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Tour de France shorts: Rojas, ten Dam, gifts?

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Jose Joaquin Rojas

Jose Joaquin Rojas (Image credit: Team Movistar)
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An ecstatic Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) after winning stage 13 of the Tour de France

An ecstatic Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) after winning stage 13 of the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Laurens ten Dam sporting Belkin's new kit

Laurens ten Dam sporting Belkin's new kit (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Sprint controversies

Debate continues over the incident between Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) during last week's 10th stage to Saint Malo. Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas, who in previous years hasn't at all minded getting involved in sprint controversies, added his two cents worth. Rojas even went so far as to suggest a case of double standards from race officials in scrutinising the clash which left Veelers on the tarmac.

"I prefer not to get involved in what happened, but if I had done that I would have been disqualified," Rojas told Spain's Cadena Ser radio according to AFP. "If it were up to me, Cavendish should have been disqualified."

Ten Dam's winning anyway...

The records will show that Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) finished ninth on the Tour's 15th stage to Mont Ventoux, but what you probably didn't know was that the Dutchman set a couple of Stava records along the way.

"Every rider has to show his respect to this brutal mountain," ten Dam said of Ventoux on his twitter feed. "Today he was nice to me."

Ten Dam achieved some new KOMs on a few segments along the way on Sunday. You can check them out here

To gift, or not to gift?

As Chris Froome (Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) battled it out and shared the odd word over the final kilometres of Mont Ventoux, crowds and television audiences worldwide were taken back to the year 2000, when Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani infamously went head-to-head. While the Italian was gunning for the stage, Armstrong of course had his eye on the overall win and the American would go on to tell reporters that he allowed Pantani to win. It was a gesture that stung Pantani.

Could history possibly be repeating itself in 2013, the twittersphere pondered.

Armstrong not surprisingly, piped up with a reminder on Sunday: "Hey @chrisfroome - no gifts on the Ventoux."

OPQS winning the money race

Omega Pharma-QuickStep continues to lead in the earnings race at the Tour, having added another three stage win to its total. The Belgian teams, which can look to two wins by Mark Cavendish and one each from Tony Martin and Matteo Trentin. Michal Kwiatkowski has done his part, too, with his time in the white jersey for best young rider.

On the second rest day, OPQS has so far won a total of €82,740, not quite double that of second-placed Cannondale, which has €41,440. Team Sky has dropped from second to third, at €40,950, but can reasonably be expected to win the money title along with the race title in Paris next Sunday evening.

All 22 teams in the race have earned money so far, with French teams and Cofidis at the bottom of the list, with €4,540 and €4,530 respectively.