Juan José Lobato gave added proof of his unquestioned potential by sprinting to fifth on Thursday's sixth stage.
Only André Greipel, Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish, in that order, could best the Euskaltel fast-man - not bad going in your Tour debut and with no lead-out.
Lobato successfully jumped from wheel to wheel in the finale and launched a potent finishing-kick to grab his second top ten in two days in Montpellier.
"I actually felt better yesterday (when he was seventh), but I'm very pleased to be fighting with the best sprinters in the world", he told the team's website. "This is a race like no other. It's another world. The rhythm and tension is extreme, but I'm feeling good and motivated. That's something I want to take advantage of.
"The results of my pre-race work is paying off, and that makes me happy and want to keep working", he said.
In what was without a doubt one of the more uneventful days in recent history, all the Euskaltel riders made it safely to the line - except for one.
Ion Izagirre lost 5:18 today, but as of yet I've not succeeded in finding out what happened to him.
- (1, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), 3:59:02)
- 5, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
- 21, Gorka Izagirre, 0:05
- 31, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 56, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 64, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
- 76, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
- 93, Romain Sicard, s.t.
- 115, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
- 175, Ion Izagirre, 5:18
Photo: Le Tour