What everyone expected to be a humdrum flat plod turned into one of the finest days of Tour entertainment anyone can remember as crosswinds enabled a daring breakaway.
Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team masterminded the break 30km from the stage finish at Saint-Armand-Montrond, as Froome’s GC rivals took over a minute out of his lead.
It was even worse for Alejandro Valverde, who dropped out of contention completely after an ill-timed puncture cost him eight minutes.
And Mark Cavendish was an unlikely participant in the break, which allowed the Manxman to claim his second stage win of this year’s race.
Here’s what happened and how the key players saw it:
Saxo-Tinkoff mastermind key break in 20km/h crosswinds
Cavendish pips Sagan as breakaway succeeds
Cavendish delight at stage win
Sagan 'mad' at losing to Cav
Eurosport's Sean Kelly marvels at drama
Michael Rogers on the split-second decision to break
Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff sporting director Philippe Mauduit
Chris Froome reflects on time lost
Ian Stannard explains where Team Sky went wrong
Alejandro Valverde's sporting director Jose-Luis Jaimerena on a nightmare day
- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Cavendish
- Alejandro Valverde
- Alberto Contador