Le Tour de France - Volume 3


 

Wow. What a week in Le Tour. We left the race in the last e-mail on Stage 7. My prediction of a Sprint finish was correct, but this time it was Dylan Groenewegen and not Gav or Cav who won. Stage 8 in to Amiens was a carbon copy, the sprint was duly won by Dylan Groenewegen. The only other note for the day was a big crash that Dan Martin and Tony Martin were involved in. Dan Martin bounced and could carry on, while Tony Martin didn't, and was forced to abandon:

 

By Chris Smith

Monday 30th July 2018

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Stage 9 on the Roubaix cobbles lit up the race and was as good as everyone had hoped for. If you enjoyed it as much as us; think about going to watch Paris-Roubaix next year in April.  There were lots of crashes, punctures, favorites having to chase back on, dust and tears. Ritchie Porte crashed out, John Degenkolb won, and when the dust had settled the GC contenders were as they were except for a very battered Rigoberto Urán.

Monday was a well earned rest day in our of our favorite places to ride a bike, Annecy. The mountains and lake make a truly spectacular back drop, and if you saw the helicopter shots of the peloton you understand why we rate Annecy so highly.

Stage 10 - In to the Mountains. The Tour left Annecy behind for three amazing climbs including my own personal nemesis of the Col de Croix Fry. The breakaway stayed away, Greg Van Avermaet surprised everyone and extended his lead in yellow, Julian Alaphilippe won and took the Polka dot jersey, and thanks to the head wind, and the rest day yesterday, most the favorites crossed the line together in a Sky led peloton. The sprinters in the grupetto cut it fine and made the time cut by 33 seconds.

Stage 11 - +#$*#@ Tough! Short (relatively) and Steep!

Within riding distance of Chamonix stage 11 was explosive. Cavendish and Kittel failed to make the finish by the time cut, Movistar, Nibali and Tom Dumoulin all attacked, but ultimately team Sky had it all under control, but in an interesting team dynamic, it was Thomas that took time out of Froome and goes into yellow. Stage 11 was the most exciting stage of the tour so far.

Stage 12 - Arguably the queen stage. Climbing the Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Croix de Fer and the iconic Alpe d'Huez, plus the beautiful Lacets de Montvernier. The race exploded on the first climb and Steven Kruijswijk escaped and made a heroic effort to almost win the stage and take yellow. Nibali, Landa and Quintana all attacked on Alpe d'Huez, but Geraint Thomas won for the second day in a row to extend his lead, and possibly make dinner with Chris Froome awkward. Most the sprinters climbed off, to very likely hand Peter Sagan the green jersey.

Stage 13

 I won't spoil it for those running home for highlights on ITV, but as today's stage is mostly downhill, it is likely to be a sprint! (If there are any sprinters left after the Alps!)

Coming up

Stages 14 and Stage 15. With the GC race settling down, expect these stage to be all about the break away and for teams to try to win a stage that haven't won a stage already! A rest day follows on Monday before the Tour turns it's attention to the Pyrenees.

 

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