Sitting at home listening to Chet Baker as I write today’s report has me reflecting on the appropriateness of the situation with Edvald Boasen Hagen’s win. Chet Bakers grandmother was a Norwegian, a little know and probably useless fact. But without Phil and Paul adding their useless bird watching and other such nonsense into the days commentary, I thought I would take a leaf out of their book and bore you with some inane facts as I listen to some bitchin trumpet playing.
I have to admit I got dropped last night and fell asleep on the couch without really seeing a pedal turned in anger! It has been a long tour and the fatigue showed yesterday morning when I rode with Spunker, Paddles and Il Papa from the Coglioni. But as bad as it is for me, you have to feel sorry for Ondrej Cink and Timo Roosen who DNFed yesterday on the tours longest stage. They have fought through over 3000km and 3 weeks of pain, misery and suffering. They have gotten over the alps over the last 2 days and finished within the time limit. Only to fail, almost in view of Paris, figuratively speaking. With only a 22km time trial and the procession into Paris to go, they must be gutted.
So I got up early, bought some baguettes and watched the highlights. I had picked EBH as last nights winner in a conversation at work with Dravo (PMH Peripatetic Porcines and other teams). But I thought it would go to a sprint, I had not expected the likable Norwegian to get in the break and then ride away with 2km to go and solo across the line. With 2 second places, one by 6mm, and 2 third places, Eddy did not want to be involved in yet another photo finish, so took matters into his own hands. It has been a lean couple of years, but he has looked in good nick this tour, and finally got his just desserts.
I have to give a mention to Thomas De Gendt. I think Lotto Soudal will be happy with the amount of television coverage he has given them over the last 3 weeks. Maybe he just doesn’t like riding with his team mates and keeps getting in breakaways. But I cannot think of a day in this tour when you have not seen him at the front of the race, either in a break, or driving the peloton to bring the break back. He must just hate it when he is not in the break himself, so spoils it for those that are.
A total failure notwithstanding, Froomey has won the tour. He may win the TT tonight, but Tony Martin is still in the race, as well as a couple of other good “testers”. If he fails, he will be the first rider since 2006 to win the race without winning a stage. It should be an interesting TT. While I am on a roll predicting stage winners, Tony Martin tonight and I will stick my neck out and say John Dekankolb for the final in Paris. I don’t think Kristoff is good enough, and Greipel seems beaten already inside his head. No doubt the Gorilla will now prove me wrong.
Yawn, no change at the top of the table with Heartthrobs01 consolidating his lead thanks to Eddy “The Boss”. But watch out for The Bulldozer, who is coming up on the rails as the final 2 days approach. Just building him up for failure… Today’s big mover mention goes to Chuck Charity 11, another of the comps big donators, up 69 spots to settle in to mid table mediocrity. No change in the bottom six now, they really must have rubbish teams. Dai the Kilt gets another mention for holding onto the Lantern Rouge, surely he is favorite for the $80 last place prize now?