In what was supposed to be the safest sprint in a long time, a 4km drag into Sarzeau, there was yet another crash that ended the Tour for someone. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars, or seeing stars. That was certainly the case for Axel Dumont of AG2R. Bunch of stitches to 2 head wounds, but no fractured skull, but a fractured collarbone. Have I mentioned Naymar recently?
But the day belonged to Quickstep Floors. No one helped them all day as they tried to corral the breakaway. A couple of cameo visits to the front from Lotto and Dimension Data, but that was about all. In fact it made the race pretty exciting as it gave the 4 breakaway compatriots some hope that they might actually stay away. But will 2km to go they were swept up and it was on for another bunch gallop.
With Dimension Data doing the lead-out I was hoping for a showing from likable Manxman Cavendish. But in the end I wonder if we are watching the swansong of possibly the greatest sprinter of all time. His face was a mask of pain in the final 500m and I think he was glad when Gronewegan chopped across in front of him, causing him to protest and sit up. Dimension Data are talking him up still, but I think he is on the canvas. I hope not. Gronewegan got 4th but watching the head on he is lucky, in my opinion, to not be relagated. He went from the right side, across in front on Cav to the left, then back towards the right again. Looked like he changed his sprint line, just a bit.
It was good to see The Gorilla in the mix, as he launched first, but Gavaria was too strong and overhauled him by the line, as did Peter Perfect for 2nd place. It was a fitting victory considering Sagan’s Bora Hansgrohe team did no work to help bring the breakaway back.
After a virtual rest day in the sweepstake it was back to business today. Babel held on to top spot thanks to Sagan. But it is tight at the top. Snicko 2 deserves a mention leaping into the top 5, up 22 spots. Three big mover mentions today with Chuck Charity 3, Nubbie and Arnie all up 119 places. No change at the bottom with the randomizer still ensuring The Doctor holds on to bottom spot. It is a bit rough as he team doesn’t look that bad. However the common factor in the bottom seven teams all on zero points is Mark Cavendish. Who would have though that… The end of an era?