2016 Tour de France

Another victory for Cavendish today! In another group gallup to the line Cav and Kittel arived togeher but this time Cav had a bit more decisive advantage than his last finish against Griepel. 

The stage saw another early day long breakaway. Two men escaped the peloton and spent their time off the front in front of the cameras. They split the intermediate sprints evenly and then, predictably, were gobbled up with about 20km to go. The main field was under the escort of BMC, Sky and Movistar, all looking out for their team leaders. The pace was relatively sedate until the wind up for the final sprint. In the final, Direct Energie led the charge trying to set up Coquard for the finish.  Cav was able to surf the wheels and outsprint the others. Interestingly enough, Coquard did not feature in the podium spots. 

With Vanavermaet now in yellow it presents a bit of a conundrum for the BMC squad. It takes the pressure off Tejay Vangarderen. But, it also means that the team willl have to patrol the field and keep tabs on the race. This will potentially cost them energy that will need to be spent later in the race in the defense or Vangarderen or Porte. Cool white bikes too!

Tomorrow brings a 162km stage that has the famed Col d'Aspin near the end. Its late in the race and the preceding kilometers will soften up all the riders. As per usual we can expect to see a small breakaway try to get to the final climb with enough of an advantage to stay away. However, my prediction is that the climbers will come out to play. With a bit of a descent to the finish I think we'lll see a whittled down group of the overall GC favorites arrive together.

Did you notice the 3rd place finisher today with the Fortuneo squad? A british rider with the small team went to the line with the big boys. Keep your eyes on him in any stage that could end in a sprint. 

(Graphic is tomorrows stage, from Cyclingnews.com. I don't own this pic)