The day the sprint teams couldn’t really be arsed
I said that stage 13 was likely to be a sprint finish and it should have been. The problem was that the teams with sprinters in them all dicked about.
There was a break – there’s always a break – but this time it wasn’t chased down. Each of the sprint teams tried to leave the work to the others and when they finally got their act together, it was too late. Nacer Bouhanni took what should have been first place, but was actually fourth, because three riders you’ve never heard have had already finished 11 seconds earlier.
Marco Canola led them home, followed by Jackson Rodriguez (not related to Joaquim) and then Angelo Tulik. Good on them. It’s always good to salute a triumph over common sense and every win for riders who get into the break on a flat stage is precisely that.
A steep climb in the middle, a hilltop finish at the end and a third sizeable climb sandwiched between them. Tough stuff.