Five riders took off already early in the race: Delaplace, Flecha, Gavazzi, Mori and Sicard. The intermediate sprint was only 52 kilometers away from the finish line. Behind the five escapees Mark Cavendish was the first of the peloton to pass there, just before André Greipel. Juan Antonio Flecha could stay ahead the longest. The Spaniard was caught with about six kilometers to go.
A new bunch sprint seemed unavoidable, but a crash disrupted it. Marcel Sieberg, Jürgen Roelandts and Greg Henderson were all involved. In full preparation of the sprint at three kilometers from the end two riders touched each other just next to the Lotto Belisol sprint train, which was being led by Adam Hansen. The Aussie could avoid crashing, but Sieberg and Henderson hit the ground. Roelandts got caught up in the tumult but didn’t crash and Greipel had to brake to avoid the crash.
After the finish it was licking wounds for riders and staff. Marcel Sieberg has a bruise on his right knee, Greg Henderson an open wound at the left elbow which had to be stitched and another rider bumped into the already tortured back of Jürgen Roelandts. We hope the three riders will be standing at the start of stage 13 tomorrow.