Cavendish Strikes Again in 2010 Tour de France by Winning Stage 6
Mark Cavendish made it two straight Tour de France 2010 stage victories, leading a sprint for the line as the main title contenders finished in a closely trailing pack. Fabian Cancellara maintains overall Tour lead before mountains.
Cadel Evans of Team BMC Racing, a two-time Tour runner-up and the highest-placed potential title contender, is third -- 39 seconds behind Cancellara.
"I'm not bad. I cannot say yet if I am good, but at least I am not bad. I am not feeling any pain in my back, which is very important. I have some bruises on my ribs from my crash on the cobblestones, but I have no difficulty breathing. We'll just see how it goes in the Alps. I haven't planned anything special. I wasn't able to train like I wanted to before this Tour, so I am just taking it day-by-day. We can reassess things after the Alps," 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre told Roadcycling.com after the finish.
When asked on his current form Team RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer told Roadcycling.com that "Well, I'm not gonna lie. It's the Tour so I can already feel some heavy legs at times, but you know in the finals when we gotta go, I can go and that's what matters."
Leipheimer added "I don't know if tomorrow is such a crucial day, but the day after we'll definitely see some gaps. The next two days we'll start to get into it. Things haven't gone our way this first week, but I think that in the last two days we've come together as a team riding a lot more attentive and as a group and I think we're strong. Saxo Bank really showed that they had a team for the other day, but I predict that we have the best team for the mountains and we need to show that. We have a lot of guys who can climb and we need to take advantage of that."
Lance Armstrong (Team RadioShack) expects the GC riders to start their real combat on Sunday's mountain stage. Armstrong finds that his performance in the recent Tour of Switzerland was promising "But to be honest I feel a lot better than I did then. I feel better on the bike, I feel stronger, recovery feels better, a little bit lighter, which obviously makes a big difference. So we'll see. It's all hype until we get out there and do it. But I'm optimistic. Numbers will help us."
Strong climbers are poised to take center stage once the three-week race enters the Alps on Sunday.
Riders get their biggest taste of climbing so far in this year's Tour de France in Saturday's seventh stage, a 165.5-kilometer trek along six low- to mid-grade climbs in the Jura mountain range from Tournus to Station des Rousses.
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Click here for stage 6 results.