One of the massive changes to the 2011 Tour de France has been the change to the intermediate sprint system, where considerably more points are awarded for the intermediate sprints than in years passed. Before, those gunning for the green jersey would, for the most part, ignore the intermediate sprints as they didn't have enough points to make a serious impact on the race. Additionally, only three riders received points. This year, the intermediate sprints are crucial, and American sprinter Tyler Farrar has taken advantage by maximizing his points.
The breakaway is still away and as a result, got the top three spots, but 13 points were still on offer for whoever could finish the best in the sprint from the peloton. Mark Cavendish got a great lead-out and looked like a shoo in for the points, but Farrar snuck up behind him and took off with a great move. Cavendish lost his focus and didn't see Farrar's move until it was too late, allowing the American to capture 13 crucial points.
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