It should have been a day for the likes of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) or Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha). However, as Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) rode away to his debut Tour de France stage win the day’s favourites refused to work together to bring him back. Sagan rounded the final corner at the front of the bunch, swinging off to the right as he tried to force the hand of the riders behind.
The Slovakian has been burned one too many times in this situation and chose not to do the grunt work on this occasion. “Zdenek just attacked and surprised everybody. I was just looking to see what was happening, because it was Alpecin with Degenkolb and Kristoff [was there] and I said that these teams must work if they want to win the stage,” Sagan said at the finish.
“If I go to try and catch Zdenek then someone would catch me in the finish, so I said, 'No I don’t go.' Then it was too late. Rodríguez opened the sprint for Kristoff but after we did a sprint but it was too late.”