I watched this with awe - brutal, clinical and yet a beautiful example of the art of cycling. It was blowing a hooly, and lashing with rain. The stage had been hard from the word go and was entering a section of villages with twisty roads, interspaced with long straights bordered by open fields. Cross winds ripped across these fields as Rabobank came to the front at 45km to go and simply attacked on mass in an incredible display of force. Within a few kms the peloton was shredded and Yellow Jersey Contador was isolated and in the 4th group on the road. Watch the gaps just go as tired, cold riders simply cannot make it on to the wheel in front. An awesome display of strength and grit putting 5 Rabos into the lead group of 20. It nearly, but not quite, paid off with a stage victory. Contador reacted to the danger, jumping on his own across the groups and toward the front but lost 1 min 20 in the end, putting the attentive and astute Chavenel (Quick Step) into Yellow. Ouch.
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