Sprint Finish: Cav wins as yellow jersey hopefuls take a chunk out of Froome

Got two minutes? Here’s everything you need to know about today’s stage of the Tour de France.

Image: Laurent Cipriani/AP/Press Association Images

Result: YOU THOUGHT THE Tour was over? Think again. Mark Cavendish won today’s flat 13th stage to Saint-Amand-Montrond while in the GC race, Bauke Mollema and Alberto Contador powered clear of Chris Froome and cut his yellow jersey lead by over a minute.

How it happened: What an afternoon. On any normal day Cavendish’s 25th stage win would dominate the headlines but today’s 173-kilometre stage will be remembered for injecting a bit of excitement into Chris Froome’s yellow jersey procession.

After reeling in the breakaway with 95 kilometres to go, Cavendish’s Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team hit the front in a bid to grind down rival Marcel Kittel. It worked but the German was not the only one to find himself in trouble and when Valverde punctured, the top GC contenders attacked to leave him in serious trouble.

The peloton splintered again when Contador and Saxo-Bank attacked with just over 30 kilometres to go and the move proved decisive, with Cavendish and Peter Sagan sticking with them to duke out the final sprint while Froome and the remainder of the peloton finished 1’09″ back.

The big winner: Mollema and Contador. With Sunday’s trek up the imposing slopes of Mont Ventoux looming large, the GC race just got interesting again.

The big loser: Alejandro Valverde. The Spaniard started the day in second place behind Contador but a wheel puncture and some questionable tactics ruined his afternoon. He finished 9’54″ behind Cavendish and plummeted to 16th overall.

Who is wearing what jersey?

  • Yellow (Overall): Chris Froome
  • Green (Points): Peter Sagan
  • Polka-Dot (Mountains): Pierre Rolland
  • White (Young Rider): Michal Kwiatkowski

What about the Irish? Nicolas Roche put in a stellar effort on Contador’s behalf before easing off at the very end, finishing 11 seconds back in 11th; he improves to 22nd place overall. Dan Martin finished at the head of the peloton in 19th and moves up to 11th in the GC standings.

What happens tomorrow then? Before we hit Mont Ventoux on Sunday, it gets a little bit hilly tomorrow on the 191-kilometre trip from Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon.

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Niall Kelly

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