Tour de France: Stage 13 -Cavendish


It was an unlucky stage 13 for many with three teams taking full advantage of the cross winds and causing havoc in the cross winds with the stage being won by Cavendish who was the smart one to make sure he was in the right place.

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Whilst the stage belonged to Cavendish, the big story of the day was how the Belkin team, helped by others such as Quickstep, split the race into pieces, distancing overall hope Valverde as well as stage hopeful Marcel Kittel with Saxobank Tinkoff topping that Belkins effort later on causing Froome to lose a minute to GC rivals.


Photo ASO/B.Bade.

The day began without Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen who crashed at the end of the stage the day before and was unable to carry on in the service of his team leader Chris Froome. With the day expecting to be a sprinter’s stage, an early break was expected to be let go and so it was with an attack in the first two kilometres and six riders slipped away.

[pullquote]CAVENDISH: “When echelons form it’s similar to falling through ice: you know you’ve got, like five seconds to rectify and get in the right position to save yourself or it’s finished – it’s over”[/pullquote]


Crédit: ASO/B.Bade. The break working hard to build a big lead. The cross winds put paid to that …

They were Yohann Gene, Ruben Perez Moreno, Luis Maté, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Kris Boeckmans and Cyril Lemoine. While they worked to build up a lead, the peloton were cruising until the peloton found itself in the cross winds and Quickstep put the hammer down splitting the peloton into three groups. In the second group was three time stage winner Marcel Kittel whilst the GC contenders and jersey leaders were up front.

Then chaos as second overall Valverde punctured. Instead of taking a teammate’s wheel, Valverde waited for a wheel change and that was a big mistake as Belkin took over the bulk of the work at the front to distance Valverde who’s team did their best and after holding the front group at a minute for a while, it then went right out with the Spanish rider losing a lot of time by the finish and dropping out of the top ten overall.


Saxobank put the hammer down and its lights out for the rest as they put the yellow jersey group a minute down by the end. Crédit: ASO/B.Bade

[pullquote]FROOME: “I desperately wanted to get on to the Contador move but I was sitting a little too far back. I was just behind Cav’s wheel when he sprinted across.”[/pullquote]

More action was to come though as a group of 14 went clear under pressure from Saxobank Tinkoff who had six riders in the group which also included Cavendish and Peter Sagan. Missing was race leader Chris Froome along with Cadel Evans and so many others in a big group that had so many teams chasing including BMC, Greipel’s Lotto and Katusha. The gap to begin with was only ten or fifteen seconds but the gap opened up to 30 to 40 seconds despite the chase.

[pullquote]SAGAN: “The error was my fault. It was up to me to stay in the wheel of Mark Cavendish, not to let him take mine!” [/pullquote]


Cavendish bounces back from his defeat on stage 12. Crédit: ASO/P.Perreve

Sky quickly lost most of its riders and Froome had only one or two teammates including Thomas but with a big lead overall, there was no need for Froome to panic. In the 14 strong front group, the favourites for the stage were Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish and as the finish approached they were at the back while Saxobank did the damage right up until they had reached the kilometre to go mark.

It was here that Dutchman Terpstra attacked to draw the sting from the Cannondale riders and even when Chavanel sat up, as Sagan hesitated when he was left at the front, Cavendish then got the jump and crossed the line well clear of Sagan.

Whilst Cavendish got his 25th stage win in the Tour de France, there were changes in the overall as Froome lost a minute of his lead to this closest challengers whilst Valverde lost almost ten minutes to the Cavendish group.

Mark Cavendish: “It was incredible, we talked about it this morning as we knew the wind was strong,” Cavendish said. “Gert Steegmans wanted to go, this was after 60km, and Tony Martin said to wait a little longer. Next thing, Gert goes and it just kicked off from there. It wasn’t quite strong enough to break it open completely, but then Saxo-Tinkoff went again later. It was incredible. I am so happy and proud of the guys. They rode out of their skin today, like, every one of them. It is just incredible to get a win like that.”

“When echelons form it’s similar to falling through ice: you know you’ve got, like five seconds to rectify and get in the right position to save yourself or it’s finished – it’s over. The group went, [Michal] Kwiatkowski just missed it, he left a little gap and I actually did more watts in the sprint over to the front group than I did at the finish sprint. I just managed to get on as the last man and we were away. It was close but it was nice to do it.”

“I just had to stay on [Peter] Sagan in the final. We (Quickstep) had three of us there and he had two so we could afford to attack in the final and it would mean that his lead-out guy would have to chase. Niki attacked in the last kilometre and it was Bodnar with Sagan and he had to chase the move down and that meant that if I just stayed on Sagan, then he’d have to hit out in the headwind finish so he was left on the front a bit too early.”


Chavanel leads the sprint out ahead of Sagan with Cavendish on his wheel. Crédit: ASO/C.Diais

“He knew I was going to come around him. He was happy to save his legs for another day.”

“It was me on the podium but it should have been all of Omega Pharma-Quickstep today. They were all just incredible. They rode from kilometre 60 and they rode their hearts out. They rode themselves into the ground. It was a difficult stage. It was a nervous stage but finally… I’m so excited to win, so happy to win. It’s been a difficult few days and it’s nice to be on the podium again.”

“It wasn’t really a master plan. We just felt the wind was in the right position so we started to ride a bit harder. We did it more to kind of make the peloton tired and finally it broke and we were racing. The finish would have suited me if it was a bunch sprint but we actually happy to have a smaller group and it ended up being a two-up sprint between Sagan and myself and I was happy to beat him.”

“They guys gave it everything. Yesterday they gave everything and I let them down in the final; today they put even more into it, even earlier and I’m so happy we could win. It’s really nice.”

