Friday 10 Jul 2015
Movistar pair, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana finished Stage 6 with a few more flesh wounds.
Valverde slipped on the gravel as was getting back on his bike after a short nature break. The Spanish road race champion suffered bruises in his left gluteus and calf, as well as some pain all over his body and a blow to his back.
The Murcian's condition is not jeopardised looking into tomorrow's Stage 7, 192.5km from Livarot to Fougères. Valverde's team-mate Nairo Quintana dropped back to ride with him after the first incident, before both riders were affected by the bigger crash in the final kilometre of the stage.
"At this moment, I'm feeling pretty well," said Valverde after crossing the line. "It was really difficult to get into the sprint, and that swerve by Froome and the pile-up turned it into impossible. We should get the same time, so there's no problem."
Quintana was also impacted by the crash that ended the Tour for Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep). He reached the finish line with a wound in his right elbow, caused by a chain wheel, and some other bruises over his arm, which were treated at the Movistar team bus.
"I was like three places behind Tony Martin and the crash that took him down also affected me," said the Colombian climber.
"It's a superficial wound. Now that I'm still with all the 'heat' of the stage on me, I don't feel any pain. I just hope it's really nothing and feel my elbow OK tomorrow morning. People at home can feel calm about this."
Valverde and Quintana sit in 15th and 16th position on the general classification, just under two minutes behind new leader, Chris Froome (Sky).
The Orica-GreenEDGE team breathed a collective sigh of relief after their remaining six riders finished Stage 6 unscathed.
The team's popular Backstage Pass videos celebrate episode 300 today. The crew are upbeat, a little battered, and keep the humour rolling with some sneaky edits and a quick cameo from two ferocious cats.
All bets were on for Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) to win the Stage 6 uphill finish, but the cheeky rider from Slovakia claimed his third second place finish in less than a week.
Unable to bridge across to Stage 6 winner Zdeněk Štybar (Etixx-QuickStep) and still back himself for the sprint, the three-time winner of the points jersey kept his calm and finished ahead of his other rivals. The captain of consistency has accumulated 158 points in the race for the green jersey, which is currently three points shy of Andre Greipel's (Lotto Soudal) commanding lead.
United States GC hopeful, Teejay van Garderen (BMC) moved into second overall following the premature departure of yellow jersey holder Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) who later confirmed a broken collarbone. van Garderen sits 13 seconds behind Froome on the updated general classification.
Van Garderen was one of several GC contdenders who were caught in the crash. They were riding up near the front of the race hoping to stay out of trouble and gain time on anyone further back.
According to Twitter, van Garderen landed on Giant-Alpecin's Warren Barguil before jumping back on his bike and finishing off the stage.
Listen to a short audio interview with van Garderen here: