Sunweb are having a cracking tour. Two stages each for Matthews and now Barguil, as well as the green and spotty jerseys now sewn up. Don’t write Matthews off for another stage tonight either. Once again the scenery was brilliant, the attacking was excellent, and the result, for the French was the right one. Bardet tried to get rid of Froome, and Froome tried to get rid of Bardet, but in the end it was a stalemate. Three riders within 30 seconds is the closest the tour has been for years. Froome is still favorite for the TT on Saturday, but don’t write off Uran just yet. He can Time Trial a bit and will surely overhaul Bardet. If he has a good day and Froome has a bad day, anything could happen.
Some observations from last night. I love watching Kwiatkowski totally empty the tank for his leader. A spectator would have got a nice pair of Oakley glasses as a souvenir as Kwito took them off and tossed them to the side of the road, his face etched in pain. It was not long after that that he peeled off, job done and empty. So empty in fact, that he unclipped and stopped. I wonder if he had a little spew as well.
So I got a message from a tipster that he had read this on a FB post from one of our South African friends: “I am now so sick and tired of hearing the name Michael Matthews uttered from the lips of these two Aussie commentators on the Tour de France. Just wish I could get another commentary channel. I have also noticed that any commentary on landmarks, places of interest and historical buildings have virtually evaporated from these two idiots. Maybe the French names are too difficult to pronounce. Bring back Phil and Paul.” There was also an article in the Guardian of a similar vein, that stated that the person missed Paul’s insightful knowledge of the various Chateaus. Unfortunately I have to disagree and last night made a point to take notice. I am sure these people are unaware that Matt and Robbie do not have any control of what the helicopters take pictures of. Plus I am sure French Tourism has an arrangement with ASO, the tour organizers, to cover things of natural beauty and historical interest. Maybe Matt and Robbie don’t read the prepackaged cheat sheets with the same gusto as Paul did, but I can tell you now that Paul was just reading the same words from the same notes. Matt Keenan is far more knowledgeable that P&P ever were. OK, maybe not about bird watching or castles, but he knows a thing or two and can at least recognize the riders. Are we watching Getaway, or are we watching a bike race?
A couple of Matt Keenan quotes, one that made me laugh and one that is bordering on a Sherwenism. Both relating to Barguils attack as he closed in on Darwin Attapuma:
“He is flirting with the red zone, but is not taking it out for dinner” – I laughed
“He’s dangling like a carrot in front of a greyhound” – Is this the new ethical stance to greyhound racing in NSW, using veggies instead of rabbits?
Finally Tommo. In summing up Tommo asked Henk Vogels, who, by the way, still owes me a beer, and said something along the lines of “The yellow jersey can give you wings, but maybe the promise of it will give Bardet wings in the Time Trial”. What universe are you from Tommo? Bardet cannot time trial, in fact if Fromme had a bad day and Bardet a good day, Froome would still smash him. Bardet will be lucky to hold on to the podium spot he currently has. Please Tommo, stop spouting rubbish for the sake of sensationalism.
Oh yeah, the tipping comp… No change at the top with the top 5 staying where they are led by Heartthrobs01. Big mover of the day, and the first of my Biking the Boot chums to get a mention this year is Trentino Guida Eccellente up 65 spots to break into the top 70. Also no change with the bottom 4 with Dai the Kilt holding up the table for another day.