A flat day should mean a sprint stage but with few sprinters left in the race and the remaining ones worried they’ll get smoked by Mark Cavendish today could see a breakaway stick.
The accounts for the Ineos Grenadiers team have been published, the chance to look at the budget for a World Tour team. Having rounded up the accounts of several other World Tour teams there’s also a quick but incomplete comparison.
The final mountains stage of the Tour and a 129km “sprint” over the Tourmalet to Luz Ardiden.
A dash across the plains before a three difficult climbs and two hectic descents for a stage battle, the mountains competition and maybe some movement in the top-10 on GC. It’s also le quatorze juillet, Bastille Day in English, but a damp one.
The first of three consecutive mountain stages in the Pyrenees, today’s is the most accessible to a large part of the peloton with three sharp climbs to scale before a punchy finish.
If the Tour de France is an exercise in hierarchy then Tadej Pogačar sits comfortably on a yellow throne but practically everything else is still to be decided.
The Tour de France enjoys a rest day in Andorra. The first this happened was in 1964 and the race was almost turned upside down, a story of a foretold death, a lamb feast and sangria.
If Mont Ventoux was the Queen Stage, today is also mountain monarchy. Over 4,500m of vertical gain with a surprisingly tough start, lots of strength-sapping climbs and then the tricky Collada de Beixalis in the finish.
A mountain stage, a scenic stage and above all the breakaway stage. A lot of riders will have had today in their diaries as their chance of a stage win.
There’s something comforting about the the Tour de France. Every year the same rituals and routines, whether pre-race previews, the familiar stage towns, the peloton riding past sunflowers… and Mark Cavendish winning stages.