While stage winner Mark Cavendish and his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team took the post-race plaudits, Cannondale should be applauded for their aggressive strategy on the penultimate day.
Riding for Peter Sagan, the men in green set a phenomenal pace throughout the day, with the average speed recorded at 45km/h. It was enough to drop Marcel Kittel and his Giant-Shimano team-mates, while Irish sprinter Sam Bennett (Team NetApp-Endura) was also ruled out of contention.
And though that pace didn’t see off Omega Pharma-QuickStep or Lotto-Belisol on this occasion – with Cavendish claiming the former were expecting Cannondale’s tactics and were well-drilled to counter them – there is a precedent to their aggressive approach.
Sagan’s stage seven victory at last year’s Tour de France was courtesy of a similarly aggressive ride from his team, and while the Slovak finished third this time out, Cannondale remain one of the hardest working teams in the bunch and there will likely be many more dominant victories from Sagan and his team this year.