Frenchman grabs glory after a long breakaway and break from peloton crashes
It is rare for a breakaway to stay away. The escapees usually get caught by a determined peloton. But Chavanel's advantage was helped by multiple crashes in the peloton on a rain-soaked hill near the end of the stage. As a result, Chavanel crossed the finish line nearly 4 minutes ahead of the peloton.
Chavanel started the stage 59 seconds behind race leader Fabian Cancellara. He ended the day nearly 3 minutes ahead of Cancellara. So, Chavanel takes over the Yellow Jersey. Well deserved.
a video link to some of the main crash. In the photo, USA sprint specialist Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions team holds his elbow after a crash.
After the crashes and chaos with riders strung out over several kilometers, race leader Fabian Cancellara rode to the front of the group and slowed it down, permitting riders who had fallen to rejoin the peloton over the last 15 kilometers of the stage. It was, to my mind, an act of leadership and wisdom. Someone had to say: "This is too dangerous. This is too crazy. We've got a long Tour to go. Let's calm down. Let's ride this thing the right way." Cancellara prevented any sprinting at the finish line and the peloton rode calmly together to complete the stage. Kudos to Cancellara.
Full stage report and standings at Cyclingnews