Tour De France Stage 6 : Epernay - Metz

07/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 6 : Epernay - Metz, 207.5km

Yesterday’s stage seemed a much better prospect, not just for the riders but also for the viewers. As the riders headed west to Metz and the start of the mountain stages.

Yesterday’s stage winner Andre Greipel was involved in an early crash and had to be patched up on his left side. He got on with the job and soon he was back in the main group. The day saw one category 4 climb but other than that they were faced with long gentle slopes.

The big news of the day came with a major crash with around 25km remaining. The cameras didn’t catch exactly what happened but were on it shortly after amongst the wreckage. It was a strange one because it happened on a long straight road, on a slight downhill with good visibility and in dry conditions.  I noticed that there was a lack of roadside supporters along this road, but from the helicopter shot you could see a camper van at the point of the crash. From the ground shots you could see a supporter in the ditch at the side of the road too.  I may be wrong but putting two and two together, I wouldn’t mind betting that the supporter had something to do with it, i.e. were the road side of the ditch waving or taking pictures but also in the path of the cyclists.

There were around 30 guys down on the floor, some of them in a real mess. These included big names like Frank Schleck and Ryder Hesjedal, whose chances of a Tour victory ended there. The group at the front of the bunch carried on because with 25km to go they were still trying to catch the breakaway group up the road.

Generally speaking the pace was much higher today, which was good to see, finally we have a proper race and you could feel it.  As the riders began the last few kilometres into Metz the pace quickened, with 5 km to go they still hadn’t caught the lead bunch which was being driven by an old hand Dave Zabriski of Garmin-Sharp and also Lotto realised they had a chance of getting Greipel to another stage win, which would give him 3 in a row, a rare thing in the Tour.

Zabriski made a great effort to stay clear of the peloton with 2km to go but was eventually caught and overhauled. In the last few meters the Lotto train went into action. It was looking good. Greipel looked as though he had it sewn up but at the last moment Peter Sagan came through for Liquigas and went head to head in a flat out sprint with Greipel  to take the win,  Goss coming in 3rd.

Amazing effort by the 22 year old and he did it in his usual style by doing a movie tribute. This time The Hulk. He is a very talented rider and if he can keep up his momentum I think has the makings of a great rider.

The rest of the field trailed in slowly over the next fifteen minutes or so. Big names among them. That’s it for another day, what a difference from the day before. With the mountain stages starting to approach we should see some changes to the general classification as the race hots up.

 

 

Stage 6 Results

SVK  1  SAGAN, Peter (LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE)               4:37:00

GER  2  GREIPEL, André (LOTTO BELISOL)                  

AUS  3  GOSS, Matthew Harley (ORICA - GREENEDGE) 

 

General Classification

 

1.

SUI  CANCELLARA Fabian

12

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 36''

 

2.

GBR  WIGGINS Bradley

101

SKY PROCYCLING

29h 22' 43''

+ 00' 07''

3.

FRA  CHAVANEL Sylvain

192

OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP

29h 22' 43''

+ 00' 07''

4.

USA  VAN GARDEREN Tejay

9

BMC RACING TEAM

29h 22' 46''

+ 00' 10''

5.

RUS  MENCHOV Denis

131

KATUSHA TEAM

29h 22' 49''

+ 00' 13''

6.

AUS  EVANS Cadel

1

BMC RACING TEAM

29h 22' 53''

+ 00' 17''

7.

ITA  NIBALI Vincenzo

51

LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE

29h 22' 54''

+ 00' 18''

8.

SVK  SAGAN Peter

57

LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE

29h 22' 55''

+ 00' 19''

9.

GER  KLÖDEN Andréas

15

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 55''

+ 00' 19''

10.

BEL  MONFORT Maxime

16

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 58''

+ 00' 22''

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