King was moved, almost in tears as he chatted with media. All in all, just a bad combination of circumstances for King. He certainly didn't deserve getting removed from the race.
Omega Pharma is massing at the front. Cavendish is going to give this one a go — whether he feels good or not.
@Hoody Do you have confirmation of whether or not there was a protest by the team?
Svein Tuft is driving the field right now - word is that he took some massive pulls near the finish of yesterday's TTT.
The peloton is flying downhill toward the Gineste.
Tim: That question of a formal protest seems to be lost in semantics. Team officials said they talked with the UCI jury, Amadio mentioned a 30-minute conversation, but as far as a "formal protest," I do not believe they did.
The gap is still at 2:23. This is going to be really tight.
Tuft raced domestically in the US for a few years on the Prime Alliance and Symmetrics teams. An unreal talent, he has a threshold as high as anyone else riding a bike right now. Truly a specimen.
Uff, these are technical roads on the descent, and narrow on the approach to Marseille. Any sort of hiccup in the bunch will give the break more rope.
That guy is unreal. On at least one occasion, he rode from Canada to California for training camp with his dog in a trailer.
@Hoody That's tough to hear. As a rider, you want to believe that your team management has your back. Especially if it's a question of procedure and rule interpretation. A rider isn't exactly focused on those things while warming up or cooling down - or grimacing in pain from a TTT with a separated shoulder.
De Gendt is upping the pace in the breakaway with 20km to go.
Arashiro is leading the escape on the climb.
Tuft is burying himself on the climb for Orica. The pace is thinning the peloton.
Peter Sagan is tucked into 5th wheel as Ag2r La Mondiale takes up the pace making.
The gap is down to 1:51 with 18km to go.
This climb is not easy for these guys. Orica left the gap open and forced the overall speed to be higher right now - it will only make the sprint "easier" for both Impey and Gerrans by doing that.
Going at a steady/simple tempo all day would have left Cavendish and Greipel with plenty of teammates and power to sprint.
Yes, very tricky finale, no guarantee that these guys are going to get caught.
Unfortunately for Orica-GreenEdge, that also plays into Sagan's hand.
Interesting to see Saxo-Tinkoff riding hard; must be looking to set up Bennati?
True, though Impey, Gerrans and even Goss may have a better shot against Sagan and a teammate or two than a full Lotto train. Though a better shot against Sagan isn't that good of a shot (Gerrans' stage 3 win aside).
Everyone was pleased around the Saxo-TInkoff bus following Tuesday's ride. Losing just six seconds to Sky was a victory for Contador.
There you go: crash ... that will disrupt the chase.
Doesn't look like any of the trains are interrupted.
Untangling the damage now. But as Hoody just said... the break just got a bit of a ... break.
Ah, Christian doesn't look good.
Thankfully no one looks too hurt
About 20 riders were down.
Vande Velde the slowest to get back up and going again
How will this impact the chase? With the gap as tight as it is, any hesitation could spell a win for the attackers.
Rolland among those scrambling to regain contact after crash
The breakaway is pushing on hard.
Argos riding for Degenkolb today? Better finale for him than Kittel, but that's a call they would make on the road, depending on who is feeling better.
With 14.4km to go, the gap is 1:09
I'm seeing Henderson and Greipel still lurking at the front of the peloton. After winning nearly every single intermediate sprint so far, I can see the German putting it together today.
Martin is driving hard at front for Omega. I wouldn't want him chasing me down.
With 14km to go, we have four riders with 1:00:
Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM)
Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar)
Kévin Reza (Europcar)
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana)