If stage 5 was a barrage of peloton-tipping crashes and a collection of ripped jerseys and blood, then Stage 6 was a nasty extension of that. Not so much mud and blood, but crashes were still a plenty in what is shaping up to be one of the more tougher Tour de France years we’ve seen.
It was also the first stage this year where German rider André Greipel has looked fit to steal a win, giving Marcel Kittel a break from the sprinting limelight. Eventually he did take the stage win and claimed his first this year.
The stage breakdown – final 15km
Up until the final section, the stage had looked rough and messy, with crashes and smashes galore. Peter Sagan’s crash was memorable, as he ended up in the medical car after a tumble following the intermediate sprint. The Slovak didn’t look too damaged though and although a wave a fear ran across spectators, it looked as though Sagan was confident that he would carry on without his time affected too much.
Inside the final 10km, Team Tinkoff Saxo looked efficient and focussed, fully concentrated on the task of protecting Alberto Contador from anything dangerous or threatening.
But it was André Greipel who stole the show in the end, marking the first win for him this tour.
The Team Sky situation
Losing Froome isn’t just a blow to British cycling, it also signifies a team without any real sense of direction. Richie Porte might be up ahead as Team Sky’s hopeful but after stage 6 it was clear that he was simply losing more time to Vincenzo Nibali, coming in with the second great trailing 28 seconds behind the leader. Times look tough for Porte and Team Sky, but it could also be a great opportunity for exposure and new angles if they play it right.
Check back for more Tour de France 2014 coverage here at ProBikeKit.