Diagram 3. The break (where the Cauberg is steepest, 2 km before arrival -> clip = 0:46). Everything happens quickly. First Paolini, running out of gas, politely slips to the right of the road and lets Nibali continue alone. Second, the British rider fails to follow Gilbert and tries to reintegrate the peloton further back down. The two Belgians rockets then briefly combine for a very short moment, the Leukemans-Gilbert pair moving right behind Nibali, before Boonen begins to slide back without changing his trajectory, creating a gap in front of him. Gilbert turns around and sees the Norwegians, Boasson-Hagen first, clawing their way back to the front along the line of riders. He then immediately violently accelerates (an “irresistible squirt” to borrow a somewhat gaudy cycling expression from our French cousins) and creates a rapidly widening gap.