At the top of the final climb of the day, defending champion Cadel Evans suffered a flat tire, shouted for teammate (and white jersey holder) Tejay Vangarderen for help, Tejay looked at him, seemed to sense his trouble, but kept riding, then Cadel was literally left alone (the team cars were far behind), hoping for a BMC teammate to arrive to lend him a tire. When Steve Cummings finally came, he had a flat back tire as well! So no help there. By the time the team managed to get him a working rear wheel, Cadel was close to a couple minutes down on the yellow jersey group, who were over 15 minutes behind the leaders of the stage. But the race radios were going crazy with news of flat after flat after flat -- not just Evans and his teammates -- upwards of 30 flat tires on the stage. Cadel had to stop again when he realized his front tire was flat as well, then again when he suffered some other mechanical and/or flat. By that time, Team Sky and leader Wiggins had some idea that something was amiss and ordered his team to sit up, stop racing, and wait for Cadel to catch up. Pierre Rolland, perhaps merely oblivious, took off ahead and had at one point 2 minutes on the yellow jersey group, potentially threatening the placings of Team Lotto's Jurgen Van Den Broeck, and they started chasing him down. Rolland was in 9th overall going in, VDB was in 5th so it was debatable. Eventually, 3rd place Vincenzo Nibali's teammates at Liquigas joined in on the pacemaking, perhaps sensing an opportunity to put some time into 4th place Cadel, but Cadel now had all his teammates at BMC around him (save for Vangarderen, who is 7th overall and did not stop to help, perhaps "unintentionally") and eventually the BMC team closed out the final 45 seconds to catch the yellow jersey group. Word I guess had already gotten to Rolland to come back to the group and he sat up, leaving all the race leaders together as one, with no change in the overall. And as you can see in the picture above, the reason for all the flats is appartently because a spectator threw tacks onto the road right before the leaders got to that point, trying in fact to sabotage the race. Shocking turn of events, this. Crazy, crazy shit.
Sagan tells TV that when he's bored of winning one day classics he'll think about losing muscle mass to try and win a grand tour.
- Bradley Wiggins, Sky
- Chris Froome, Sky, at 2.05
- Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 2.23
- Cadel Evans, BMC, at 3.19
- Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto, at 4.48