On a contrasting day for British riders at the Tour de France,Mark Cavendish moved further up on the list of sprint greats while Chris Froome lost a large chunk of his overall lead to his main rival after being caught out by a late attack.
Cavendish sealed his 25th stage win to move into a tie for third place on the Tours all-time list,after an eventful day that saw Froome give up more than one minute to two-time former champion Alberto Contador. To make things more worrying for Froome,he once again had to fend for himself at the end because none of his withering Sky teammates could keep the pace. This is the second stage so far that they have been unable to support him,and with a tough mountain trek looming on Sunday rivals may try to take advantage.
Dutchman Bauke Mollema is 2 minutes,28 seconds behind Froome,and Contador is 2:45 adrift – having both gained 1:09 on the leader.
Im just happy Ive got an advantage of more than two minutes, Froome said.
Thats whats going to make it an exciting race. Were up for it,were going to try. Sky is down to seven riders Edvald Boasson Hagen fractured his shoulder on Thursday and Vasili Kiryienka was disqualified earlier in the race for missing a time cut. Also,Brit Geraint Thomas is riding with a fractured pelvis.