“We’ve got a great group of guys,” Cavendish said. “I think we’ve got what, eight nationalities here at the Tour on our team? We’re a Belgian team with eight nationalities here and it really shows what kind of a dynamic group we are. We really have so much fun. We don’t just eat dinner and then go to bed. We sit around the table, we talk. I’m so happy, you can see how happy I am with this team and you can see how happy everyone else is. We’re all incredibly good friends and that really speaks volumes to our results and to our morale when riding our bikes.”

Chris Froome: “I desperately wanted to get on to the Contador move but I was sitting a little too far back. I was just behind Cav’s wheel when he sprinted across. I think he was the last guy to get across and again it’s another reminder that this race is 100 per cent open and that there is still everything to race for.

“I knew I had a really good buffer already – almost four minutes on Contador. And okay, I worked really hard to get that time gap but you can’t win them all.”

“It was a really tough day. I don’t think anyone was expecting it to be this hard. On paper it was a flat day and it should have been a bunch sprint but with those crosswinds it definitely made the race a lot more exciting. Today we were really missing Edvald who crashed out yesterday breaking his shoulder. He could have been someone today who could have really helped us to keep at the front of the race.”

“The challenge for us now is to defend the yellow jersey all the way to Paris with myself and six riders. It’ll help make it an exciting race and we’re up for it. We’re definitely still going to try. Having a lost a minute there in the final, that’s always a bitter pill to swallow because we’ve worked really hard already to get the advantage that we had and now some of that is gone…”


Intermediate Sprint and Greipel wins the gallop ahead of Cavendish and the Green jersey of Sagan. Crédit: ASO/B.Bade

Alberto Contador: “I’m very happy with today’s stage. If someone had told me before the start that we were going to gain 1.10 on the leader, I wouldn’t have believed it. The team was simply extraordinary. At first, we remained calm because Alejandro Valverde had a mishap and we decided not to lead but in the end we noticed several riders were in trouble while my team was very strong and we decided to go for it. Bennati did the first attacking kilometer like a motorcycle and the group shattered into a thousand pieces.”

Alberto admitted that he did not think he could do so much damage. “There was a time we were only at 10 seconds, but I have to say ‘chapeau’ to all my team mates because they have demonstrated the Saxo-Tinkoff team spirit. However, to be at 3:57 or to 2:45 does not change much in the overall. We are still forced to go on the attack in the Alps. The Tour is still difficult but not yet finished and a thousand things can happen. For now, we have to rest as tomorrow there’s another day. I’m very happy about my team and for the show we pulled off. It has been immense. We have shown that we all have the same goal in mind, to fight for victory and it sure has been a great day for Saxo-Tinkoff.”

Peter Sagan: (Green jersey)“I’m glad to be able to stay in front, but I do not really want to remember this stage because it gave us so much stress throughout the day. Fortunately, I managed to stay ahead. It is unfortunate that I am only second. The error was my fault. It was up to me to stay in the wheel of Mark Cavendish, not to let him take mine! I certainly do not want to see the video of this sprint. I’m still young. To win this kind of race, it is always better to have the experience.”

Marcel Kittel: “So, my chain dropped between frame & 11th cog, I dropped back & 5sec later they started to race in the crosswinds. #worsttimingever”


Chris Froome, still in yellow but a minute gone of his lead. Crédit: ASO/P.Perreve


1 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 03:40:08
2 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
3 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
4 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team @ st
5 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
6 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
7 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
8 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
9 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:06
10 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:09
11 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:11
12 BENNATI Daniele Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:17
13 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 00:19
14 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:53
15 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team 01:09
16 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
17 BONNET William Equipe Cycliste @ st
18 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun @ st
19 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp @ st
20 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano @ st
21 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team @ st
22 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale @ st
23 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard @ st
24 DE KORT Koen Team Argos – Shimano @ st
25 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team @ st
26 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling @ st
27 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
28 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
29 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard @ st
30 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp @ st
31 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
32 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team @ st
33 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team @ st
34 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team @ st
35 MARANGONI Alan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
36 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team @ st
37 BAUER Jack Garmin – Sharp @ st
38 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
39 RIBLON Christophe AG2R La Mondiale @ st
40 PINEAU J̩rome Omega Pharma РQuick-Step @ st
41 QUINZIATO Manuel BMC Racing Team @ st
42 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team @ st
43 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste @ st
44 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol Team @ st
45 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team @ st
46 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste @ st
47 HERNáNDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesús Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
48 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team @ st
49 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team @ st
50 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale @ st
51 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto Belisol Team @ st
52 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale @ st
53 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
54 BOOM Lars Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
55 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard @ st
56 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
57 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin – Sharp @ st
58 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 01:37
59 STANNARD Ian Sky Procycling 01:54
60 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr Katusha Team 02:14
61 BRUTT Pavel Katusha Team 02:15
62 LEEZER Tom Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:34
63 THOMAS Geraint Sky Procycling 02:39
64 VANMARCKE Sep Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:43
65 WILLEMS Frederik Lotto Belisol Team 03:32
66 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling 04:30
67 VEELERS Tom Team Argos – Shimano 05:29
68 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team @ st
69 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team 09:54
70 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 51:00:30
2 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:28
3 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:45
4 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:48
5 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 03:01
6 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 04:39
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 04:44
8 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 05:18
9 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 05:39
10 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 05:48
11 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 05:52
12 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 06:54
13 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 07:28
14 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 08:32
15 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 10:16
16 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 12:10
17 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 13:11
18 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 14:22
19 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 14:50
20 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 14:57



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