≡ Menu

Tour Stage 17 Preview

The first of the Alpine mountain stages with the giant and scenic Col d’Allos and then the very difficult descent before the climb to Pra Loup, the ski resort where Eddy Merckx cracked and lost the Tour de France.

The Route: déjà vu? If you saw the Dauphiné in June this is identical. It’s 161km, a saw-tooth profile with the 2,250m Col d’Allos before a ski-station summit finish. Sure it’s a mountain stage but the early climbs are steady and there’s “only” 3,700 vertical metres, it’s not the 5,000m you can get on a savage day. The route is stunning as it crosses the southern Alps

  • Km 40.0 – Col des Lèques, 6 kilometre-long climb at 5.3% – category 3
  • Km 67.0 – Col de Toutes Aures, 6.1 kilometre-long climb at 3.1% – category 3
  • Km 96.0 – Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel, 11 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% – category 2
  • Km 139.0 – Col d’Allos, 14 kilometre-long climb at 5.5% – category 1
  • Km 161.0 – Pra Loup, 6.2 kilometre-long climb at 6.5% – category 2
Allos Pra Loup profile

The Col d’Allos is a long climb, 14km at 5.5% doesn’t sound like much but the last 5km are 7-8% and 10% in places at over 1,800m above sea level. The descent is very difficult. Much is made of the Allos-Pra Loup combo because in 1975 it was here that Bernard Thévenet cracked Eddy Merckx. But on the descent of the Allos the Bianchi team car flew off the road into a ravine. It’s 15km downhill and if it’s not steep there are plenty of bends, an irregular road surface. They’ve taken special measures to reduce the race caravan today so that fewer vehicles can descend.

The Finish: 6.2km at 6.5%. The road kicks up from the start so riders had better spin their legs on the descent. It’s not a hard finish at all, a wide regular road with even slopes for the most part and wide hairpin bends, a classic ski station access road. That said the graphic above from ASO misses out a sustained 10% ramp on the way up.

The Contenders: Yes Romain Bardet won in the Dauphiné but a repeat is a big ask because everyone now knows that a breakaway can take time on the descent and manage their lead up the final climb so we’re likely to see more attacks over the top of the Col d’Allos and more before all in the hope of crossing the top of the pass with an advantage to be improved on the descent.

There’s going to be a fight to get in the breakaway and it’ll be interesting to see how much Team Sky want to chase from the start because they can’t afford to use up riders early, whether early in today’s stage or just early in the Alpine phase of the race. Expect a list of “usual suspects” because those who’ve had the legs to attack in the past few days are those thriving in this race. We should see Rafał Majka, Joaquim Rodriguez, Jacob Fuglsang and maybe Bardet tempted by the King of the Mountains points on the Col d’Allos with the first two regular stage winners.

Alejandro Valverde is a safer pick given his experience, finishing sprint and because he’s going to be climbing with the front group when others fall away. Even if Vincenzo Nibali isn’t at his best he’ll want to use the descent to get away but it’s a very obvious tactic and he could be marked, he’ll only have to stand on the pedals on the Col d’Allos for others to mimic him. If Team Sky control things then Chris Froome is a safe pick, as easy as the final climb relative to other ascents in the region it’s still selective; look at the Dauphiné where they came in one by one.

One outsider with room to attack is Thibaut Pinot and the forecast of late rain might suit him as he prefers cool and damp conditions, his descending woes are behind him but there’s talk of FDJ struggling with their tires in the wet.

Alejandro Valverde, Chris Froome
Joaquim Rodriguez, Rafał Majka, Nairo Quintana
Uran, Pinot, Bardet, Fuglsang, Pauwels, Rolland, Martin, Kelderman

Weather: sunny at the start with temperatures of 25˚C for much of the way with the chance of a shower and a thunderstorm later in the afternoon.

TV: the Col d’Allos starts around 3.40pm Euro time, the summit around 4.40pm and the finish is forecast for 5.05pm.

If you can’t find it on TV, you’ll find it online with Cyclingfans and steephill.tv for links to feeds and streams.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Larrick Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 6:14 am

    Should we be expecting a few ‘post rest day blues’ from a couple of the favourites again?

    • ewenm Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:43 am

      It’s an interesting phenomenon. I’ve have thought professional cycling teams would know how each rider reacted to a rest day – whether they need proper rest, to spin the legs or even to maintain a bit of strong effort – to be well-prepared for the next stage.

      Although as Sky have shown over the years, there are plenty of areas in the sport where gains can be made.

      • sam Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:14 am

        You’re talking about a sport where one of the biggest teams – Tinkoff – didnt think to take any mobile room air temp cooling equipment with them, to install in the 2 star hotels the UCI put their riders up in, in the middle of Jul in France. Even a ProConti team with MTNQubeka are lugging around portable AC units for their riders’ rooms.

        Yeah. There are plenty of gains to be made.

        • hoh Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:55 am

          Well, being an African team, you can argue that MTNQ is more experience in that area.

          • bart Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:31 pm

            No, you can’t. South African summers are comparable to summers in the south of europe and hotels have ac there. Also there are not a lot of stage races so there’s no need about worrying about comfortabel sleeping arrangements.

            Guess it has more to do with the higher than normal temperatures we’re having this discussion.

        • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:20 pm

          And yet Tinkov uses this as another stick with which to beat ASO, in his bid to run cycling for the benefit of Oleg Tinkov.

        • Canocola Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:41 pm

          Engaging your brain and trying to think smarter is a cost-free action – I’d be staggered if the lesser-funded teams weren’t often a little bit ahead of the game when it comes to the fine details, purely because it’s the cheapest way to close the gap a little.

          • Special Eyes Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:09 pm

            Not directly associated with the rest day thread, but part of the recuperation process ; apparently quite a lot of riders are very unhappy with their hotels in Pra Loup. Sky are in a 2 star hotel next to a motorway junction, with a morgue behind. A rather grim place, flies buzzing about.
            It’s just ridiculous, elite athletes having to put up with poor accommodation.

          • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:14 pm

            Aw, the poor babies.
            And flies are not attracted to morgues, because the bodies are kept in sealed cold storage.

          • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:15 pm

            That was yesterday’s hotel and it was near an abattoir.

          • Special Eyes Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:29 pm

            Haha, thanks for the clarification.
            Grim anyway. Must have smelled too.
            I wonder if horse meat was on the hotel menu 🙁
            Freshly delivered !

    • Vedrafjord Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:48 pm

      You need to push yourself a bit on the rest day or your metabolism, which by then is used to running in 8000 calories a day mode, is going to crash.

      Anyone see the Garmin doc Blood, Sweat & Gears? Vaughters and Vande Velde are arguing on the rest day about how much cycling to do – Vande Velde takes the day off and ends up losing a ton of time on the stage the next day.

      • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:05 pm

        i am curious about this as everyone keeps noting the need for a rest day ride and the reasons for it. are there any studies anyone is aware of that confirm this? or is it another cycling superstition/thing someone thinks “makes sense”?

        and the vandevelde incident-correlation is not causation.

        • Foley Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:29 pm

          Good question. Always good to re-examine the conventional wisdom on stuff like this (we can be sure Sky has looked here for marginal gains). It is for sure that many riders report feeling worse after the rest day than they do on other days, to the point that they swear they would rather not have a day off. That feeling is so common and widely held that I expect the science (when it gets done) to support the efficacy of easy rest-day rides as a means of forestalling the natural shutdown/recuperate response of the body. “Must ride on rest day” seems a bit perverse on the face of it, but I have no trouble believing it might be the best approach, for many riders if not all.

          • Sam W Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:22 pm

            Yes, riding on a rest day is often physiologically required to maintain the overall effort. It a little rider to rider and depending on what their goals for the race are. For GC guys, mid mountains, riding everyday is crucial. There’s a lot going on at the cellular level that requires constancy in order to maintain for another week of intensity.

            Also, it is (sports) science and not a tradition or superstition. And it’s not marginal gains even, most professional coaches know how this stuff works at this point.

          • Sam W Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:27 pm

            I should have specified that they don’t ride race pace and do VO2 intervals on rest day. It might only be a few hours of easy spinning with a handful of tempo efforts thrown in. Basically, it helps keep the body from falling into full recovery mode.

