Mark Cavendish was once again docked 20 points in the green jersey competition for finishing outside the time limit today. But as the Briton’s main rival Jose Rojas was with him in the bunch of 82 riders, he holds on to his 15 point lead in the competition.

With the winner Pierre Rolland finishing in 3:13.25hrs at an average speed of 33,8km/h the time limit was set at 13%, meaning the peloton had to finish in a time of 3:38.34hrs. They eventually finished in 3:38.52hrs, just 18 seconds out.

With that many riders there was no danger of anyone being eliminated, but for the second day they did dock them all 20 points in the green jersey competition. With Rojas also losing points Cavendish maintained his narrow lead.

Third place Philippe Gilbert did benefit as he was 1.24 minutes ahead in a group of three (including former KOM leader Jelle Vanendert) and so effectively gained 15 points in the competition. The Belgian trails Cavendish by 50 points, so while it’s still mathmatically possible for him to win, it is highly unlikely.

Straight after today’s stage, Cavendish reminded reporters that he still has the time trial to get round inside the time limit before he can worry about winning in Paris. “Some guys fighting for yellow will have to go for it, but most guys will just roll through. We still have to go hard because it’s a hard tt. And I’ve got to do it without Bernie this time, so that’s going to be difficult.”

Today’s tactics were simple enough for Cavendish. “The top of the Telegraph was my finish line,” he said. “I Just had to get there with those guys and then it settled up the Galibier. We rode up the Galibier at a nice tempo. Down to Alp d’Huez and then tempo up there.”

“Yesterday was the hardest bike race I’ve ever done in my life. 88 guys finished in my group yesterday. That’s over half the peloton. So half the peloton finished outside the time limit. I think that speaks for itself.”

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  • stuart stanton

    The site of 50 and more riders sheepishly grinning behind their shades as they dawdle across the line is the only thing wrong with this year’s Tour (apart from Wiggins crashing out). They should be ashamed of themselves and I suspect that in more volatile times they would have risked being pelted with rotten tomatoes, at the very least. Mark Cavendish needs to stop feeling in any way ‘hard done by’ , the race regulations are there for all to see.

  • Andy West

    I’m still trying to decide if I’m for or against the use of race radios but this is a compelling argument for them; (a) finding out the time of the winning rider and (b) getting told what the cut off time is going to be. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking I would struggle to work out 3:13.25hrs + 13% at the best of times – let alone whilst slogging up a mountain avoiding the nutters by the side of the road!

  • Richard

    Do people think its right that the limits are set so tightly for a stage like this? Like Cav says, half the peloton finishing outside the limit speaks for itself. The sprinters are already penalised by having to ride the stage, without their losing points aswell. Do the king of the mountain contenders get penalised for ambling along the flat stages? Of course not.

  • arronski

    Green for sure now, day off for cav in TT, on to Paris first ever Green jersey for a British rider omg !