I’ve got the blues this morning, after an incredibly close battle for the overall it feels like the Tour de France has already finished. Certainly riders claimed they could see the Eiffel Tower yesterday through the mist on the Tourmalet and the remaining stages to Paris look like a procession. It’s all coming to an end.
Or is it? Well we’ve still got a battle for the green jersey for starters. The finish into the elegant city of Bordeaux is almost reserved for sprinters so we’ll see how Petacchi and Hushovd play this. Cavendish is still in the mix too, arithmetically at least. A strong finish from the likes of Julian Dean, Lloyd Mondory or another rider could put a gap between the inevitable Cavendish win and the other contenders for green.
Meanwhile Saturday’s TT will fix the GC. Everyone’s assuming Contador will smoke Andy Schleck and I think it’s probable. But Andy Schleck’s come on a lot this year and the final TT is always one for surprises, it’s now about raw power but having something left in the legs to push hard. And pushing hard is exactly what Schleck did on the Tourmalet. The stage win will also be up for grabs, can Cancellara, Wiggins or Martin do something? What about Evans or Menchov?
So a few question marks remain. One certainty is that Anthony Charteau will win the mountains prize. It’s a bit unsatisfying, he’s not even a climber and has done next to nothing in his career prior to bagging this massive prize. Yet at the same time, he built a lead and defended it from others. It’s no accident.