  • Rusty chain Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 6:55 am

    wrote off El Pistolero or simply think he ll attack elsewhere? What would you recommend a tactic for Movistar? Early attack by Valverde forcing Sky to chase and 2nd punch by Quintana? Hard feat given the condition of Geraint Thomas (surprisingly good condition and I’m sort of puzzled that more people don’t talk about GT rather than Froome – we know the Welsh are tough and he has been transitioning to a stage rider but this years ride still in excess of anything he has done before)

    • Narkie Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 7:31 am

      I reckon Valverde should make a late attack (late this time, so it sticks!!) on the penultimate climb. Sky will chase and will probably lose time being cautious down the descent. which may mean they’ll use up all their riders trying to chase down valverde early into the last climb. Froome is left isolate then, BAM, Quintana goes.

      2 problems with that though, 1: the last climb isnt suited to Quintana. 2: it was annoying to see that when contador have being attacked froome on stage 16, others also latched on which helped froome get onto a wheel. if everyone else sat up and let froome do it, im not sure he would have reached contador.

      Anyway, an attack by Quintana is the least likely to be followed by anyone but froome cause he wont be stealing someone elses GC position.


      • JH Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:39 am

        Could a possible Sky counter tactic be to try and send Geraint Thomas up the road, with the threat of taking more time to possibly move higher up the GC, threatening Movistar 2nd and 3rd place ambitions and forcing a response.

        This would be a massive risk and possibly isolate Froome, but if Porte is strong he could marshal him up. Also Thomas might not be up for the job…

        As a relative newcomer to cycling, with little knowledge of tactics and strategy, is this an impossibility?

        • The Real JHutch Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:59 am

          IF Sky are able to play two cards, along side the double opportunities Movistar have with Quintana and Valverde, this could make for a super exciting battle. It would be great to see a real fight where all the main GC riders have to make real choices about which attacks to follow. Despite what many people are saying about the race already being won it is so easy to loose a few minutes with only a little bad luck that Froome will fight not to loose a single second. It would also be great to see TJV try something other than following….but alas I expect to see him slide out of the top 5 before too long.

        • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:05 pm

          There’s no real reason for Sky to race as aggressively as that yet on Day 1/4. Much as it would be great to watch.

          You’d also likely draw more than just moviestar into the chase.

        • MickR Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 2:00 pm

          I’m thinking Sky are not going to risk the yellow in any way, so GT needs to stay with Froome. He is looking great, and if going up the road could do some damage, but trying to fill up the podium has got to be a second priority at this point. Maybe after a day or two in the Alps, if things are going well, they could let GT have a go. Porte has so many up and downs that I would not want to rely on just him anyway.

      • noel Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:00 am

        the problem with the ‘Valverde attacks, leaving Sky to chase’ argument is that BMC will also chase to protect TVG’s position… and then Saxo won’t just sit there watching the race disappear up the road etc etc….

        • theadore Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:13 am

          This is definitely the case – although I personally think its bad tactics. With Froome so strong and with a lead already, there is really only one rider to beat… and there are far too many big stages still left to start settling for podium places.

          Lets just say for arguments sake Quintana/TJ let Nibali up the road and tuck in behind Sky. Best case Nibali is caught after a long chase and Froome is isolated. Worst cast Froome is still isolated and vulnerable to attack, you gain time on him and possibly lose time on Nibali with some days left to make it up.

          (ok… so actual worst case is Nibali is caught by Froome who barnstorms off up the mountain himself leaving you all further down on the overall.)

          • sam Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:54 am

            It was going great….till that last sentence 🙂

          • hoh Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:00 pm

            Problem with that: Why would Sky chase Nibali who is already 7+ minutes down? They’d like to see Thomas on Podium but that ‘s not a must for them and they certainly would not spend firing power to protect Thomas’ GC position.

            If Nibali goes, only ones going to chase are Gesink/AC/TJVG.

          • MickR Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 2:03 pm

            I’m thinking Froome chases everybody at this stage. He is feeling confident and will not let anybody get even a few seconds. Not until the last day will he let anybody go when there is no chance to lose more than a minute or two, if he has it. Which is why, I think, they all need to go like hell and test him out. We all know Quintana is going for it on the last day for sure.

