albi.
At the 64 km point, the leaders had an advantage of 5 minutes 20 seconds on the peloton, and as they approached the first climb of the stage at the col des 13 Vents, a 6.9km long, category 3 climb with an average gradient of 5.6%.
Behind them the Cannondale team led the pace up the mountain, splitting the field so they could drop sprinters Cavendish and Greipel, as well as van Poppel, Henderson (Greipel’s lead out man) Thomas, Hivert, Voeckler and
about 20 others are in a group that had been dropped.
At the top, Kadri got five points, putting him ahead of Pierre Rolland who had been the leader in the Polka Dot competition.
As the race progressed, the Team Cannondale strategy of shedding other sprinters, and possibly even taking the lead became clearer as they powered the peloton off the front. First Kadri was caught, then Voigt at the 110 km mark.
Behind them, the Cavendish straggle group caught up with the Greipel group, and together they were two minutes 50 seconds behind the peloton. In their combined group there were 25 riders, among them Tony Martin, the world time trial champion, and teammate of Mark Cavendish.
Adriano Malori (LAM) stopped at the 105km mark, and has quit the Tour.
The lead of the peloton soon narrowed to one minute and 55 seconds: but there were more climbs coming and the stragglers had many sprinters.
At the third climb of the day, Jan Bakelants (RTL) led the front, with Cyril Gautier second, and Juan José Oroz, putting Bakelants in the virtual lead over the Cote de la Quintaine.
Soon the three leaders had a one minute advantage over the field, and they were about 50 km from the finish. Not wanting to lose the Yellow Jersey today the Orica GreenEdge Team helped Cannondale chase the leaders. Cannondale was aiming to put their rider Peter Sagan to the head of the sprint, and Orica GreenEdge wanted to keep Impey in the Yellow.
There was still a second peloton chase group with mostly sprinters, 2 minutes and 40 seconds behind. Six Lotto-Belisol riders were with their sprinter Andre Greipel in that group which had grown to 60 men, and they were now 5 minutes 20 seconds behind the stage leaders.
Ahead the leaders kept their distance of 50 seconds off the front: Bakelants took points on the last climb at the Cote de Teillet, some 30 km from the finish.
Cannondale continued at the front, while Jan Bakelants tried to keep them off. Blel Kadri now had one more point than Pierre Rolland, and the Polka Dot jersey will go to him today.
With three kilometers to go, the trio up front were caught, and the sprinting teams took over.
The team of Edvald von Boasson Hagen was lining up for the sprint, with Team Cannondale who had led the front for a good part of the stage holding on. In the last one and a half kilometers the peloton passed over the bridge into Albi.
Boasson Hagen was aiming for Sagan’s wheel. He was the only sprinter left in the mix.
And it was Peter Sagan who came out at the final meters of the stage.
Janez Brajkovic (AST) left the Tour de France following injuries he sustained in a crash. He was ninth on GC in the 2012 Tour and now he is the third rider from the Astana team to abandon following Kaschechkin in stage three and Kessiakoff during yesterday’s stage, leaving 190 riders in the peloton at the start.
Overall individual time classification
Total distance covered: 1150 KM
|1.||RSAIMPEY Daryl||185||ORICA GREENEDGE||27h 12′ 29”|
|2.||NORBOASSON HAGEN Edvald||2||SKY PROCYCLING||27h 12′ 32”||+ 00′ 03”|
|3.||AUSGERRANS Simon||181||ORICA GREENEDGE||27h 12′ 34”||+ 00′ 05”|
|4.||SUIALBASINI Michael||182||ORICA GREENEDGE||27h 12′ 34”||+ 00′ 05”|
|5.||POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal||153||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||27h 12′ 35”||+ 00′ 06”|
|6.||FRACHAVANEL Sylvain||152||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||27h 12′ 35”||+ 00′ 06”|
|7.||GBRFROOME Christopher||1||SKY PROCYCLING||27h 12′ 37”||+ 00′ 08”|
|8.||AUSPORTE Richie||6||SKY PROCYCLING||27h 12′ 37”||+ 00′ 08”|
|9.||IRLROCHE Nicolas||97||TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF||27h 12′ 43”||+ 00′ 14”|
|10.||CZEKREUZIGER Roman||94||TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF||27h 12′ 43”||+ 00′ 14”|
|11.||ESPCONTADOR Alberto||91||TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF||27h 12′ 43”||+ 00′ 14”|
|12.||AUSROGERS Michael||98||TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF||27h 12′ 43”||+ 00′ 14”|
|13.||USATALANSKY Andrew||178||GARMIN – SHARP||27h 12′ 51”||+ 00′ 22”|
|14.||CANHESJEDAL Ryder||171||GARMIN – SHARP||27h 12′ 51”||+ 00′ 22”|
|15.||IRLMARTIN Daniel||175||GARMIN – SHARP||27h 12′ 51”||+ 00′ 22”|
|16.||USADANIELSON Thomas||173||GARMIN – SHARP||27h 12′ 51”||+ 00′ 22”|
|17.||ESPVALVERDE Alejandro||121||MOVISTAR TEAM||27h 12′ 54”||+ 00′ 25”|
|18.||PORCOSTA Rui Alberto||124||MOVISTAR TEAM||27h 12′ 54”||+ 00′ 25”|
|19.||CRCAMADOR Andrey||122||MOVISTAR TEAM||27h 12′ 54”||+ 00′ 25”|
|20.||POLNIEMIEC Przemyslaw||148||LAMPRE – MERIDA||27h 12′ 59”||+ 00′ 30”|
|21.||AUSEVANS Cadel||31||BMC RACING TEAM||27h 13′ 00”||+ 00′ 31”|
|22.||BELGILBERT Philippe||34||BMC RACING TEAM||27h 13′ 00”||+ 00′ 31”|
|23.||USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay||39||BMC RACING TEAM||27h 13′ 00”||+ 00′ 31”|
|24.||FRAMOINARD Amaël||35||BMC RACING TEAM||27h 13′ 00”||+ 00′ 31”|
|25.||RUSVORGANOV Eduard||109||KATUSHA TEAM||27h 13′ 02”||+ 00′ 33”|
|26.||BELBAKELANTS Jan||42||RADIOSHACK LEOPARD||27h 13′ 02”||+ 00′ 33”|
|27.||ESPFLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio||204||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||27h 13′ 02”||+ 00′ 33”|
|28.||ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin||101||KATUSHA TEAM||27h 13′ 02”||+ 00′ 33”|
|29.||ESPMORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel||106||KATUSHA TEAM||27h 13′ 02”||+ 00′ 33”|
|30.||SVKSAGAN Peter||11||CANNONDALE||27h 13′ 03”||+ 00′ 34”|
|31.||BELMONFORT Maxime||47||RADIOSHACK LEOPARD||27h 13′ 03”||+ 00′ 34”|
|32.||LUXSCHLECK Andy||41||RADIOSHACK LEOPARD||27h 13′ 03”||+ 00′ 34”|
|33.||ESPZUBELDIA Haimar||49||RADIOSHACK LEOPARD||27h 13′ 03”||+ 00′ 34”|