Tour De France Stage 13 Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux - Le Cap D’Agde

15/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 13 Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux  -  Le Cap d’Agde  217km

Yesterday’s stage was 217km of rolling countryside down to the coast that wasn’t expected to throw up any surprises. There was only one climb at 194km and that was a category 3.

I watched an interview with the stage 12 winner, David Millar. He is, or was I should say a controversial character to say the least. Having been busted for the use of E.P.O back in 2004, he served a two year ban, before coming back as one of the ambassadors of the sport to promote clean riding. I say hat’s off to the guy, he has taken on total responsibility for his actions and is very open about it and now does everything he can to ensure the sport is clean. It would be far easier to knock him and leave him tarred as a drug user but I think it does take guts to hold your hands up and say yes, I messed up.

Yesterday was Bastille Day in France, so there was the expectation that the French riders would put on a good show for their sponsors and try to get up front. In an eight man breakaway that is exactly what happened.  None of these guys were a threat to the General classification though so they were left to go off and do their own thing, including taking the first eight places of the intermediate sprint.

 There was an incident just before the sprint finish when Peter Velits of Omega Pharma Quickstep went down after clipping a barrier but he wasn’t injured and was soon back on his bike.  After the sprint Bradley Wiggins was looking settled near the front of the main bunch.

With 60km to go Peter Sagan of Liquigas got a puncture but was soon back with the pack. Although there was a heated discussion between a race official and a liquigas team manager about the use of drafting from the team car to get Sagan back to the main field.

As the peloton entered Sete, there was another small crash which saw the King of the Mountains Fredrik Kessiakoff come down with four other riders. This also didn’t look too bad thankfully. As the riders started the only categorised climb of the day, Cadel Evans made a small break for it in a hope of ditching some of the sprinters. This was a good move as it was a sprinters stage. Mark Cavendish was dropped off the back and Evans pushed on to the top, Wiggins stayed in close contact never too far from his rear wheel.

There then followed a nice little descent down to the coast and on to the finish. With 15km to go Alexander Vinokourov of Pro Team Astana went off the front and was soon to be joined by Michael Albasini of Orica Greenedge. They were working well together and pulled out a gap of 21 seconds. Just down the road at the front of the yellow jersey group Lotto Belisol were showing their strength in numbers with five men including Andre Greipel, chasing down the two man break.  On the run in to the finish with a strong cross wind and a fast group up front, the peloton started to split apart.

With 1km to go the pace quickened, Bradley Wiggins stepped on the gas in an attempt to lead Edvald Boasson Hagen to the finish line first, but Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan were right there ready to spoil the Sky party. They did just that and it was head to head with Sagan and Greipel, this time it was Greipel who managed to get over the line first by just half a bike wheels advantage. Third place man was Edvald Boasson Hagen.

This stage was seen as a transitional one, as today see’s the riders start this year’s foray into the Pyrenees. This should prove to give us a lot more fantastic racing still to come.

 

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Bradley Wiggins

Team Sky

59hrs 32mins 32secs

2

Chris Froome

Team Sky

+2mins 05secs

3

Vincenzo Nibali

Liquigas-Cannondale

+2min 23secs

4

Cadel Evans

BMC Racing

+3mins 19secs

5

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Lotto-Belisol

+4mins 48secs

6

Haimar Zubeldia

RadioShack-Nissan

+6mins 15secs

7

Tejay Van Garderen

BMC Racing

+6mins 57secs

8

Janez Brajkovic

Astana

+7mins 30secs

9

Pierre Rolland

Europcar

+8mins 31secs

10

Thibaut Pinot

FDJ-BigMat

+8mins 51secs

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