Stage 6: Épernay to Metz (207.5 kilometers)
Stage six starts in the heart of Champagne country and ends in the hometown of Charlemagne. It is a rather easy route, the last before the climbs begin, but never fear, Heroes! Despite the lack of geographic difficulty, the riders did not bore us. An epic crash occurred 26 km from the finish that left half the peloton in tatters. Jerseys were torn, frames battered, and most of all, egos wounded. Among the fallen lay Schleck, Rolland, Hesjdal, and Cavendish.
Andre Griepel, our champion as of late, suffered two crashes early in this stage and was not quite in full gorilla force. Maybe chimpanzee, sure, but not gorilla. Victory this time went to Peter Sagan, the Velvet Samurai. We like our cyclists like we like our coffee, whiskey and pate– smooth and deadly.
The twenty two year old Slovak is known not only as the Velvet Samurai, but the Terminator, the Tourminator, Cannibal, and Rambo. As you may recall, he referenced Forrest Gump upon winning stage three. This time passing the finish he did what in the heat of the moment looked like a gorilla impression, perhaps a cavalier jab to the second-placing Greipel. In post-race commentary, however, Sagan told the press “Another win and I called this one ‘The Hulk.’” What we have here is not as antagonistic youngster, but a born performer raised on a steady diet of classic American media. TSH is now taking bets on Sagan’s next move– The Graduate? Radio Raheem? Only time will tell.