During the intermediate sprint stage, Cavendish easily dusted the other sprinters to claim the most points out of the peloton riders but that doesn’t mean it was without controversy. One of the other riders bumped and then changed their line forcing Cav to go around him. Still, it wasn’t much of an issue as Cav easily crossed the line first and even shot a look back at the rider the bumped him.
There were a few key crashes during today’s stage that impacted some big players.
In the first significant crash of the race, Kanstantsin Sivtsov, a climber from Team Sky, crashed during today’s stage and was forced to abandon the race. This is a blow to overall contender Bradley Wiggins. Sivtsov was expected to help pace Wiggins through the high mountains of the race.
A number of other riders were caught in a crash when the road suddenly narrowed including sprinter Tyler Farrar. Incidentally, Farrar seems to be involved in a lot of crashes. He’s going to have to change his luck if he’s going to get stage wins.
I don’t believe that Philippe Gilbert was involved in either of the crashes but he was shown shortly after the 2nd crash, with about 20 miles to go, lagging behind the peloton changing shoes while riding his bike at 25 mph. He would not be a contender in today’s stage.
These crashes, coupled with crosswinds, and a series of small hills created a lot of chaos in the last 12 miles of the race and prevented on of my picks to win the day from being able to compete for the stage win.
The first attack came just after the Côte du Mont Lambert by the rider currently in 3rd place, Sylvain Chavanel. Team BMC quickly organized and took on the chasing duties of the peloton, clearly not wanting to have 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans lose any time to Chavanel.
Chavanel had an 8 second lead heading into the final climb of the day but he was quickly chased down and Peter Sagan got his 2nd stage win in just 3 days. Sagan is proving to be a beast in this Tour de France and commentator Phil Liggett compared him to the man considered to be the greatest cyclist ever, Eddy Merckx.
- Peter Sagan
- Edvald Boasson Hagen
- Peter Velits
- Fabian Cancellara
- Michael Albasini
- Cadel Evans
- Nicholas Roche
- Samuel Sanchez
It didn’t play out how I expected due to the chaos that occurred within the last 20 miles of the race but Sagan laid waste to the field as I thought might happen.
Fabian Cancellara kept the yellow jersey and it appears that he’s going to be able to keep the jersey for the first week of the Tour de France.
Stage 4 Preview
Stage 4 will be for the sprinters. Look for Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish to duke out at the finish line tomorrow.