SAN DIEGO, July 13, 2013 – As the peloton rolls toward the first big stage in the Alps on Sunday, Saturday’s long stage carried expectations of another sprint battle at the line, with Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma Quickstep attempting to add to his record with a victory.
Instead, a large breakaway group held off the peloton, with one of Cavendish’s Omega teammates bagging a surprise sprint victory by barely the width of a tire at the finish.
No one seemed more amazed with his win than Italian rider Matteo Trentin, riding just his second Tour. Trentin was mobbed by an ecstatic Cavendish and the rest of his Omega team after the win.
The overall contenders were content to cruise along behind the breakaway group of 18 riders, kept in check by Sky Racing Team to give the Tour leader Chris Froome a chance for a little rest before hitting the slopes Sunday. None of the top 10 riders were in the breakaway and were no threat to the leaders.
The one rider to benefit from the breakaway was the highest placed American rider, Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp. He barely missed out on a stage win, placing third. The big prize for him was gaining back nearly seven minutes. He now sits in 12th place, 5 minutes and 54 seconds back. This is the kind of time that can be made up quickly on a mountain stage.
After his win, Trentin said, “To be honest, with two kilometers to go, I thought it was finished … I waited until the 200 meter to go mark to launch my sprint because we had a tailwind so it was good. It’s my first win as a pro, a nice way to start.”
No changes in the top riders:
Chris Froome, Sky Racing Team: 42 hours, 29 minutes, 24 seconds
Bauke Mollema, Belkin, 2 minutes, 28 seconds behind
Alberto Contador, Team Saxo-Tinkoff, 2 minutes, 45 seconds behind
Roman Kreuziger, Team Saxo-Tinkoff, 2 minutes, 48 seconds behind
Laurens Ten Dam, Belkin, 3 minutes, 1 second behind
Jakob Fuglsang, Astana, 4 minutes, 39 seconds
Michal Kwiatkowski, Omega Pharma Quickstep, 4 minutes, 44 seconds behind
Nairo Qunitana Rojas, Movistar, 5 minutes 18 seconds behind
Cadel Evans sits in 12th place 6 minutes and 54 seconds behind.
No change in the jersey lineup. Michal Kwiatkowski retains the young rider’s white jersey. Pierre Rolland retained the King of the Mountains jersey; Peter Sagan added to his lead in the competition for the sprinters’ green jersey over Andre Griepel who was caught in the second group. Because of Movistar’s bad fortune, Team Saxo-Tinkoff seized the team lead.
Stage 15 brings us finally to the Alps, where Tours are won and lost by the top contenders. It is the longest stage of the Tour, 150 miles. It is mainly flat until the end when the riders will hit one of the most wicked mountain climbs in the Alps, Mont Ventoux. A win on this stage is a special prize. It is also Bastille Day in France, which gives the French riders like King of the Mountains Rolland or fan favorite Thomas Voeckler special motivation. “Winning at Mont Ventoux, this is something that stays forever,” said Rolland.
GC leader Chris Froome needs to ride smart. Expect Spaniard Alberto Contador and Colombian Nairo Quintana to test Froome Sunday. Put the coffee on and have your baguettes ready, this is a stage to watch.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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