Today's stage was kind of dull. I had the tv on, but I wasn't really paying attention, after all, the two guys up front were gone, the three chasers were tooling around and main pack was keeping everyone fresh for tomorrow and Saturday, except Damiano Cunego, who seemed to have had a close inspection of the local french pavement.
With about 15kms to go, I decided it was time to play closer attention to the action and pick a winner. My choice was Carlos Barredo, since Columbia already had a share of the limelight and Barredo was doing a gutsy ride. After both him and Burghardt traded a few punches, with 7km to go, the Quickstep car pulled up to the two fugitives and told something to Barredo. My first suspicion was that they were offering Burghardt money to give up the sprint (something that is not that unusual in pro cycling). But it seemed that what was actually said was something along the lines of "stop working and attack him as much as you can, you pretty much have no chance on the sprint". Barredo gave it a few gos, but the youngster from team Columbia was attentive and covered every moved. The final sprint was more of a track race, but at the end, Columbia grabbed its 4 stage and Quickstep continues the search for victory.