Calm day at the office in the Tour de France
Our riders concluded in the bunch stage 10, on which a breakaway made it all the way to the finish.
After the first rest day in Andorra, the peloton left behind the small principality to return to France, but not before tackling Port d'Envalira (2 408 meters), the highest point of this year's edition. Sensing there was an opportunity for an escape to foil the peloton's plans, many riders ignited a fierce battle to book a place at the front, but it was only after the Hors Catégorie climb that a group slipped away, taking advantage of the heavy fog on the descent and putting more than six minutes between them and the bunch which was led by Direct Energie, IAM Cycling and Katusha.
The 13 riders in the lead worked together until the second and last ascent of the day, Côte de Saint-Ferréol (1.8 kilometers, 6.6% average gradient), on which the group disintegrated, leaving only six men in the lead. Despite some attempts, nobody managed to go clear, so the victory in Revel – which was hosting a finish for the first time in six years – came from a reduced sprint. Victorious on the day was Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), who in the dash to the line defeated Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).
Almost ten minutes later, the bunch arrived to the finish, with Etixx – Quick-Step's riders – including third placed Daniel Martin – safely tucked in, after a day in which everybody took it easy, with their mind focused more on what's to come in the following stages of the race. On Wednesday, the riders will set off from the beautiful town of Carcassone, go over two fourth-category climbs in the first 60 kilometers and later fight for the win in Montpellier, in what should be the week's first bunch sprint finish.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele