There were no major changes to GC on today’s stage of the Tour de France from Escaldes-Engordany to Revel as all the main favourites finished in the main bunch over 9 minutes down on stage winner Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange).
However, there was a big shake-up in the points competition as Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) infiltrated the winning break and took the points at the intermediate sprint and then finished 2nd behind Matthews.
The break of the day started to form on Port d’Envalira, the highest summit of this year’s Tour de France (alt.: 2408m) located after only 24km of racing.
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) managed to crest alone in the lead and a prestigious leading quartet was formed on the decent with Sagan, Matthews and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
A 15-man breakaway group was eventually reunited at km 73 with Mikel Landa (Sky), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damiano Caruso and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Luke Durbridge, Daryl Impey and Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), Nibali, Sagan and Rui Costa.
This group split with 25 kilometres left with seven riders in front including the three Orica-BikeExchange riders. Impey put Sagan under pressure on a few occasions before leading Matthews out. The Canberra-born rider who finished second to Sagan at the world championship in Richmond last year took his revenge in Revel. This is his first stage win ever at the Tour de France at the age of 25
The points gained by Sagan enabled the World Champion to take over the green jersey from Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) who he now leads by 38 points.
The race continues tomorrow with a flat 162.5 kilometre stage from Carcassonne to Montpellier.
Here are the onboard highlights from the stage: