By David Hunter
ZooParc de Beauval – Saint Aignan 172km
Kristoff took his 5th win of the season, with a dominant performance in stage 1. He was positioned well and took advantage of a mistake from Degenkolb to seize the day. The German, was positioned poorly with 1km to go but fought his way to the front. Sinkledam pulled off 100 metres too early and Degenkolb had no option but to launch, running out of gas close to the line. If the lead-out was better, he could have won.
Stage 2 is similar to stage 1 with a nice day in the saddle. It looks another day for the sprinters as Etixx will work to remain in yellow and the sprinters will want another shot at glory.
Both Bouhanni and Coquard looked good today. If Bouhanni had a lead-out man, he might just have won.
The finish is quite easy, lacking in corners. The trains have plenty of time to get themselves in order and Giant will look to make up for today.
Yet again, FDJ and Arnaud Demare were poor. Today, he finished down in 13th place. Can they get it right?
Greipel was clearly lacking in power but having this day in the legs will be good for him and we should see him fighting for the win in this stage.
Worryingly for Bouhanni, he was in prime position in the sprint, but couldn’t deliver. When Degenkolb launched, he was 2nd wheel. Kristoff had the power to move out of the slipstream and go past both of them. The Frenchman doesn’t seem to have what it takes to beat the Norwegian.
Can any of the others challenge for the win? I doubt it!
The winner comes from Kristoff, Greipel, Degenkolb and Bouhanni. I was impressed with the speed of Degenkolb today and Giant won’t mess it up again. Big John to take the win.
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