    • razorback Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 7:36 am

      My Movistar strategy is quite boring, but I think is the only chance they have.
      They should protect and rest themselves the best they can. keep some good climbers fresh and let Sky reduce the peloton. Once in a group of ~20, then try to overtake Froome with 2-3 riders. Do this everyday and hope that Froome will have one bad day between now and Saturday.
      Going for an attack will only burn them down and Sky will hunt them and letter in the stage leave either Valverde or Quintana behind.
      The only chance they have is to explore a bad day from Froome and, to do that, they will need to be fresh to take all 3-4 min at once.
      I know is boring, but I think is their only chance.

      • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:28 pm

        Yup, this is extremely boring… and is precisely what they will do: wait for a bad day that will probably never come and even if it did it won’t be bad enough to make up 3 min.
        A lot of interesting and innovative tactical possibilities explored in the comments above – none of which will happen.
        NQ and AV are going for 2nd and 3rd; Contador wants a podium, as does TVG (bad luck for him).
        As much as they talk, none of them will risk that for a possible win, because they don’t believe they can do it.
        They won’t try to isolate Froome: they’ll chase down each other’s – fairly minor – attacks.
        For four days.
        (Said Marvin the Paranoid Android.)

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:33 am

      I can’t see the stage win, he can’t descend faster than the rest or climb faster than them but he is looking better and better so maybe today suits him.

  • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:58 am

    How does today’s course compare to the one where Merckx was beaten by Thevenet?

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:30 am

      Both have the Allos-Pra Loup combination but in 1975 they started in Nice making it a longer stage.

  • Richard S Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:02 am

    I’m not sure if Majka and Purito will go for this one but rather save themselves for the HC finishes with the major points hauls. I’d expect to see the usual French alpine stage hunters in the mix though – Bardet, Pinot, Rolland, Riblon et al.

    I can’t see any GC gains on Froome today, the wide fairly easy and even finish is perfectly suited to his and Skys time trial climbing style. To be honest I’m not sure if there is anything steep enough in France for Quintana to really thrive. The roads in general are well engineered and gradual. There is nothing like the Zoncolan, Mortirolo or the really steep finish to the Giro stage Quintana won after the Stelvio last year. The Tour really does suit Sky’s style, it’s no coincidence they haven’t won any of the others. They spend all year zooming up Teide, a really long gradual climb, and then put into practice for a couple of weeks every July.

    • noel Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:08 am

      do Sky go to Teide any more than all the rest of the big teams? I (think I …)remember hearing once they had to stay at a different hotel because the usual one was completely booked out by other pro tour teams…

    • ewenm Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:18 am

      Is it not more they have the team tactics to suit the talents of their lead rider?

      When it was Wiggins they needed the full Sky train to pace the race into submission. With Froome they can have a couple of top domestiques (Thomas and Porte) but don’t need to pace all the time as Froome can cover the attacks and make some of his own. If they had Quintana, they’d play to his strengths too.

      Sky haven’t won the Giro or Vuelta because they don’t have a rider so suited to the typical route as in LeTour AND their stated aim is always LeTour above all else.

      • The Real JHutch Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:25 am

        Worth remembering that Froome has two 2nd places in the Vuelta, the first time I believe he would have almost certainly won if Sky had excepted earlier that Wiggins wouldn’t and the second time Froome was coming back from injury. I’d not be surprised to see a Sky rider win the Vuelta in the next year or two, the Giro I’d be less sure of as they won’t risk burning matches before the Tour.

        • theadore Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:06 am

          think this rewrites history a little… I remember watching that vuelta… even Froome was astounded when he beat Wiggins in the final time trail, and Cobo was good value for his win in the hardest mountain stage

          • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:39 pm

            Cobo was dosed up to the gills – one accusation I’m happy to make (look at his career before and since).
            It was fairly evident early in the race that Froome was stronger than Wiggins.
            Proof came in the time trial, which was Stage 10.
            From then, Froome consistently showed that he was much stronger than Wiggins: more so, the longer the race progressed. But Sky stuck with Wiggins being the anointed one and Froome wasting his energy riding in front of him.
            Worked a year later, but a dreadful bit of tactics in 2011.

          • RonDe Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:47 pm

            Froome lost the Vuelta 2011 by just 13 seconds because he was shackled to the steady climber that was Brad Wiggins. If he had been off the leash he beats Cobo who, as J Evans suggests, was on the gogo juice and has disappeared ever since.

      • Richard S Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:54 am

        I agree they have had riders that suit the Tour, and that they target the Tour. They will have chosen that style of rider because they suit the Tour and the Tour being the biggest race with the most exposure it makes sense to put your eggs in that basket. They’ve never given the Giro as much attention but have tried a couple of times, with Wiggins in 2013 and Porte this year, and found it harder to control. Likewise the Vuelta is a bit of an after thought for them most likely, but its hard to imagine them locking down the Angliru.

        • RonDe Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 9:48 pm

          Its worth remembering that Sky have been second in the Giro as well with Uran. But its fair to say their A Team gets sent to the Tour.

    • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:40 pm

      The TDF needs to use a greater variety of mountains – as inner ring has pointed out – but they go for the ones that pay and that provide plenty of space for all the stuff that goes with the Tour.

  • noel Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:03 am

    MTN-Q…. do they have a chance for the Team prize?…21 mins on Movistar is a big gap to make up, but if another big break goes I imagine Movistar have got bigger issues to concern themselves with… watch for the cycling barcodes to be all over every break this week!
    has a pro-conti wildcard ever won this award before?

    • Fred B Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:03 am

      I prefer to see zebras rather than bar codes. Movistar will hold the team prize, MTN-Q cannot get 3 home high enough up every day in the Alps and Movistar only need Quintana and Valverde plus one.

  • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:27 am

    Thomas should attack and get away early. Not as daft as it sounds.

    • flicksta Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 11:58 am

      It is I’m afraid. Sky basically have two riders to protect Froome. Thomas is only going to get a chance for a stage win if the others are completely broken by the final climb and Froome doesn’t fancy the psychological advantage of the win. Which he will.

      • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:03 pm

        We will see.

      • Bilmo Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:07 pm

        I agree in G not attacking in most cases, but if Froome has Porte plus say Poels or Konig for example and somebody like Valverde or Nibali attacks G could go, just sit on, refuse to work and either go for the win later or be there to help Froom is he comes back. Think that was the tactic they used for his win in the Algarve

        • Steppings Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:27 pm

          Sorry, Anon was me above, forgot to tag in a rush. Anyhow, Nobody expects Thomas to attack or go with an early break, it would a left field move to unsettle Movistar/Saxo and would possibly provide a stage win for Thomas. It is a scenario of course, would make the stage very interesting for some of us. Just hope the stage it’s not all hype with a few salvos fired near the end and no real change on the GC. Here were go round the Mulberry bush a day nearer Paris – not that exciting.

  • hoh Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:13 pm

    It’s far more likely that Moviestar would play it safe today. Not something fans would like to see.

    Quintana has as much to lose on the descent whilst the last climb is not hard enough to make a meaningful impact. It’s probably more profitable to bet on the later harder stages.

    • Ken Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 2:07 pm

      Quintana as much as said yesterday that second place would be a great result for him.

  • dodge2000 Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 12:43 pm

    We saw it in 2013. Froome was often isolated, but his lead was such that other teams were protecting podium or top 10 GC places and the race was actually being fought further down the leader board, giving Froome a relatively easy time.

    Same can be said for Nibali last year. Once his lead was assured and the Contador/Froome exits happened, Nibali was not attacked, or not attacked specifically for the Jersey. He had relatively little work to do by himself.

    In 2013 they learned too late Quintana might have been able to contest the yellow and they’d backed the wrong guy in Valverde, if he had been unleashed earlier and had played his cards with GC more in mind (thinking of some great attacks that ultimately did not further GC aspirations) It might have been a closer run thing in the mountain stages.

    For me I think that the Contador and Nibali positions is a real risk to Froome. Neither, I guess, are happy just with a podium (i’m sure they’d take it if that was all that was going), so would rather go all in for a massive upset, or not bother at all. They may be given just enough rope to take more risks on the Allos descent (i’d risk losing a minute to get down more safely) which sees them taking out some larger chunks than would be comfortable for Sky. Death or Glory………….

