The sixth day of racing in the Tour de France (Thursday July 8th, 2010). Stage 5 – Épernay Montargis. This stage was 187.5 km. There were two cat-4 climbs – the cote de Orgais-l’Abbaye (18.5km) and cote de Mecrignes (36.5km) – and three intermediate sprints: in Vauchamps (27.5km), Ville-St-Jacques (126.5km) and Prefontaines (169.5km). It was a flat stage that ended with a wild and crazy sprint to the finish. Mark Cavendishwon his 11th stage victory in the Tour de France. Fabian Cancellara finished 32nd in the stage and will keep the yellow jersey for another day.
The seventh day of racing in the Tour de France (Friday July 9th, 2010). Stage 6 – Montargis Gueugnon. This stage was 227.5 km and the longest stage of the 2010 Tour de France. The stage featured four small categorized hills – at Bouhy (69.5km), La Chapelle-Saint-André (91.5km), Montarons (179.5km) and Croix de l’Arbre (204.5km). The intermediate sprints were in Saint-Fargeau (47km), Moulins-Engilbert (163km) and Luzy (195.5km). There was a break away that was captured in this flat stage. There was another wild sprint for the finaih line by the sprinters, and again Mark Cavendish won the stage. Cancellara finished 41st, in a group that was three seconds behind Cavendish. The Swiss rider will wear the yellow jersey in stage seven.
The eighth day of racing in the Tour de France (Saturday July 10th, 2010.) Stage 7 – Tournus Station des Rousses. This stage was 165.5 km. Sylvain Chavanel won the stage and taken the yellow jersey because of his willingness to attack. The Frenchman dared to try his luck on a day when all the major contenders were happy to gauge the form of one another on the first ‘mountains’ of the 2010 Tour. The race featured six climbs: the cote de Aubepin (cat-3 at 51.5km), cote de Granges (cat-4 at 69km), cote de Arinthod (cat-3 at 84.5km), Barrage de Vouglans (cat-2 at 104km), col de la Croix de la Serra (cat-2 at 134.5km) and the final hill, the cote de Lamoura (161.5km) – the final ascent has double points. Cancellara fell into trouble on fifth climb.
The ninth day of racing in the Tour de France (Sunday July 11, 2010). Stage 8 – Station des Rousses Morzine-Avoriaz. This stage was 189 km. The 189km stage featured five climbs including the first cat-1s of the 97th Tour, they were: cat-4 Petite Joux climb (24km), cat-4 cote de Gresin (73km), the cat-1 col de la Ramaz (154.5km), cat-3 Les Gets (168km) and the final ascent to Avoriaz ranked category-one (and carrying double points). The intermediate sprints were in Vulbens (84km), Viuz-en-Sallaz (129km) and Morzine (175km). There were many scenes in the eighth stage of the 2010 Tour de France that will be remembered but the biggest talking point stems from two words – “Armstrong Dropped”. The seven-time champion lived a nightmare on the roads leading to Morzine-Avoriaz, crashing three times in the stage and eventually losing contact with his rivals for the title on the col de la Ramaz. Andy Schleck won the stage and moved up to second overall thanks to a sensational sprint at the top of a tough mountain while Cadel Evans finished sixth in the stage and took over the lead of the general classification. Evans was also caught up in a crash early in the day but he replaced his world champion’s jersey with a yellow one.
The tenth day of racing in the Tour de France (Monday July 12, 2010) is actually the first REST DAY.