There were rumours that the tears of the French fans when Pinot abandoned, caused the snow and hail storm that saw the finish of yesterdays reduced. The shortening of the stage had some advantages to the French riders however. Even though the French experts think that Alaphilippe could have got back on on the descent, he was not making ground up on Bernal, and in the end he would have lost another 2 or 3 minutes on the final climb to Tignes. Not doing the climb allowed him to stay in contention for the podium. He missed out on that today but managed to hold on to 5th place, which is a fantastic result. If Bernal had managed to win in Tignes yesterday he would have had enough points to take the KOM jersey. As such Bardet won that by a mere 8 points, thanks to the lack of points yesterday.
Joking aside, what a race. The French were certainly not invisible this year with Alaphilippe in yellow for most of the race and Pinot animating in the Pyrenees. Alaphilippe’s courage for the fight was brilliant to watch. But in the end most of the spoils go to other nations. Bernal takes Colombia’s first ever Tour de France victory, barring disaster tomorrow. Thomas makes it a Ineos 1:2. Kruijswijk and Jumbo Visma tried to animate the stage and make it hard, but they could not shake the Ineos pair. But their tour was hardly a failure with 4 stage wins so far. Movistar on the other hand, came in with their usual confusing plan, and came away with the consolation of the team prize, a prize they win a lot, but no one remembers. Nibbles won the stage to salvage something for his efforts in the final week.
I think I got dropped today, much like Alaphilippe, struggling to find the words.
Small change in the comp with TMV4 back on top withe the usual suspects sniffing around as we get close to the final countdown. 2 big movers into the top 20 today with Isabelle the Princess of Goulbourn and Cat Six 2 both breaking into the top 20 with jumps of 16 places. Big mover mention goes to Fat Lasses at the Back 1, up 105 places to go from nowhere to somewhere just north of nowhere. No change at the botom with Rusty Dog holding a firm grip on the Lantern Rouge.
Roll on tomorrow and Caleb Ewans 3rd victory, unless Groenewegen can stop him.