Not much of a cheesy headline today, as it was the only word that came to mind after last nights epic stage. I had made a bunch of obviously witty and amusing notes on my laptop, but when I awoke this morning it had crashed. So you will just have to make do with the usual drivel.
I could not believe the commentary, as it seemed every few kms another rider abandoned. After the previous days stage saw Cav and Kittel depart, it was another bad day for the sprinters, on a day when one G won again, the three G’s of Gaviria, Griepel and Gronewegen were all eliminated. They were not alone when GC rider Uran Uran come undone, and Nibbles was knocked off and fractured a vertebrae. The later was cleaned up presumably by a football fan on their way back from the World Cup just as the barriers were starting. He finished, but was air lifted to hospital where his injury was diagnosed. It is a shame as he was still well poised just behind Froome and Big Tom going into the Pyrenees.
As for the stage, it was another cracker. Kruijswijk went out on a big adventure that almost paid off, trying to get the Alp back from the French for the Dutch riders. He was close, but got mopped up in the last few km by the main GC riders. They were throwing punches with attacks from Bardet, Quintana, Nibbles and Froome, until it all settled down once Tom the tank engine brought Froome back. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go, and that was the case for me watching Thomas take the last corner wide to get a gap and open up his sprint to go for the line and take a 2nd stage in a row. The statement is also true, when you see G interviewed. Never short of a quip or two, he was entertaining when asked about the win. answering “Phoar” and “Can we just go to Paris now?”. Far more entertaining than the clinical interviews from team mate Froome. He may never get a better chance to win this race, so let’s hope Sky don’t make him roll over to give Froome a 5th win. The Pyrenees will be the big test for G as they are steeper, and he has a reputation for having a bad day.
If he does pull off a famous victory he will be the first proper Brit to take the win, albeit a leek muncher. Wiggo was born in Ghent in Belgium and had an Aussie dad, and Froome is a South African educated Kenyan, so not British at all.
Matt and Robbies commentary has not given me the same material to pick apart that Phil and Paul used to, but maybe Matt is sinking into the role. I heard a couple of choice comments. “Valverde, first of the real contenders to crack”. Matt is an encyclopedia of cycling, but calling Valverde a real contender was as stupid as Phil Liggett saying that George Hincapie would be a real GC contender after LA retired. I heard Matt say “Front of the bike race” so now I am just waiting for a “Suitcase of courage”!
I did have a laugh in the wrap-up with Tommo and Robbie when Tommo said “It doesn’t get much better than this, does it Robbie”. Robbie replied “I don’t actually know Tommo….”
It was a bad day for my sisters team, Fat lasses at the back as she lost her top three riders in one fell swoop. And another special mention to my God daughters team, The Jazz Singer, who is now down to three riders.
Sicknote 3 consolidated his lead at the top with G’s historic win. Heartthrobs 3 moved into 2nd spot with Sam Green Machine slipping to 3rd. No change at the bottom with Il Papa holding on to the Lantern Rouge from Orange Cycle Lady 1. Big mover mention today goes to 21 Guns up 67 spots to start his run for a top 50 place.
Some calmer waters tonight I feel, before the madness starts again with the mountain top finish on Saturday night to Mende.