The finish of Stage 13 was always going to be interesting, as it was difficult to call what type of rider it might suit best. The climb at the finish in Rodez on the Avenue de Saint-Pierre in Rodez was short but very steep.
175 riders started stage 13 in Muret this morning, and four of them got clear at the start. Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) were joined a few kilometres later by Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement).
Giant-Alpecin led the peloton behind and didn’t allow the gap to grow too big. While the six leaders mopped up the big points for the green jersey at the intermediate sprint at Laboutarié (km 92.5), Andre Greipel won the bunch sprint behind. The battle for green is becoming one of the most interesting aspects of the Tour.
Tinkoff-Saxo, MTN-Qhubeka and Orica-GreenEdge did much of the work in the bunch, whilst up ahead, Haas attacked with 24km to go. He was caught after six kilometres, and then Kelderman, Gautier and De Gendt went clear.
They were caught with only 300 metres to go in the uphill finish, as Greg van Avermaet (BMC) jumped clear with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) on his wheel. Unfortunately for Sagan, he couldn’t come around van Avermaet and it was yet another frustrating second for the Slovakian champion, but a well deserved victory for the Belgian. Chris Froome (Sky), sixth on the line, retained the yellow jersey.