ORICA-GreenEDGE avoid incident on stage six of the Tour de FranceThu 9 Jul 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE has had a much-needed incident free day on the bike for stage six of the Tour de France.
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for others, including the yellow jersey of Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep), who crashed in the final kilometre of racing.
Three riders formed the break of the day ahead of a relaxed peloton before they were caught late in the 191.5km stage. After a series of blows, the latest the withdrawal of Michael Albasini last night, the Australian outfit welcomed a largely calm day on the bike.
“We needed, and the bunch in general needed, a day like today and they got it,” sport director Matt White said.
“Simon Yates got held up by the unfortunate crash in the final there, but was only required to unclip and move around the incident to complete.
“But in general it was a day we needed, it was a day Michael Matthews needed and everyday is a step forward for us in recovery right now.”
Today threatened to be another stressful day with much of the 191.5km stage from Abbevillle to La Havre following the coastline, exposing it and the peloton to more wind.
With the relief of clear skies above, three riders established the day’s main break. Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN Qhubeka) rode out to the biggest gap of the Tour de France so far, 12minutes, as the peloton took a calm approach to the opening kilometres.
By the 50km mark of racing, the advantage began to fall, largely due to the work of Lotto Soudal and Giant-Alpecin at the head of the peloton.
Whilst in front Teklehaimanot claimed the available mountains points to become the first African to wear the polka dot jersey of the Tour de France before he and Quémeneur were swept up with just less than ten kilometres to race.
Van Bilsen hung on a little longer, but his day was also over three kilometres to the line.
A relatively incident free day, took a turn for the worse with a kilometre to go as a big crash took down a number of riders, including Martin.
Ahead, Martin’s teammate Zdenek Stybar took a two-second victory.
What you see is what you get with tomorrow's stage seven - a flat stage that, by almost all reasoning, should end in a bunch sprint.
The sprinters have too few opportunities to let this one slide passed and despite a few roundabouts in the final five kilometres, there won’t be too much to mess with their trains.