The Tour lit up last night in the 2nd day in the Alps. Finally we saw some attacks from Movistar and Sunweb. You would think with their firepower Movistar should be able to put Sky under a bit of trouble, but their tactics seem odd. Valverde went way too early in my opinion. Doumoulin attacked on the final descent and bridged across, but Valverde was cooked by this time, so Big Tom pushed on. Sky just rode tempo without panicking, with a little help from Bahrain-Merida so the gap never got much over two minutes. Once Valverde was brought back it should have been alleged team leader Quintana, or Landa to go over the top. But they didn’t. Instead with 6km to go Thomas went for it. Froome sat up to bluff the other GC riders into chasing, and eventually Bardet did. But then, in my opinion, Froome did the unspeakable. He attacked, risking bringing the others back to Thomas. True friends stab you in the front, and that seemed to me to be what Froome was doing. Then with about 1km to go and Nieve, or “Frosty” as his mates call him, looking like taking the stage, Thomas went again, recreating the very same attack he made in the Dauphine. Frosty was melting and Thomas went on to a famous victory. Froome attacked again, but Big Tom latched on, and managed to outsprint the Kenyan on the line for 2nd to spoiul a Sky 1:2.
In the end Bardet, Nibbles, Quintana and Roglic all lost another 50 seconds to Froome. The big loser was Adam Yates who cracked and lost a few minutes. Dan Martin managed to get some time back on all of them as well with a gutsy attack in the final stages. H really is hard as nails after the crash on Sunday. The big question now is will team orders come into play with the familiar sight of a Sky 1:2 in the GC with Thomas leading Froome by 1:25. Dumoulin is still in touch however being only 20 seconds further back. It should make for an interesting race to l’alpe d’huez tonight.
The other big losers were Cavendish and Kittel who both finished outside the time limit. No second chances, sent home. So if they are your sprinters this week don’t worry. There is only a sniff of a sprint tomorrow night, with Saturday and Sunday both lumpy days. So hope for a Sagan or Gaviria in the Rest Day redraw on Monday.
Finally a change at the top of the comp, with Sicknote 3 jumping 4 spots to displace Chuck Charity 17 at the top. Sam Green Machine moving into 2nd spot. The Evil Elf did not last long at the bottom as Il Papa asserts himself to regain the lantern rouge position. Big mover was Stockcarracer green, up 106 spots thanks to having both Froome and Thomas. Special mention to Rusty Dog, who went up 50 spots, despite having lost half his team.