“Fellow Brit Cavendish finished 16th to pick up enough points
“He came about 160 pounds. Scrawny. Never lifted a weight in his life,” Smith said. The Manxman retained the sprinters’ green jersey by a single point, while Fabian Cancellara stayed in yellow.It was harsh on Millar who broke on the category four climb up Cote de Tossa de Mar after around 50km and was followed by Chavanel and then Auge as the trio opened up a lead approaching four minutes.The peloton reigned that back slightly but then allowed the trio an advantage that fluctuated between two and three minutes as the riders went up and over a couple of category three climbs.Spain’s Txurruka made his bid by bridging the gap between the peloton and the leading trio on the climb up Collsacreu, but Auge made sure he led over the summit of each hill to take the lead in the King of the Mountains race and he ensure he will be wearing the polka dot jersey into the Pyrenees on Friday.Then, with 29km remaining and the peloton closing in, Millar made his move. He bolted clear and quickly put 30 seconds between himself and Txurruka, Chavanel and Auge.Txurruka made a brave attempt to close the gap on the final category four climb of the day, and was joined by Remi Pauriol, who had leapt clear of the main bunch, but they were swallowed up on the outskirts of Barcelona.The only remaining question was whether Millar had the legs to hold on. The conditions were in his favour as the roads were still wet and slippery after a huge thunderstorm earlier in the day and sprinter Tom Boonen was one of several riders to crash on the run in.But the peloton was not to be denied and Millar was finally reeled in on a sharp incline in the final two kilometres.Several attacks followed and Freire looked set to give the Spanish fans a home victory before Hushovd powered past him in the final metres to take his seventh career stage win.”I knew I could do something in this stage but it was very hard because of the weather conditions and the slippery roads,” said the 31 year old.”It was Cervelo’s first goal to win a stage, now we can concentrate on helping Carlos Sastre retain his Tour crown.”Millar, who himself has won three Tour de France stages, simply said: “I rode more with my heart than my head.”Fellow Brit Cavendish finished 16th to pick up enough points to keep him in green for stage seven he has 106 to Hushovd’s 105.”I wasn’t going to to go all out as I didn’t think I was going to match Thor and Oscar here,” a philosophical Cavendish told BBC Sport.”I may be able to wear green for another day but I’m not going to sacrifice my chances of reaching Paris to hold onto it.”Every other sprint day is going to suit me so hopefully we can get it right then because I want to reach Paris with more stages wins.”Friday sees the riders hitting the big mountains for the first time as the race enters the Pyrenees and Tour leader wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys, Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, is already resigned to losing his yellow jersey.”It’s been a beautiful week to be in this yellow jersey,” he said.
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