Tour De France 2012 Stage 6: Peter Sagan Wins but Crashes Again Wreaking Havoc

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Tour De France 2012 Stage 6: Peter Sagan Wins but Crashes Again Wreaking Havoc
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Stage 6 of the 2012 Tour de France—205km from Epernay to Metz—should have been the last opportunity for the sprinters to put on a demonstration before the course gets lumpy at the climbers get a chance to show their wares.

Should have been, that is.

While a thrilling sprint saw green jersey holder Peter Sagan hold off a wounded Andre Greipel to claim the stage.

Sagan hasn’t looked like he has the power to beat the pure sprinters, but with Greipel obviously injured, he was able to score his third stage win of the Tour.

If Sagan can survive the mountain stages, he is looking increasingly like a winner of the green jersey on the Champs-Elysees when the circus rolls into Paris in two weeks’ time.

Today’s breakaway, like all others this year was swallowed up inside the last 10km with only Dave Zabriskie providing any real resistance.

Perhaps he was imagining that the pursuing peloton was the press pack chasing him for an interview about Lance Armstrong’s doping charges.

The real story of the stage again became one built around crashes. The first happened early and claimed the winner of the last two stages in Greipel, amongst others, but it was a crash with 26km to go that has shaken up the peloton.

It was the first crash of the Tour that has shaken up the general classification contenders, with almost half the field either caught up in or held up by the bodies and broken bikes strewn across the road and in the roadside ditches.

 

Frank Schleck, Mark Cavendish, Alessandro Valverde, Pierre Rolland, Robert Gesink and Janez Brajkovic lost around 2 minutes 30 seconds in the crash, whereas Thomas Voeckler lost six minutes and Ryder Hesjedal struggled home 13 minutes after the leaders.

A number of riders abandoned on the road, most notably Mikel Astarloza, but expect more to pull out overnight as the adrenaline wears off and the impacts of the crash are really felt.

Yellow jersey holder, Fabian Cancellara avoided the carnage, as did the two race favourites Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans. Cancellara is probably spending his last night in yellow as the race heads into the mountains.

Stage 7 sees the first serious climb of the race with a mountain top finish with nine kilometres of climbing at around eight percent.

Expect the leaderboard to change significantly.

 

Standings after Stage 6 (Courtesy letour.fr)

1.

CANCELLARA Fabian

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 36''

 

2.

WIGGINS Bradley

SKY PROCYCLING

29h 22' 43''

+ 00' 07''

3.

CHAVANEL Sylvain

OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP

29h 22' 43''

+ 00' 07''

4.

VAN GARDEREN Tejay

BMC RACING TEAM

29h 22' 46''

+ 00' 10''

5.

MENCHOV Denis

KATUSHA TEAM

29h 22' 49''

+ 00' 13''

6.

EVANS Cadel

BMC RACING TEAM

29h 22' 53''

+ 00' 17''

7.

NIBALI Vincenzo

LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE

29h 22' 54''

+ 00' 18''

8.

SAGAN Peter

LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE

29h 22' 55''

+ 00' 19''

9.

KLÖDEN Andréas

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 55''

+ 00' 19''

10.

MONFORT Maxime

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

29h 22' 58''

+ 00' 22''

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