By Brecht Decaluwé in Marseille
Winning a Tour de France stage from a small breakaway is an exercise in patience, cunning and ruthlessness, and the perfect example was given in Wednesday's stage ten in Marseille by veteran Quickstep rider Cédric Vasseur. To the 26 year-old Swiss rider who wound up third, that lesson was hard to accept. Liquigas' Michael Albasini was in a good position to take the stage, but although he has a solid sprint, it just wasn't enough on the day. "This hurts," Albasini admitted, "and I know I was riding a lot in the wind today but it wasn't that work that made the difference."
Albasini was marking the other former Tour stage winner in the bunch, which wasn't a bad idea. "I was on the wheel of Voigt which is normally not the worst position," he explained. "Being in the second position I had at least five metres on Vasseur who was in last position," he said of the start of the sprint. "I was very nervous because this was a golden opportunity, but after 200km you don't have the same sprint in your legs as you normally would have. It was a long sprint and Vasseur started very fast, he was very strong and more explosive," he explained to Cyclingnews.