|Jan Bakelants rides to victory. |
Courtesy Radio Shack Leopard Trek.
The surprises were more delightful than shocking or horrifying, some not entirely unexpected. Thomas Voeckler launched a solo attack on the toughest mountain in the hope of breaking away for a lone escapade. It was unsuccessful. The pace was enough to set the sprinters more than six minutes in arrears by the time they reached the top of the climb. Marcel Kittel's reign in yellow proved short-lived, though he retained the green jersey.
Voeckler's teammate, GC contender Pierre Rolland, gave it a go on the final, short climb, only to be reeled back in. Betting favourite Chris Froome took a flyer on the last climb as a show of strength, then quietly rode back into the group of contenders.
Cannondale's Peter Sagan was one of a few sprinters who kept up the pace of the GC teams and had a chance to take the win. Sagan's appearance with the leaders was all the more remarkable, considering the nasty pileup he found himself on the bottom of Saturday. Though bruised and stiff, Sagan was there for the finish.