Last nights stage lived up to expectations, from the drama of the attacks at the front to the drama of whether a broken Peter Sagan would make the time cut, the stage had it all. Sagan would have to use all of his experience and toughness to get through arguable the toughest stage, and as experience is simply the name we give our mistakes, he was paying dearly for the mistake of two days ago when he tested gravity, and lost. Riding with one butt muscle has got to hurt. To lose Peter Perfect from the tour in such a way would be very sad, but he had just about all his team mates, as well as Demare and his team mates, to get them through it. In the end they came in “comfortably” 8 minutes within the time limit. He was wearing the mask of pain on the first climb, and was really having to reach into the suitcase of courage. Not sure he found much in there. Thankfully by the final climb we were concentrating on the front and did not have to watch him suffer. It was painful just watching. Have I mentioned Neymar recently?

The pointy end was all the attacking that I hoped it would be. Bardet and Landa went early to try and gap Sky. But they were eventually brought back just before the top of the final climb. Dumoulin tried a couple of digs but was marked well by Thomas. Roglic went and was marked by Froome. In the end, Roglic got away on the descent, I guess ex ski jumpers have no fear. Big Tom accused him of using the motorbikes but I couldn’t see much in it. Plus it was hard for the bikes to get out of the way, and without them, we would have no coverage. He managed to get 19 seconds on the select group that finished, with G sprinting for 2nd place, having ridden impeccably all day. Roglic overhauled Froome for 3rd and is just behind Doumoulin in 2nd, setting up a fascinating top 10 in the Time Trial tonight.

No change at the top with Sam Green Machine and Sicknote 3 dueling it out. One of our big charity teams, Snicko 2 makes his move, up 7 to slip into 3rd. With Dumoulin, Roglic and Durbo in his team there is a good chance he will score big tonight, but has he left his run too late. Probably no points on Sunday, but when the jersey tallies are done he is looking like one of our favourites. No change with the bottom three with The Jazz Singer holding on. Big mover mention goes to Simmie up 73 places, this will be a test to see if he reads my reports! He only just pipped Donald Russian Masseuse who was up 72 spots and deserved a mention for their team name! Finally a special mention to the other Mr Sagan for her team Mrs Sagan 3. She is down to just two riders. I think she will still have them in Paris though. We have never had anyone finish with no riders, but I think she may be the closest yet. On the good news front she may be back in the game as I heard Peter Perfect was getting divorced…

Time to hoe into Tommo time. After the stage question to Macca – “Unless something drastic happens tomorrow or Sunday, can we assume that Thomas will win the Tour?” Master of stating the bleeding obvious. Macca was talking about a Polish rider who helped Sagan get back after the 1st climb. Tommo suggested Majka. Majka was up front all day, not helping Sagan. Macca didn’t ask him to name any Polish rider, maybe Tommo misunderstood the question. Finally he made the statement that the Welsh punch above their weight, citing the football team at the European champs, and their rugby team. Tommo, you missed to obvious and most relevant example. Geraint Thomas, if he wins, will be the 2nd Welsh rider to win the Tour de France. Nicole Cooke, won the ladies version twice and is probably the best British cyclist in history. Especially considering the women did not get paid a shekel in those days, and mostly had to win on their own ability rather than having stong teams around them.

Finally, SBS have Gabriel Gate to talk about food, you only have me. Tonight I will be cooking Axoa, a veal and pepper stew spiced with piment d’Espelette, from where the TT finishes. I liked this page as they used the same WordPress schema that I did. I may try and cook a Basque gateau as well. maybe next year I will add a food segment to my reports…

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