Tour de France Stage 10

After the rest day, the riders had an easy-going stage into Bergerac with minimal hassles, with all eyes on warming up the legs again and the final sprint.

The break was formed early on by Yoann Offredo. It looked like it was going to be a solo break like that of Van Keirsbulck’s earlier in the race, but Elie Gesbert decided to join Offredo to make it a two man break for the day. The peloton was content with this, and tempo was set for the rest of the day.

The lead hovered at around 5’30” through most of the early part of the stage, with Gesbert and Offredo sharing the work load - albeit Offredo did find himself on the front more often than not. The only action back in the peloton was Kristoff getting a seat post adjustment back at the team car.

Gesbert and Offredo rolled over the two Cat 4 climbs of the day without much contest. There was a gentlemen’s agreement between the two leaders, with Gesbert getting the points on the Cote de Domme and Cote du Buisson-de-Cadouin without contest, while Offredo was able to roll over the intermediate sprint in first at Saint-Cyprien. 2’40” back, the peloton sprinted for the points, with Andre Greipel going around Haller’s wheel to start the sprint early and got an unassailable lead. Kittel rolled over in second, while Kristoff took away third. It was a half-hearted sprint, with the riders saving their legs for later at the finish.

The breakaway was caught with around 6km to go, and were promptly spit out the back. While this was happening, teams were assembling their sprint trains. Marcel Kittel was in the middle of the peloton while Bouhanni and Kristoff were moving up with their sprint trains to the front. Coming into the final kilometre, Jurgen Roelandts led out the peloton with Marco Haller protecting Kristoff in 3rd wheel. Roelandts pulled off, leaving the Katusha sprint train in the wind while Cofidis were protecting Bouhanni in the line over.

It was Haller who opened up the sprint, with Bouhanni slipping past him but Dan McLay looked best placed with 200m. Kristoff had to go around his leadout man stalling him a little bit, while Kittel just stole McLay’s wheel and rode past the rest of the sprinters with ease. Degenkolb couldn’t hold Kittel’s wheel as he stormed away, and Kittel even had time to post up before the line and roll across slowly as he took stage number 4. Dylan Groenewegen also got his first podium of this year’s Tour, rolling in behind Degenkolb in third.

Tomorrow’s stage sees the riders go South from Eymet to Pau. Only one sprint point and one categorised on the day will probably see a similar stage to today, although the sprint into Pau is downhill and with a tailwind it could be a blistering finish.