Vive la France et vive Warran Barguil. On Frances national day, Le 14 Julliet or Bastille day as the rest of us call it, Frenchman and proud Breton Warren Barguil won on the day all Frenchmen want to win on. There has not been a French winner on the 14th July since David Moncoutié in 2005, a drought of 12 years. In fact the recent drought for French riders in general seems to be breaking with Bardet and Barguil leading the way. It was also the shortest road stage in the Tour for many years of just over 100km, so there were going to be fireworks. I probably did not expect them to be coming from Mikel Landa, Chris Froomes teammate. It will be interesting to see the relationship between the pair over the the coming days to see if it is similar to the Wiggins – Froome affair in 2012.
With 3 tough climbs on offer, Warren Barguil also made his bid for the polka dot jersey. There is still plenty of climbing to come, but he has a handy lead. It was also good to see Contador and Quintana go on the attack and grab back a couple of minutes. Quintana has finally woke up and is now only 2 minutes behind Froome, so hopefully there will be more attacking over the coming days. Matthews grabbed another 2 points back from Kittel to trim the gap to 128 points! Although joking aside there are a couple of stages coming up that might suit the Aussie sprinter a bit better. I still think Kittel has it sewn up.
For those Sagan loving idiots who said the tour is not worth watching without him, how wrong you are. This is the closest GC battle for years thankfully. Will Landa attack Froome, will Quintana pinch some more time, how is Uran traveling, and what about Aru and Bardet? Brilliant… Giddy up, gagging for tonight’s action.
No change at the top in the comp with Mrs Spunker holding on thanks to a few points from Bardet. Little bit of general shuffling at the top but we now have 6 charity teams in the top 10. Big mover was Stockcarracer Yellow, up 70 spots thanks to Barguil and Landa. However lets not get too excited, that moves him into 148th spot, not exactly challenging for a top spot! We also have a new Lantern Rouge with Dai the Kilt squeezing Snick 5 out of the coveted last place. My greatest honour in cycling was winning the Lantern Rouge in last years Goldfields classic. I did not come last on either of the 2 stages but my consistently poor performance over the 2 days say me take out the title. Much better than all the West Australian Lady Boys who chose not to start the 2nd stage and had to follow me in the bus at 30kph for 3 hours.
Tonight’s stage is one that may suit Matthews as it is a lumpy finish to Rodez.