Yesterday (June 5) saw Lotto’s Andre Greipel power home to his second Tour de France stage victory in a row across the 196.5km route from Rouen to Saint-Quentin in a time of 4 hours 41’30”, keeping Matt Goss in second and Juan Jose Haedo in third. In an exhilarating sprint finish – which Greipel described as ‘one of the most difficult sprints ever’ – Sky’s Mark Cavendish was outclassed to finish in fifth and was lucky to escape a repeat of Wednesday’s wipe-out when a late crash, which appeared to have been caused by Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar making a sudden change of direction, saw a number of contenders taken out. Amongst those injured were Katusha’s Belarusian rider Aliaksandr Kuchynski who suffered a fracture to the scaphoid bone of his right hand – he is however expected to continue riding today.
With Bradley Wiggins finishing safely in 18th to maintain his overall second place, Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director, clearly remains upbeat, commenting: ‘The final didn’t work out quite how we wanted it but the guys were all there and they did a good job. We upped the ante and next time it will be better. Cav dropped back a bit at the finish and had a bit too much work to do at the end… We need to keep this going starting tomorrow and we will look to keep Bradley safe and set Mark up heading into the finish.’
The action continues today (207.5km Epernay to Metz) with RadioShack’s Fabian Cancellara remaining top of the overalls with a time of 24hours 45’32”