This is turning into one of the best tours in years. With Ineos, without the climbing firepower they normally have there is very little control in the race. What that brings is old school attacking riding from the 80s. Appropriate that the French are doing well as it was the last Frenchman who won, Hinault, who rode in this manner. Maybe, on reflection I do know what I am talking about! Suck on that Tommo! Year of the French, tick, Alaphilippe will crack, tick. Although it was a small crack, only losing the time gains he made the day before. He still has a 1:35 lead on Thomas going into the 2nd rest day. Pinot was the strongest again with some solid attacking, but Chapeaux to David Gaudu who has set it up for Pinot 2 days in a row, with some amazing pulling on the front. G spotted the chink in Alaphilippes yellow jersey and with the human coat-hanger, Kruijswijk, they jumped away to claw back a few precious seconds. Bernal got a few seconds back on G, to keep Ineos’s 2 pronged attack intact. But what is great is that 2nd through to 6th are only separated by 39 seconds. This race is wide open, or will be once Alaphilippe cracks in the Alpes, and crack he will. It does pain me to say that though. I would love to see the exciting Frenchman hang on to Paris, but right now it looks like Pinot is the one the French need to turn to to end the drought.

Of the others, Richie had the best ride getting some time back on Uran and Fuglsang to sit in 11th. maybe he can scramble for a top 5 spot over the 3 big days in the Alpes. But he will need a few of the guys ahead of him to have really bad days.

2nd rest day mean prizes and a redraw. Italian Chris just manages to hang on to top spot and $30 from a fast finishing Giant Scott who moves into 2nd place and $20. TMV4 drops a place but gets the final prize of $10. Big mover into the top 20 today was Fattboi, up 8 places to 13th. Biggest mover, and getting his 2nd biggest mover mention in just a few days was The Trab, up 73 places thanks to Yates and Landa. Puffy hangs on to the cellar dweller tag, but week one Lantern Rouge, Merrill Bani, is making another challenge for the bottom spot. Killing Spree gets kudos again for the tasty headline, ensuring a hat trick of mentions for the ESCC boys.

Today is also the 2nd rest day redraw. There will be a note out once I have cooked the books. I fly to Europe and France tonight. On the rest day so that you don’t miss out on my reporting. We are so lucky in Perth as this is the best place to watch the Tour in the world. I will not get to see the tour for the 2 days I am in the UK as I don’t believe it is on free TV, and when in France on Thursday and Friday I will be at work while they are racing. No stage finish in Paris over the weekend either as I will be in the west. Bad planning on my part…