Race report

Chaotic and crash-marred day at the Tour

Tour de France

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

The second longest stage of the race lay ahead of the riders this afternoon with 220 kilometres from Nîmes to Carcassonne. Like yesterday, it was a feisty and fierce start to the stage with numerous attacks at the front of the bunch, with the team well represented, as lots of riders looked to make the breakaway. Several failed moves were brought back, before a trio got clear and snapped the elastic, building up an advantage of four minutes.

As the day progressed, the gap to those ahead slowly dwindled away before it dramatically fell as the peloton charged towards an exposed section of road. The increased nervousness and speed saw a large crash in the bunch on the right hand side of the road, with the whole team involved in the incident. Everyone was able to get back on their bikes and after a hard chase make it back to the rear of the peloton, although last to remount Søren Kragh Andersen didn’t make it and rode the finale on his own.

A few more counter attacks from the peloton went clear and after a chase by the bunch, the front of the race was all together as they charged into the last 15 kilometres and some crosswind sections. After some help by the rest of the team, Nils Eekhoff and Cees Bol made it into the reduced peloton that would fight it out for the stage win. It was a hectic and chaotic run in, as teams fought for the front of the bunch. Eekhoff did a brilliant job to bring Bol up inside the last kilometre but the other teams left him on the front as another rider got a gap. Eekhoff did his best to try and close the gap before other sprint trains launched over the top, blocking Bol in and unable to get out. Despite fighting hard to try and move up in the closing few hundred metres, Bol was unable to compete fully in the sprint in the end, after he and the rest of the guys put in a lot of effort earlier in the stage.

“It was very chaotic day,” said Bol at the finish. “We crashed in the descent on some gravel with around 20 other guys. It was no ones fault, but just the gravel on the road, and we all ended up in the ditch. I got back to the bunch with Nils but it took a lot of effort. In the finale, Nils took Ballerini’s wheel but Ballerini went early, and then I was super tired from the chase before and couldn’t finish it off.”

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts said: “It was an intense start to the race and it was 50-50 whether it would come under control for a bunch sprint. The guys were active in the beginning and covered all the moves well. The race ended up coming under control and the peloton looked towards a bunch sprint, where we turned our focus to prepare Cees for that. Coming into the early final, some attacks opened up the race and made it a bit more nervous. We hit a downhill section with some gravel on the road and there was a big crash in the peloton which took out five of our six guys, and all of them were hit pretty hard with that. We then had quite a chase to come back. Cees and Nils pushed on and still had a good go in the final, and we really tried to get a jump on the others and take the sprint from the front. Unfortunately, we probably paid for the chase back earlier in our legs and couldn’t compete for that top result today at the line.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CAVENDISH Mark Deceuninck - Quick Step 5:04:29 25
2 MØRKØV Michael Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, -
3 PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Fenix ,, -
19 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
35 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -
129 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM 5:17 -
133 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM 6:15 -
148 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM 6:33 -
150 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM 16:28 -