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TdF #6 Calm after the storm?

July 11, 2014

Well, not really. Every time that you may have thought the race was ticking along in cruise mode, there was a crash. Sky, Katusha, Tinko and Lampre all lost a rider today. These losses may not be severe on their own, but they accumulate and mean the team is weaker. So that means Contador, for example, has a harder task ahead now that one of his main mountain men has gone. There will be more abandons in the next few stages. There is always a lag after a hard day like Stage 5 and when the riders cannot continue. They are a tough bunch and will persevere until the pain is too much.

The stage was lit up in the last hour or so when the cross winds suited echelon riding. The Belgium teams are masters at taking advantage of these conditions, and OPQS split the peleton. However, it was their rivals Lotto who took the win when Greipel powered to the front. Kittel was dropped and that opened up the opportunity for another sprinter. Kwiatkowski almost pinched the win when he attacked about 1km from the line. However, the disorganised chase still had enough to overtake the lone attacker. Kwiatkowski is looking very strong. It will be interesting to see if he has the energy and motivation to aim for a high finish on GC.

Whilst the crashes and cross winds may have affected team mates, almost all GC riders finished in the bunch. Rolland and Pinot missed out, but they have already been falling out of contention.

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