After the rest day on Monday in Andorra, the 10th stage was already back to business. Directly after the start, the riders expected the climb to the Port d’Envalira with an altitude of 2408 meters.
The opinions of the experts regarding the outcome of the stage were different. The one thought there will be a bunch sprint, the others that a break can make it to the finish in Revel after 197 kilometres.
For the sprinter of BORA – ARGON 18, Sam Bennett yesterday’s rest day was important recovery.
Still he feels a well again and is ready for the upcoming stages.
“Yesterday the rest day was a welcome diversion to the hard racing. Breakfast in peace, an easy training ride, massage, media events and cooking in our kitchen-truck from BORA. Nevertheless, after the last 9 stages I feel very good and I’m excited to my mission in the next days.” – Patrick Konrad
Today from the beginning there were many attacks. Uphill to the first mountain, 15 riders with the world champion Peter Sagan could go clear from the peloton, that split in several groups. Also Emanuel Buchmann had some troubles on the first climb, but after this hectic phase, groups came back together on the downhill and the race calmed down a little bit. The gap of the leading group extended to over 7 minutes. Again and again the initiative of the world champion split the group before the last climb. But in the final sprint Peter Sagan (TINKOFF) this time had to settle for second behind Michael Matthews (ORICA – BIKEEXCHANCE).
The climbers of BORA – ARGON 18 Emanuel Buchmann and Patrick Konrad finished in the main bunch with all the favourites. Emu still lost one place in the GC because D. Caruso gained some time in the breakaway.
“With the legs after the rest day and the 24k long climb from the start it was a really a hard day. Nobody could save energy today. Also the downhill was very dangerous because of the fog. It’s nice to have completed the first mountains, but I know in the next days there will come more to challenge us.” – Paul Voss
“I never raced a tour with a rest day, so this is new to my body. My legs were not very well, it was a really hard start in Andorra. Today my radio doesn’t work, so I didn’t know who was in the first group and how big the gap is. Of course there was an opportunity for a bunch sprint, they tried with 50k to go to bring back the break, but 30k to go it was clear that they were gone.” – Shane Archbold