An enthralling stage six of the Criterium du Dauphine saw the race leader crash and the new breed of hard men prove themselves on a tough circuit.
Chris Froome (Team Sky), in the yellow jersey, hit the deck hard – carrying the scars of the impact as he finished safely in the bunch to keep his race lead.
The stage’s decisive action happened up the road, however,
where Jan Bakelants earned his first Omega Pharma-Quickstep victory in a two-up sprint with Lieuwe Westra.
The Belgian’s win is further proof of his growing ability as a breakaway specialist.
And UCI WorldTour photographer Stefano Sirotti was on hand to capture all of the action. Relive it in the full-screen gallery below.
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Chris Froome's collection of fluffy lions adorn the front of Team Sky's death star (pic: Sirotti)
Present and correct
Froome rolled out for the stage looking confident - but he proved to be a difficult day for the Brit (pic: Sirotti)
Just 12 seconds divides the top three overall - Alberto Contador, Wilco Kelderman and leader Chris Froome (pic: Sirotti)
Pim Ligthart instigated the race-winning attack on stage six, but did not have the legs to see it through (pic: Sirotti)
Both Jan Bakelants and Lieuwe Westra went clear, however, neither giving the other an inch (pic: Sirotti)
Chris Froome's torn shorts and jersey show the effects of his heavy crash at the Criterium du Dauphine (pic: Sirotti)
Joy and despair
Jan Bakelants celebrates, but it was despair for Lieuwe Westra (pic: Sirotti)
The peloton waited for Chris Froome after his crash - the Kenyan-born Brit nodding his appreciation as he crossed the finish line (pic: Sirotti)