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Tour de France shorts: Quintana and Rodriguez survive crashes

High wind, high nerves

Following stage 5 that saw Brent Bookwalter, Michael Schär and Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team involved in crashes, stage 6 was full of nerves. The team captain for stage 6, Manuel Quinziato while telling of a stressful day said: "There was a lot of wind from the beginning and everybody wanted to stay in the front." Cadel Evans was the first over the line for the team, 5 seconds behind the days winner and without any further time loss to his general classification rivals. Evans currently sits 23rd overall leading into the Pyrenees over the weekend.

Small scare for Quintana

Columbian rider, Nairo Quintana of Movistar suffered a hard hit to his left knee, finishing the stage in pain yet positive for his recovery before the Pyrenees. Quintana was relieved to have finished the stage that saw an average speed of 44km/ph and said: "It was all about surviving today - it was the hardest stage so far in this year's Tour."

A flat start

Following stage 5 where tacks on the ground caused numerous flat tyres, the start of stage 6 saw RadioShack Leopard rider Maxime Monfort suffer the team's first flat tyre of the race, strangely it was before the stage had even rolled out.

Barton a cycling fan?

From the 'who knew' files… Olympique de Marseille's English midfielder Joey Barton was disappointed to have missed a chance to catch up with the Tour de France in Marseille.

"Tour de France stage finished in Marseille yesterday," he tweeted to his 2.2 million followers. "Would have been great to see that. Starts in Aix en Provence today. Be class that..."

First to respond was none other than Sky's Chris Froome who said: "will drop you an invite next time we're in the area ;)"

Zero out of ten for judgement from L’Équipe

André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was a bemused recipient of the Prix de la Combativité for stage 6’s most aggressive rider. Given that there had been just one breakaway during the stage – Luis Maté’s short-lived early effort – the judges’ task was not an easy one, but L’Équipe haughtily awarded them 0/10 for their decision.

“André Greipel wasn’t the most combative, he was the strongest. You shouldn’t confuse the two things, otherwise the prize would go to the winner of every stage,” sniffed L’Équipe. “The most combative rider yesterday was Mark Cavendish. In the space of a few kilometres, [after his crash] he closed 40 seconds on the peloton after chasing back on through the convoy of cars.”

No consequences for Rodriguez following stage 6 fall

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was among the fallers on stage 6 but the Catalan was quickly back on his bike and crossed the line safely in the main peloton, albeit with a bruised and bandaged left arm, as well as abrasions on his left hip.

“Fortunately, I didn’t have any bad consequences from the fall,” Rodriguez said afterwards. “Everybody wants to be in front at the Tour, so it’s normal to have some nervous stages. I lost my position at a crucial point of the stage but I was able to recover so all is well.”

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