Alexis Vuillermoz has finally delivered for France. The AG2R rider broke away in the final eight hundred meters of the climb to take the win atop the Mûr de Bretagne, despite attempts by Dan Martin of Cannondale to try and catch him, who really wanted to win and thank his team for the hard work they all put in trying to reel in the breakaway.
The stage’s first breakaway started from 9kms into the stage. Bartosz Huzarski, Sylvain Chavanel Romain Sicard and Pierre-Luc Périchon were the leading riders. The 4 of them were the first through the intermediate sprint before a group of 17 riders broke up from the Peloton to try and catch them. This group had most the main sprinters for the intermediate sprint points. Greipel took the most points, ahead of Degenkolb, Cavendish and Sagan. Following that, most of these riders started to slow down and were caught by the Peloton. Michal Golas, Lars Bak and Huzarski were the remaining 3 riders who tried to maintain their breakaway.
In the final 20kms or so, the Peloton picked up the pace as the Teams of the General Classification favorites came to the front to pace them. Their main objective was to jostle for position before the day’s final climb which started from a sharp right hairpin. In the final climb, Froome was initially surrounded by teammates but they fell back. He then held position as he noted the positions of his rivals.
In the last eight hundred meters, Vuillermonz dashed and was not caught by Martin. As the riders started to pour in, the top 20 more or less have maintained their standings in the tour. However, Vincenzo Nibali lost 10 seconds to Froome, when he was shouldered by some of the riders on the ascent and is not going to be pleased about it.
Peter Sagan who finished 4th now will wear the Green Jersey as he takes the lead in the Points Classification. He still leads the Young Riders Classification, but the Jersey will be worn by Warren Barguil tomorrow.
The Team Time Trial tomorrow promises to be interesting with all the general contenders team all in good form and have the numbers.