Yes, I’m late today. It’s a Sunday. I was enjoying life.
A stage of spectacular scenery and an intriguing finish.
5. Sagan watch
Peter Sagan really fucked up Stage 13. After the stage he admitted that he just miscalculated how close the finish line was, and ran out of time to come around Greg van Avermaet.
So yes, he was angry.
So angry, in fact, that he got into the break again and spent the day hunting points for the maillot vert (which takes precedence over the unofficial bridesmaid’s jersey I would have him wearing).
He couldn’t quite follow the accelerations up the last climb, but he still managed to catch the proverbial bouquet and finish 5th.
Another chance in Stage 15?
4. The Yates boy
Simon Yates, today. He got in the break, and looked super comfortable following wheels on the final (steep!) climb to Mende. When he closed down Romain Bardet I really thought he could win the stage.
He didn’t, but gee it was impressive for a 22 year old. He is going to win a stage pretty soon. The only question is whether Simon or his brother Adam will do it first and get family bragging rights forever.
3. French farce
Just when it looked like the two ‘it’ boys of French cycling, Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot, would fight it out for stage victory, it all went horribly wrong.
Both were tipped before the race as potential GC performers, and both have stuttered and lost time. In fact they’ve both been having a shocker.
Pinot had managed to reel in Bardet by the top of the final climb, and it looked for all the world like a two-man sprint, but neither wanted to lead the other out.
The cat and mouse games backfired spectacularly when Steve Cummings, a 34 year old journeyman Brit, came flying past the two dilly-dallying French enfants prodiges on the downhill run to the line.
They used to deport Brits to Australia for heists that brazen.
2. People are pissed off with Froome
Somebody apparently threw piss at Chris Froome.
Who the hell does that?
It didn’t seem to affect his performance: he extended his lead over everyone except Nairo Quintana (who moved past Tejay van into second position on GC).
1. MTN-Qhubeka gets its first Tour stage win
Steve Cummings won his first Tour stage, and the first for his MTN-Qhubeka squad. It came on Mandela Day, of all days, giving it extra meaning for the South African-registered team (as if it was needed).
Not only did it give everyone except the French a warm fuzzy feeling, it also completely vindicates ASO’s decision to grant the African Pro Continental team a wildcard entry to the race (if Daniel Teklehaimanot’s brief stay in the polka-dot jersey wasn’t enough).
It was a smart winning move from Cummings, showing his experience and strength to make Pinot and Bardet look extremely silly.
Kumbaya that, boys.