Before the 100th Tour de France, the most prolific stage winner of his generation, Mark Cavendish declared that there were seven sprint stages on the route of the 2013 edition. So far there have been six days where a bunch of riders have contested the finale and ‘Cav' has won but one. There were days in Corsica where the terrain was undulating and eliminated some of the fast men from the finale but that's not going to happen on the road from Fougères to Tours. It's a flat stage and although it's 218km long, the winner is likely to be determined in the final 200 metres.
Some teams have rested their troops and asked them to ride a time trial that allowed them to finish inside the time limit but not drain them of energy. Others, like the leader of the points classification Peter Sagan simply couldn't resist the urge to race in the 33km test of stage 11.
Omega Pharma-Quickstep had three men in the top seven of the time trial and that would suggest that some from Cav's lead-out train may refrain from their duties in Tours but don't count on it... Tony Martin is inspired by his winning ride, Michal Kwiatkowski continues to demonstrate that he knows no limits, Sylvain Chavanel is a born competitor and Cavendish has a point to prove after a day when he endured the scorn of spectators. If he wins, he'll consider it revenge of some kind.