    I think they need to do it today though. Alpe D’Huez stage will be won by the strongest, not the one taking the biggest risk, so I expect to see a Froome/Quintana battle. But with fatigue, Jour Sans, another bonking episode and 3 minutes could easily be overturned over the next few stages

    • Special Eyes Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:03 pm

      I’d have to disagree Dodge.
      On current form 3′ looks like a chasm.
      Movistar would need Froome to implode, and there are no signs as yet that he will.
      They can only bank on Quintana being the strongest in a one-to-one duel.
      And they will leave that duel as close as possible to the stage end.

      BMC know that TVG does not have the strength, and they will look to defend. His closest rivals may attack him, and this could set off a chain reaction with the others. If BMC have to respond, Movistar would be forced to, then Sky would have to.
      But Sky can sit on Quintana’s tail all day if they wish. Or ride at the front as they often seem to.
      I don’t know why they would do this.
      If I were them, I’d have my team sitting off Quintana and let Movistar do all the talking.

      • dodge2000 Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:27 pm

        I don’t disagree with you.

        Quintana won’t look to a risky descent for time, but Contador and Nibali might. I think it will be a duel on Alpe D’huez for that GC battle

        BMC are likely to do as much as Sky to control Movistar and others to protect TJVG’s position. And Movistar are likely to bring back an Astana or Tinkoff challenge for those podium spots, as a 2-3 looks most likely given current form and the stages ahead.

        I agree that 3 mins is quite a bit, but with the mountains (ups and downs) I’m holding out for that to be challenged. It they head to Alpe D-Huez with that 3 mins intact, then it wouldn’t suprise me.

        • Foley Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 6:07 pm

          Can’t see Contador or Nibali as any kind of threat to Froome. From Contador I am hoping for for a signature raid and stage win, but had been expecting him to finish behind TVG in Paris. I ‘d like to see Nibali contribute something to the (uphill) attacks on Froome, but not expecting it. No one cares if Valverde gets 3rd or not, but being so close is what makes Froome have to respond to him. If Movistar look like they are playing safe for podium places, tactically they need AV placed high so that Froome cannot ignore him as he can Contador and Nibali.

          • Special Eyes Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 6:35 pm

            Another day down, Quintana not able to shake off Froome.
            Tomorrow is not a mountain top finish, so Q may be forced to gamble and go early for once.
            Or, if Movistar were very brave, they could allow AV to try to make a break and hold it on the descent / rise to the stage end, and put pressure on Froome that way. Then it would be up to Q to ramp up that pressure on the last two days in the Alps.
            But it’s looking like a duel on Alpe D’Huez, winner takes all.

          • Lanterne Vert Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:47 am

            I bet ASO will take a duel on the Alpe.

  • power-goose Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1:24 pm

    Two super-domestiques? I thought Konig and Poels had been brought for their climbing legs, or have Sky been using them up earlier in the day?? I would use them later in today’s stage to give G a break after the crash (will be interesting to see if he really is 100%…). Overall though, I think Froome will want to seal it today and go for more time.

  • noel Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 5:57 pm

    yey!… another 4mins back on Movistar again today…they need another 17mins in 3 stages tho… it’s going to be a big ask if Meintjes is out of the running… expect to see 3 MTN-Q in every break from now on!

  • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:14 pm

    Consarn it, Froome can even descend these days. Two or three years ago is downhill skills were decidedly ropey. Another chink in the armour welded over.

    Lovely to see Geschke getting his just rewards – bravery wins the day once again. (No Thibaut, it’s not a dig.)

    • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:14 pm

      *his downhill…

    • ccotenj Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 10:00 pm

      yup, froome basically told the others today, “you can forget about riding away from me going downhill”…

      looked like movistar might have something there on the last climb when they picked up 2 guys from the break, but they didn’t appear to have any gas left to drive the train….

      great and brave ride by geschke… chapeau…

      poor pinot… he tried to the limit of his abilities…

      it will be interesting to see what the heck really happened with tj…

  • J Evans Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 8:39 pm

    I now expect much bleating from TVG about how he was on for a podium (he wasn’t; he was already losing time at Mende).
    Back to training with Lance.

  • Lanterne Vert Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:48 am

    What happened to Kwiatkowski?

Next post:

Previous post: