Mark Cavendish thunders to an even more resounding win in Friday’s stage 6 taking back-to-back victories before the race hits the Alps tomorrow. Although Garmin Transitions and Lampre did their best to disrupt the Columbia HTC lead-out again, Mark Renshaw left Cavendish in perfect position after a sweeping 140 degree left-hand turn. As they cam out of the turn, Renshaw began his lead-out and Cav did the rest beating Garmin’s Tyler Farrar by about 3 bike lengths, and Lampre’s Allesandro Petacchi finished third.
Cervelo’s Thor Hushovd stays in green as the overall points leader although Petacchi has narrowed the gap considerably and Cavendish has vaulted up to 5th overall.
The General Classification remains unchanged with Fabian Cancellara in Yellow for another day although he’s likely to lose the jersey tomorrow as we enter the big mountains.
The favorites for the overall classification took it easy today conserving their energy in the comfort of the peloton. Team Radio Shack moved to the front enmasse with about 30k to go as the peloton, which had been riding into a stiff headwind, was going to take a 90 degree right hand turn which would create a cross wind. In an interview after the stage Armstrong said they were looking to split the pack but the winds weren’t strong enough to cause a seperation. The other GC teams were fortunate because the only team to immediately recognize what was happening was BMC. Big George Hincapie immediately shepherded Cadel Evans to the front of the peloton and that’s when the other GC teams finally moved their contenders up as well.
Tomorrow’s stage 7 should be very selective and I think the fireworks will start on the short but steep climb up the Cat 2 Vouglans Dam Climb. There are two more Cat 2 climbs to follow but they’re both much longer without the steep grades conducive to attacks.