In His Own Words: Matt White on Tour de France Stage Six

Sun 5 Aug 2012

It was another podium for Matt Goss at the Tour de France as he sprinted to third in Metz. Daryl Impey and Brett Lancaster gave ORICA-GreenEDGE two additional riders in the top-ten results with ninth and tenth respectively.

The stage was meant to feature the sprinters’ exploits. While Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) notched his third stage victory and Goss beat Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) in the intermediate sprint, stage six more likely will be remembered as a dramatic game-changer for some of the overall contenders.

Twenty kilometers from the finish, a massive pile-up sent riders tumbling to the ground. Having already been riding at the front, ORICA-GreenEDGE had eight riders ahead of the crash and only one caught behind. Other teams were far less fortunate.

Sports Director Matt White describes the scene in his own words in today’s race report below:

The first week of the Tour has been very stressful. There have been a lot of crashes. There is always a lot of tension during the first week of the Tour. Our guys have been lucky to avoid almost all incidents, and today was no exception. We were on the front of the bunch when the last crash occurred.

We had spent 170 kilometers chasing the four-rider breakaway that escaped up the road from the start.  After the crash, we continued what we had been doing the entire race. Our goal was reeling in the breakaway.

We’ve received some criticism for not waiting for certain riders after the crash, but I wouldn’t have expected any other team to wait for us had the tables been turned. I know it’s easy to say that on this side of fence, but it’s cycling – and it’s the truth of this sport that late in the race.

We continued to chase the breakaway after the crash. In the end, we only managed to catch them inside that last kilometer. We’re not here to give away stages. If any team had eased up slightly they would have lost the chance to possibly win the bike race for their leader.

I haven’t yet had a chance to review the footage of the final sprint, so while I would normally talk to you about all that as well, you’ll have to wait for the Backstage Pass today to hear our take on the finish.

We’re only seven days into the Tour de France. We’re still in the game for the green jersey, and we remain focused on our goals as we continue to take this race stage by stage.