Well it did come down to a sprint and no Freire didn't have what it takes to get a win, even-though he was right there, just no team support. Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) did have team support, probably more than he needed. He started his sprint way further out than normal at about 350 meters, but no matter, as no one could follow him. His teamate Mark Renshaw made sure the road was clear, by first headbutting Julian Dean (Garmin/Transitions) , then swinging left to prevent Farrar (Garmin/Transistions) from challenging. That kind of teamwork is welcome, if you're the teammate, but not by the commissaires. Renshaw was immediately re-classified, then subsequently thrown out of the race. It was certainly out of line, against normal sprinting behavior, but Renshaw has a point when he says that he can't possibly be out of the race when the fighting duo of Stage 7 only got a fine. Well one thing is for sure, when Cavendish gets another shot at the line, he will not be denied.
Stage 12 features a couple of relative (to the recent Alps) short climbs with a real tough (10% grade) 3km climb at the end of the day. If you can work well with your breakaway partners, you might have a shot at glory.The peloton seems willing to wait, playing it safe. or as John Wilcockson (Velonews) sees it: John Wilcockson's call to arms
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