photo credits @ Twitter
Stybar wins in Le Havre, Martin is injured
Zdenek Stybar claimed a bittersweet victory in stage 6 of this year’s Tour de France today, after his Etixx-QuickStep teammate, and overall race leader, Tony Martin crashed during the final kilometer.
Martin was attempting to set up another teammate, Mark Cavendish, for a sprint finish when he lost control of this bike and fell on the steep finish, bringing down reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali wit him.
Martin was left clutching his shoulder on the tarmac and the 30-year-old German needed help from his teammates to cross the line as he couldn’t hold his handlebars, putting his continued participation at the Tour in doubt.
The crash caused chaos at the front of the race and Czech Stybar pounced on the mayhem to streak clear and win the 189.5km stage from Abbeville to Le Havre.
Peter Sagan won the sprint finish for second place with Germany’s John Degenkolb third.
For the Slovakian rider, it was his third second placed finish in the race to add to a third place and continues his frustrating run of near misses stretching back 41 stages to stage seven of the 2013 Tour.
Since then he has taken eight second places and 17 top five finishes without managing to snatch a win.
But the main drama was on the steep 850m long, 7.0 percent gradient slope that preceded the final 500m dash to the line.
Martin, despite wearing the yellow jersey, was trying to help set up Cavendish for the finish but he clipped the wheel of Bryan Coquard in front of him, wobbled and then fell into the rider to his right, with Nibali next to that and brought down in the melee.
Around 10 riders hit the tarmac, however, since the crash occurred in the final 3km, rules state that everyone delayed by the incident would get the same time as those in the group in front of them.
It meant no change to the overall standings with 2013 champion Chris Froome 12sec behind Martin and Tejay Van Garderen, who was also brought down, third at 25sec.
But whether Martin takes to the stage start in Livarot on tomorrow – remains to be seen.
Stage 6 Results
CZE 1 STYBAR, Zdenek (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 4:53:46
SVK 2 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF – SAXO)
FRA 3 COQUARD, Bryan (EUROPCAR)
GER 4 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN)
BEL 5 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (BMC RACING)
FRA 6 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
NOR 7 BOASSON HAGEN, Edvald (MTN – QHUBEKA)
ITA 8 CIMOLAI, Davide (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
FRA 9 SIMON, Julien (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ESP 10 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Gorka (MOVISTAR)
NOR 11 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA)
NED 12 GESINK, Robert (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
ESP 13 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
FRA 14 FONSECA, Armindo (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
ESP 15 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR)
ESP 16 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF – SAXO)
COL 17 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
GER 18 MARTENS, Paul (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
SUI 19 FRANK, Mathias (IAM CYCLING)
USA 20 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
GBR 21 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ARG 22 SEPULVEDA, Eduardo (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
COL 23 PANTANO, Jarlinson (IAM CYCLING)
COL 24 ARREDONDO MORENO, Julian David (TREK FACTORY RACING)
ESP 25 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING)
ESP 26 IRIZAR ARANBURU, Markel (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NED 27 MOLLEMA, Bauke (TREK FACTORY RACING)
POL 28 HUZARSKI, Bartosz (BORA-ARGON 18)
SUI 29 ELMIGER, Martin (IAM CYCLING)
POR 30 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
General Classification after Stage 6
GER 1 MARTIN, Tony (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 22:13:14
GBR 2 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 12
USA 3 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 25
SVK 4 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 27
FRA 5 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 38
BEL 6 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (BMC RACING) + 40
COL 7 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 46
ESP 8 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 48
CZE 9 STYBAR, Zdenek (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:04
GBR 10 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY) + 1:15
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