Before they reached the cobbles, Tour contender Chris Froome crashed twice and dramatically abandoned. Sky falls but now turns to Richie Porte as the go to guy. Probably the most exciting Tour stage I've ever seen, it was complete with dantesque conditions. A viewers delight unfortunately for the riders ... a nightmare.
I'm amazed by how fluid Vincenzo Nibali rode on the cobbles, aided by the incredible support by Lieuw Westra and Jakob Fuglsang and the rest of the Astana team to finish the day, 2-3. The Shark takes a bite on the GC especially - 2:37 up on Contador.
Let's not forget the winner, Lars Boom who said at the end that ...it wasn't hard enough. I'll have to shake my head in astonishment on that comment. As predicted, it was a thrilling race to be sure with a change in GC... what a difference a day in hell makes.
Here's an amazing gallery of imagery...
Lars Boom day on the pavé.
New king of the pavé.
The Shark takes a huge bite.
With the help from his super strong Astana team, Nibali is the big winner today.
Also amazing he finished in front of Cancellara (5th) and Sagan (4th).
Backstage Pass: on the pavé edition...
Jurgen Van den Broeck (16th) goes over.
Svein Tuft (108th)
Micheal Schar (38th)
Jens Keukeleire (6th)
I was surprised by the lack of use of the ass-saver.
photo Cycling Art