I was nervous getting up this morning. Did England beat Denmark and did Cav beat the time limit? Watching on the SBS Tour tracker he was right at the back with 5 Quickstep teammates for company, they were all-in to save him. But going into the final climb he was more than 20 minutes back, and then the SBS Tour tracker stopped tracking the back markers! I was as interested in that as what was happening at the front. Wout Van Aert, “climbs alright for a fat bloke”, something Bif used to say about me. He is like a better version of Sagan. He can sprint better than Sagan, he can climb better than Sagan, and he isn’t a nob like Sagan. I loved the look on his face after he went solo, trance like. It was like he was shutting down all non-essential systems to just get blood to his legs. I thought, if the Pog goes, he will mow him down by the top. But obviously the Pog was playing poker, and for once did not have a full house. Great attack from Vinegaard. But don’t be fooled by the commentators, it does not give anyone hope of pulling back more than 5 minutes on the Pog! I was initially worried it was an Astana 2009, attack your team mate moment, but suspect he was under instructions from the team, when they figured Wout was safe to go over the top first. Aussie sport reporters who sometimes have no clue, sorry Macca, you are in that group, and I even hate to say it, Keeno last night. O’Conner wins in Tignes and suddenly it is not off the cards he can get yellow. What are you thinking Macca? I expect that rubbish from Tommo. Obviously he went really deep to win the Tignes stage, he is not a proven 3 week stage racer (yet), he is going to have to give the tickets he borrowed back, and so he did yesterday. And Keeno, last night when they showed O’Conner in the yellow group, “riding his own rhythm”. I looked at that image from the chopper and I recognized the squares he was pedaling, having been there many many times. Sure enough next shot he was going out the back. Come on Keeno, you used to race FFS!

To quote another rubbish reporter, O’Dirty from the CCC Gazette in his rest day report, “I just hope he can get over the double ascent of the Ventoux…. I think he may win one more and be agonizingly close at #33, that is the way the universe kicks you in the butt.”. Cav proved me wrong last night, but can he get to Paris, I will say no so he can keep proving me wrong, as that seems to be working. The butter is in the pan, and I am slicing the hat as we speak, and for desert I will be having some humble pie…

Cavendish is all class, even while battling the time limit, although by the time they got to the Simpson memorial I suspect they knew they were safe, he took time to honour Tommy Simpson. https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/watch-mark-cavendish-tips-his-helmet-to-tom-simpson-as-he-battles-mont-ventoux. Plus Sagan is not really a nob, he also paid his respects to Simpson.

Last night was both beautiful and painful for me to watch. I did the same climb of Ventoux from Bédoin, then descending to Malaucène in 2004 with Bif. It’s funny how they say the climb starts at the restaurant on the corner with 17km to go, rather than in Bédoin at 22km to go. I had heard that morsel of useless information when I struck out from coffee in Bédoin. However, I was already in my lowest gear by that corner and the prospect of another 2 hours in and out of the saddle. When I said I rode the climb with Bif, well we were on it at the same time at some point, he finished 20 minutes ahead of me. I did do him in the sprint to Vaison-la-Romaine after the descent though…