Shout out to Killing Spree for today’s headline. Been getting some good ideas from my understudy, and in fact yesterdays headline inspiration also came from him. After 12 years I am up to about 240 headlines, so it’s getting harder to come up with some new material.
First foray into the high mountains but it was never going to be a GC battle. There was still 30km of peddling required from the top of the last climb, and the GC guys are saving their legs for the ITT tonight. So a massive break of 42 riders got away. I would like to know who the accountant was to work out if any of them were a threat! Sagan hulked the sprint points but on the last climb it was on for stage glory. Trentin did a great job to help the other Yates brother at the front and he went over the top with Mühlberger , quickly followed by Bilbao. The trio worked well together on the descent, ensuring that the chasers never got much within a minute. The tricky bit for Yates was outsprinting Mühlberger, who had recently pushed Alaphilippe in a sprint that went to a photo finish. But the Yates boys are smart riders. He made sure he went into the final corner in first place, blocking the Austrian against the barriers, with Bilbao completing the block. Then with 200m to go unleashed his sprint. There was nothing the Austrian could do and in fact even got taken on the line by the unlikely Bilbao.
Unfortunately the news of Yates getting his maiden TdF stage to complete the grand tour set, was overshadowed by the strange departure from the race of Rohan Dennis. On my way to work I did some reading and it seems he is a difficult prickly character. A lot of people seem to think he is unhappy with his TT bike and had a bit of a dummy spit the day before the ITT where he was obviously the favourite. I am sure the truth will come out in the days/weeks to come, but to leave the tour like this, in my opinion, is disrespectful. It is the pinnacle of many riders career to just race this race. I am sure there was another Bahrain Merida rider who would have loved to be there. Although there does seem to be a great disquiet in that team with Nibbles leaving at the end of this season as well.
Same three culprits at the top with Italian Chris earning just enough points (45) so take top spot again. TMV4 up one and Snicko 5 down 2. Big mover into the top 20 was Sicknote 4, up 18 spots into 6th thanks to Yates and Trentin. Biggest mover was The Trab, up 88 spots to almost break the top 100. Puffy drags himself off the bottom a couple of days earlier than I thought he would to leave the door open for Fat Lasses at the back 1 to take sole ownership of the Lantern Rouge.
Should be another shake up in the fight for yellow tonight. I think Alaphilippe will hold on to yellow until tomorrow. He is not a bad TT rider, but not as good as Thomas or Bernal. But the yellow jersey gives you wings, so he may surprise. It will be interesting if the Ineos pair put a bit more time into the other GC riders. It is a big night for Porte who is almost 3 minutes back on G. He can Time trial, but will he be able to take any time back. I suspect the TT is too short to make that miuch of a different. It will certainly be in interesting stage.