Well he had to win eventually, especially with that other Robbie out of the frame and Boonen down in a fall. Nice to see Cancellara continuing to 'have a go', too. The lesson of the day is 'don't give up'. The other lesson is 'go hard'. The breaks happened when the pace was continually forced - the winner's time meaning a very fast 48km/h average over the 180-plus kilometres. Given the pace, the crashes and the crosswinds it was inevitable the elastic would break, and it did. With the splits in the peleton tactics became confused and gaps grew.
Those who lost out were some of the sprinters, like Hushovd and Zabel, and overall contender Moreau, who lost time after a crash and broken cleat. Of course it was bad timing - especially so as Astana chose that moment to attack - and some were upset about it, not least of all being Moreau. But that's racing. It's a funny thing, these team radios - you'd think they'd communicate something like 'Moreau in crash, do the respectful thing and wait for him to bridge back' but instead it seems they fall back on 'but we didn't even know he was dropped'. Now if we didn't have these rider radios that'd be true, but we do.. so it was 'that's racing', wasn't it?