Cavendish Wins Second Straight Stage of 2010 Tour
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) has won his second consecutive stage of the 2010 Tour de France.
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) has won his second consecutive stage of the 2010 Tour de France. The Manx missile blasted ahead of the field in a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 227.5-km run from Montargis to Gueugnon in 5:37:42. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) finished second, and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) finished third. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) remains the maillot jaune.
After morning rain, the stage began with sunny, mild weather greeting the riders. Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) made today's death-or-glory break. The three men sallied away from the peloton and forged an eight-minute lead before the bunch began to chase.
HTC-Columbia, Saxo Bank, and Quick Step led an initially slow pursuit that reduced the trio's lead to 6:30 at 118 km. Eventually, Saxo Bank took over at the front, and the break's lead fell to 4:00 at 138 km, 2:00 at 177 km, and 1:20 at 192 km.
With 25 km left and the peloton within 0:30 of the escapees, Dmitriy Champion (Ag2r) bridged up to the break, and Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) followed. Perget attacked his companions, but they reeled him in with 18 km left. Behind, RadioShack, Rabobank, HTC-Columbia, Lampre, Cervelo, and Garmin moved up to the front.
With 10 km left, the bunch reeled in the break. Four km later, Cervelo took over at the front, only to have HTC-Columbia, Garmin, and Lampre challenge them. With three km to go, HTC-Columbia led the field, but Garmin took the peloton into the last km. Mark Renshaw (Columbia), however, towed Cavendish to within 200 m of the finish line, and Cavendish surged into the lead for the win.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Geraint Thomas (Sky) by 0:20 and Cadel Evans (BMC) by 0:39. Stage 7 might produce changes in the standings. The rugged, 165.5-km ride from Tournus to Station des Rousses will feature six categorized climbs. The three toughest of these will be the last three, all of which are Category 2 and one of which is the climb to the finish. Who will win the stage? Will Cancellara keep his overall lead? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!