Veteran rider Juan José Oroz made a daring if doomed attack on Friday's seventh stage of the Tour.
When the day's first break, consisting of Jens Voigt and Blel Kadri, had been caught, the 32-year-old jumped clear with stage two victor and former maillot jaune Jan Bakelants and Cyril Gautier of Europcar. With 65 clicks to go it was the right time to do it, but the impeccable squad of Peter Sagan, Cannondale, still had gas left in the tank after having set an infernal pace up the day's main climb.
The trio never got much of a gap, but they still made managed to stay out front up until only 2,5 kilometres were left to ride.
Having reeled in the escapees, Cannondale duly launched their rocket in Albi and saw Sagan come away with one of the most deserved stage wins in recent Tour history.
Euskaltel's main men made it in with the pack, but Gorka Izagirre and Juan José Lobato were both dislodged well in sight of the line - perhaps saving some energy for the upcoming Pyrenees, perhaps not.
Speaking post-race, Oroz felt things could have been done differently in his late-race move.
"We worked well together, but maybe we could have eased up a bit in order to have more energy in the final ten kilometres. It was really difficult to surprise the pack, but we have to give it a go", he told the team's website.
- (1, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), 4:54:12)
- 35, Romain Sicard, s.t.
- 48, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 61, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 66, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
- 92, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
- 97, Juan José Oroz, 0:29
- 156, Gorka Izagirre, 14:53
- 162, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
- 169, Juan José Lobato, s.t.