St. Malo, France – After two days in the high mountains followed by the Tour’s first rest day on Monday, Tuesday’s Stage 10 was expected to be a day for the sprinters and it did not disappoint.
The 197k stage unfolded as most predicted. After a long break was gobbled up inside 10k to go, all the top sprint trains moved to the front. As the speed increased to a high boil, the course took some tricky turns including several center-of-the-street islands playing a roll in making things very interesting and somewhat dangerous. With all eyes on Greipel and Cav, the Argos-Shimano boys held position on the right side. The last man in Marcel’s leadout train is big Tom Veelers, a world-class finisher in his own right. Just as Tom pulled off, Cav came around Tom’s right side and the two clipped, taking Tom down in a heap. Amazingly, nobody else went down. At the same moment Greipel made his move right down the center of the road and with less than 50m to go, Marcel, aboard his F-Series FRD, came around on the left for the his second win in this year’s Tour!
In his post-race interview Marcel was clearly mixed with emotion, joyous that he and the team had won, but at the same time genuinely concerned for his friend and teammate Tom Veelers. As it turns out, other than losing some skin, Tom is OK.
Tomorrow is a 33k individual TT followed by two more stages which are well-suited to Team Argos-Shimano’s sprint strengths.