Today's flat stage, Stage 13 of the Tour de France, featured the peloton being shattered by crosswinds and a finishing sprint between a select group of riders.
Jerome Pineau bridged to an early group of 7, and the group was working well together until Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff bank) attacked with 63km to go. Pineau was reeled in somewhere near the lone categorized climb of the day, and Morkov not long after was also caught.
"Our goal today was to try to enter in the breakaway with more then five guys and we did it," Pineau said. "In the breakaway there was a good collaboration, but behind us Orica-GreenEDGE started to pull. We tried to resist, but on the climb at about 20km from the finish the group caught us. In any case it was a good attempt. You never know what can happen in such kinds of situations. Today I wanted to enter in the breakaway to honour the memory of my uncle, who died exactly one year ago at the Tour de France. I hope it can be the first step to make a good last week of racing."
Peter Velits, who crashed 100 meters before the intermediate sprint, finished 9th after making a front group that was just 30 riders going into the lone categorized climb of the day. The peloton split again in the final kilometers chasing down Alexander Vinokourov (Astana Pro Team) and Michal Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) shortly before the field sprint began.
"Somebody in front of me hit the brakes," Peter Velits said. "I did the same, but I hit the barriers with my left knee and I fell down hitting my right hand on the ground. Apparently it's nothing serious, but it hurt a bit."
Andre Greipel had about four teammates in the front group guiding him toward the sprint finish, and he took the victory over Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) by a bike throw. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky ProCycling) was 3rd. Yellow jersey wearer Bradley Wiggins (SkyProCycling) led out his teammate after helping to chase down the duo off the front.
Dries Devenyns crashed with 30km to go. He fell on the left side of his body. He has pain in his wrist, but it appears to be nothing serious at the moment.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team looks next to the stages in the Pyrenees, starting with a 191km Stage 14 on Sunday. The stage features two Category 1 climbs and a Category 2 climb.