The biggest challenge on today’s 176.5 kilometer long sixth stage of Tour de France from Aix en Provence to Montpellier wasn’t climbs but the fierce mistral wind blowing up to 67 meters per second on the final part of the stage.
The stage was unlike the look of it, not a simple sprinter stage but a hectic and intense day in the field where the battle for position was dominating. For longer periods, Team Saxo-Tinkoff were at the front of the field in the cross wind to protect and keep team captain, Alberto Contador out of trouble.
On the final kilometers, several riders were dropped from the pack after a very hard stage and the peloton was torn apart as the sprinters launched their rockets. And in the bunch sprint, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was the fastest rider ahead of Peter Sagan (Canondale) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano).
Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Fabrizio Guidi was happy with his team’s effort:
“It was a very hard stage even though it doesn’t look like it on paper but the wind and the extreme nervousness in the field makes the race dangerous and very fast. That’s why we stay in the front of the pack and in the finale, everyone was sent to the head of the field. Benjamin Noval is doing a lot better and he was able to accommodate his teammates today as usual and I think he’ll be able to finish the race in good form. Tomorrow is another sprinter stage where we’ll guard Alberto safely through before Saturday’s first mountain stage,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Fabrizio Guidi.
Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) is the new rider in the lead of the race.