TdF (st. 6) / Austria (st. 5)
Erviti -with several bruises-, Izagirre -blows all over his body.-, Herrada all crash en route to Reims, in another cold, rainy, tense Tour stage before Vosges come up on Saturday
PICTURES | 2014 Tour de France gallery
Rain, several echelons due to wind, big nervousness… The 2014 Tour de France is still imbued in a spring-ish atmosphere and left the Movistar Team again with several scares into stage six -194km from Arras to Reims-. Several crashes due to slippery roads affected three of the Blues: while Jesús Herrada was practically not affected by any blows, Ion Izagirre got hit all over his body and Imanol Erviti suffered several bruises in both gluteus and his left arm. Still, all three are expected to be racing again tomorrow.
The wind, blowing almost all day on the riders’ tail, crossed on their way in the finale with several echelons that did not catch Alejandro Valverde, accompanied by Rojas into a selected first group where Greipel (LTB) raised his arms victorious after Kittel (GIA) was ruled out due to a puncture. The Grande Boucle‘s GC reimans intact, with Valverde in 10th at 2’11” behind Nibali (AST), just 48 hours before the first stage in the Vosges. Before that, two Cat-4 ascents -Maron and Boufflers- will shake the group in an interesting stage seven finale, one fo the longest days in the race with 235km from John Gadret’s hometown Épernay to Nancy.
Moreno stays into Austria GC podium
The climb towards the Grossglockner (2,503m), with 3ºC and snow on its summit, was the top of this year’s Tour of Austria on stage five, which saw no attacks within the main favourites -Kennaugh (SKY) keep the yellow jersey-, but small changes in the GC, with Javi Moreno (Movistar Team) now 26″ ahead of his rival for 3rd place overall, youngster Patrick Konrad (GFS), plus Capecchi (7th) and Dayer Quintana (9th) into the overall top-ten. German Jasha Sütterlin was the Blues’ most prominent performer of the afternoon with his breakaway until the day’s HC climb, a group which also included eventual winner Jesse Sergent (TFR). The second and final mountain-top finish of the race, Dobratsch (Cat-1), will close Friday’s stage six, with 182km including the Radstädter Tauern (Cat-1) and the Turracher Höhe (Cat-1).