Rojas opens up the gap with Gilbert (34 points) in the fight for the green jersey but loses terrain to Cavendish (37 points) as Brit wins his 4th stage
The fight for the green points jersey in the Tour de France went on during the fifteenth stage of the French grandtour, a flat, 193k trek from Limoux to Montpellier where winds blew hard as Briton Mark Cavendish (THR) reinforced his lead in the classification as he won his fourth mass sprint in this year’s French grandtour as José Joaquín Rojas took fifth place.
The Movistar Team sprinter got again within the top ones as well into the finish line as in the intermediate sprint, where he could only get beaten by Cavendish -a 5-man break was in the lead-, and is keeping his 2nd place in the ranking, but now separated by 37 points (319 to 282) from the Manxman. The good news for the Spanish champ was that the other rider involved in the contest, Belgian Philippe Gilbert (OLO), is now 34 points behind Rojas (248). The three, as well as the seven survivors from Movistar Team -with Rui Costa, still suffering a tendinitis in his left leg, and Andrey Amador, still on course with his sprain right ankle-, concluded the stage with no major troubles and will enjoy tomorrow their second rest day in the Tour, the prelude of the 4-day avalanche of Alpine mountains, where Rojas is confident to take profit from his better climbing abilities to take Cavendish out of privileged position as green jersey holder.
José Joaquín Rojas: “The sprint went crazy again, we’re putting out life on this. I tried to stay as much close to the front as possible, but it wasn’t possible to get any better. Cavendish is unbeatable at the moment and we can’t get any merit out of him, because nowadays he’s obvious to be the world’s best sprint, and even if you take such a rider together with a team working for him, beating him is really, really difficult. We hope to make him suffer into the mountains. He already suffered on Saturday and was close to get out of time. If we can’t beat him into the sprint, we have to find out other solutions to strip his jersey off. We have to stages where I can get some points on him into a terrain where he can suffer. I never surreder, and we’ll keep fighting until the end.”