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When can you start? best rx promotions 1. FLAT OUT EXCITING: — One of the articles of faith at the Tour is that flat stages tend to be less relevant to the overall standings because it's hard for individual riders to break away from the tightly wound pack. Not so on Friday: Gusty winds helped breakaway riders split the peloton into pieces, and kept stragglers from catching up. Then, Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who began the day in second place overall, had a breakdown that saw him fall out of contention. Finally, the front bunch split apart too, leaving overall leader Chris Froome behind some key rivals who cut their deficit to the lanky Briton by more than a minute on a stage won by Britain's Mark Cavendish. Rival title contenders like two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador and two Dutchmen on the Belkin team — second-place Bauke Mollema and No. 4. Laurens Ten Dam — could now sense even more vulnerability in Froome's once indomitable and feared Sky team.

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