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Le Tour – Stage 6

Tour de FranceEpernay to Metz

Distance: 205.0 kilometers.

What a difference a day, or zigging when you should have zagged can make:

The biggest talking point of the stage from Epernay to Metz will be the crash that took out half the peloton with 26km to go. Not only did it force at least three men to abandon the Tour but it caused the likes of Fränk Schleck, Pierre Rolland, Alejandro Valverde, Mark Cavendish and large number of others to lose significant time. The two big pre-race favorites for the general classification – Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins -survived the carnage near Gorze and so too did most of the sprint specialists with the notable exception of Mark Cavendish. While riders like Ryder Hesjedal limped to the finish nursing horrible wounds and moral[sic] that was shot to pieces because they’ve essentially been put out of contention for the yellow jersey even before the first mountain stages, there was still the battle for the prestige of a stage victory taking place up ahead. …

… it will be the casualties that this stage will be remembered for. Tom Danielson abandoned, Schleck, Valverde, and a host of others lost 2’09”; Gesink lost 3’31” and Hesjedal and others lost a massive 13’31”.

In the end four riders have pulled out: Wouter Poels ( Ned – VCD – 126 ), Thomas Danielson ( USA – GRS – 062 ), Davide Vigano ( Ita – LAM – 049 ), and Mikel Astarloza ( Esp – EUS – 032 ). More riders may fail to start tomorrow.

In other news, Peter Sagan managed to win the stage, his third win in this Tour. There was a Category 4 climb at 145 kilometers, Côte de Buxières, and an intermediate sprint, but the crash was the real story today

Yellow Jersey Fabian Cancellara (Sui-RNT-012) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan (Svk-LIQ-057) [Green] 209 points
Polka Dot Jersey Michael Morkov (Den-STB-175) [Polka Dot] 9 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen (USA-BMC-009) 4 [White]

Team: Sky Procycling ( 101-109 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Peter Sagan (Svk-LIQ-057)
Combative: David Zabriskie ( USA – GRS – 069 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Fabian Cancellara ( Sui – RNT – 012 )
2 Bradley Wiggins ( G B – SKY – 101 ) + 00′ 07”
3 Sylvain Chavanel ( Fra – OPQ – 192 ) + 00′ 07”
4 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 00′ 10”
5 Denis Menchov ( Rus – KAT – 131 ) + 00′ 13”
6 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 00′ 17”
7 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 00′ 18”
8 Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) + 00′ 19”
9 Andréas Klöden ( Ger – RNT – 015 ) + 00′ 19”
10 Maxime Monfort ( Bel – RNT – 016 ) + 00′ 22”

The Rest of the Top 30:

11 Rein Taaramae ( Est – COF – 081 ) + 00′ 22”
12 Marco Marcato ( Ita – VCD – 125 ) + 00′ 23”
13 Vladimir Gusev ( Rus – KAT – 134 ) + 00′ 24”
14 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 00′ 24”
15 Nicolas Roche ( Irl – ALM – 079 ) + 00′ 25”
16 Michael Rogers ( Aus – SKY – 108 ) + 00′ 25”
17 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 00′ 28”
18 Ivan Basso ( Ita – LIQ – 052 ) + 00′ 29”
19 Eduard Vorganov ( Rus – KAT – 139 ) + 00′ 35”
20 Samuel Sanchez ( Esp – EUS – 031 ) + 00′ 40”
21 Rui Alberto Costa ( Por – MOV – 163 ) + 00′ 42”
22 Levi Leipheimer ( USA – OPQ – 191 ) + 00′ 45”
23 Jérôme Coppel ( Fra – SAU – 091 ) + 00′ 48”
24 Christopher Horner ( USA – RNT – 014 ) + 01′ 29”
25 Egoi Martinez ( Esp – EUS – 035 ) + 01′ 30”
26 Tony Gallopin ( Fra – RNT – 013 ) + 01′ 38”
27 Christopher Froome ( G B – SKY – 105 ) + 01′ 41”
28 Peter Velits ( Svk – OPQ – 199 ) + 02′ 09”
29 Edvald Boasson Hagen ( Nor – SKY – 102 ) + 02′ 16”
30 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – RAB – 153 ) + 02′ 26”

Note: Wikipedia has a simple article on the Mountain classification used on the Tour. The basic fact is that climbs fall into five types, with the four numbered types decreasing in difficulty as the numbers get larger, and then there is the Hors Catégorie, literally “without category”, which generally makes you look for an elevator or Sherpas.

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