It was equal parts joy and relief as "the Manx Missile" wins his first stage of the 2015 Tour de France Friday.
SAN DIEGO, July 10, 2015 – The peloton started Stage 7 of the 2015 Tour de France without anyone wearing the yellow jersey. Tony Martin of Etixx-Quickstep crashed near the end of the stage on Thursday and suffered a broken collarbone. He is the second rider to leave the Tour due to injury while wearing the yellow jersey.
So it was especially sweet for Martin’s teammate Mark Cavendish to win Stage 7 Friday with a burst of speed against his top sprinting rivals, Andre Greipel, Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff and John Degenkolb.
“The team were motivated,” said Cavendish. “After such a loss with Tony, to do what we did, it’s so nice to get a win today, especially for Tony.”
The stage win makes it 26 wins overall for Cavendish in the Tour de France. He is chasing Bernard Hinault of France who has 28 stage wins in his career, and Eddy Merckx of Belgium who leads with 34 stage wins. Cavendish is 30 years old and absent any career ending injuries, he has an excellent chance of setting a new record in the years to come.
The yellow jersey now goes back to Chris Froome of Sky Racing, who was in second place when Martin crashed. Sitting right behind Froome is Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo and American Tejay Van Garderen of BMC. Alberto Contador of Tinkoff Saxo is just 36 seconds back. 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana of Movistar are within striking distance.
Daniel Teklehaimanot remains in the King of the Mountains jersey. Andre Greipel did enough to retain the green sprinters jersey, and Peter Sagan wears the white jersey as the best young rider. Sagan is sitting right behind Greipel and could grab the green jersey on Saturday’s Stage 8. He has an outside chance of also wearing the yellow jersey; he is just seconds behind the current leader Froome.
Stage 8 continues the Tour trip through Brittany. While there are no extreme climbs, there are several including a final ascent near the finish that will test the leading contenders for the Tour this year. Someone wanting to make a statement might decide to do it Saturday.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Follow the Tour de France daily in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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