The stage is mostly flat. Contador took delivery of a specially painted Specialized SL3 bike, which he swapped out shortly after the start.
Four riders are in a breakaway. They include Breschel, Oss, Vaugrenard and Pineau. They are at 2:55 with 117.3 km to go. At 81.3km, the gap is 2:20. At 67km, the lead is 1:48. At 22.4km, the gap is 57″. At 15.7km, the lead is 35″. The peloton is charging along at 70kph. The speed the peloton can attain is amazing. Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise are here to watch the stage. They are probably here to promote their latest movie, Knight and Day.
Pineau made a move, but Oss counters and is able to get off. He is able to take the lead to 40″. The other members of the breakaway are caught. At 10km, the lead is 31″. At 7.2km, the lead is down to 18″. HTC Columbia is organizing themselves. He won’t stay away long now. At 6km, the lead is down to 12″. All of the teams of the sprinters are getting organized, including Petacchi’s Lampre and Boassen Hagen’s Sky. At 4km, it’s 6″. The peloton passes him like a train. At 2.6km, Sky is in front driving the peloton. Cervelo takes the front with Hushovd in the wheel. It’s not enough. Cavendish starts to sprint and distances them all. He wins the stage.
He actually used Petacchi’s slip stream for a few seconds and then launched himself into victory. What does this mean for the green jersey? Petacchi takes it again. Petacchi finishes 3rd. Dean 2nd. boasson Hagen 6th. Thor Hushovd is 14th.
Schleck talks with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.