It was another bunch kick on stage six, although it was about as organised as a Cambodian traffic circle. Tony Martin held on and held on and in the end it was the Danish (Rasmussen) and the Swiss (Cancellara) who ruined the German Love Parade that would have erupted had Martin held on for but another 2 metres.
Instead it was another Dane — this time their national champ, Morkov — who took out the stage.
And in the tipping peloton … there was a collective shrug.
Who tipped whom?
The tipping peloton appears to have figured out who the key sprinters are. There are, of course, some people who are still wondering how this works and they are taking riders like Basso or Kreuziger or Igor Anton.
But the majority backed Michael Matthews, Farrar, Meersman, Higgs, Richeze and Arndt. That’s basically all of the sprinters in the race, unless you count Morkov or Rasmussen or maybe Greg Henderson? Tough to say. Anyhow, here are the most commonly tipped riders:
Rider| Number of tips
Michael Matthews | 62
Tyler Farrar | 58
Gianni Meersman | 28
Edvald Boasson Hagen | 27
Maximiliano Ariel Richeze | 19
Nikias Arndt | 16
Gregory Henderson | 10
Leigh Howard | 9
Philippe Gilbert | 8
Simon Gerrans | 5
A few people have pointed out that our times differ from the stage times. Correct. Stage times aren’t listed with bonus seconds included. We have to include the time bonuses. At one point we listed them in a second column, but now we just include them.
Of course if you think you have spotted an error — and we have been known to make them from time to time — please get in touch with us.
The ivory tower followed the masses today for the most part. Rupert Guinness had Michael Matthews, as did Woody from VeloTipper.
Wade from CyclingTips went for Daniele Ratto (anyone reckon his teammates call him anything other than The Rat or Ratty or Ratface?)
The InnerRing went full seppo and took Farrar, who is having a reasonably good tour it would seem. Certainly better than what we had whiteboarded before the race started.
Yesterday’s top 10 stuck with the same theme, taking Farrar, Matthews, Boasson Hagen, Richeze and so on.
In short, not many surprises.
The stage winners
Of course the real surprise is that Michael Morkov managed to take the win! The sprint was chaotic at best with no team willing to make the effort to pull back Martin.
Omega Pharma-Quickstep sent riders to the fore to disrupt the Argos chase, with great effect. It was only after Cancellara decided to stretch his legs that Martin was reeled in.
Question: isn’t there some code that says a TT rider doesn’t bring back another TT rider who is on a long solo break?
Anyhow, 19 tippers backed Richeze for the stage win (nobody had Morkov). Cancellara came third and nobody had backed him either. Martin as well, was unbacked.
Barely anyone lost any time today, but somehow Nikias Arndt managed to drop nearly a minute. With 16 people backing him, his total damage to the tipping peloton was just over 15 minutes, enough for the Egg of the Day.
And we have yet another new leader! Darren Cathie moves in to Red after Heath Wade fell victim to Arndt’s failure to launch. Nick Brown, Adam Sutton and Chris Seglenieks all sneak into the top 10 as well:
- Darren Cathie
- Ter Culloty
- Jackson Ankers
- Brad Stephens
- James Fox
- Michael Miller
- Nick Brown
- Matt McLoone
- Adam Sutton
- Chris Seglenieks
We haven’t mentioned the points comp much, but it’s starting to take shape. Warren Suen is on top with 97 points. Darren Cathie is in second on 93.
We’ll start to talk more about the KOM after the weekend when the roads start pointing up.
Stage 7 is another pancake flat stage and we’ll be looking to the major sprint teams to have a final dig before the race goes absolutely mental and heads so far up it might as well be in Norway.
We’ll be looking to Richeze to take a win, or maybe Matthews will try for the repeat. Argos have looked organised, but they were thrown off the sniff by a clever Omega Pharma-QuickStep intervention. And OPQS, of course, will be looking to make amends for Martin’s stolen victory by delivering Meersman to the line.