It’s been two weeks since Le Tour’s Grand Départ on the I'île de Beauté. As thoughts turned to the daunting task of conquering Mont Ventoux on Sunday, today’s stage had its share of lumps and bumps on the 191km parcours.
Gabriel Gate made some Cervelle de Canut or Lyonnais cheese dip with herbs to go with the baguettes in the musette bags. In a pinch the riders could also use it as chamois cream being a longish stage. No butter, but this could almost be forgiven since the main ingredient is fromage frais. No movement in the Beurremetric counter which stays on 286g.
Phil and Paul couldn’t help but reflect on yesterday’s remarkable stage. Paul pondered over what might have been had Valverde (Movistar) handled his ‘mechanical incident’ differently. Well Paul, it’s like this - Valverde punctured, and unless Valverde fancied running all the way to the finish the options were pretty much restricted to a wheel change or change the wheel.
With 150km to go mark 18 brave souls broke away despite having being told by the peloton “there will be no escapes from this camp”. The mission was simple, escape from Sagan. No need for tunnels or a variety of ruses to fool the peloton, short of stealing a motorcycle they were away with only a handful caught at the sprint finish.
Jill Bear wasn't so lucky in his escape attempt
On the last climb Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenWEDGE) was out the front and another stage win for the OGEWagon was looking likely until Oooomega Farmer Quick-Stop’s Matteo Trentin pipped him at the finish. Froome Dog hung on to yellow and he looked a little happier collecting another stuffed lion in Lyon than the day before.
The 15th stage sees the riders arrive at the ‘roof of Provence’ on the French national holiday Bastille Day. So far the French haven’t won a stage in this year’s Tour. The fact the Germans have bagged five must be shitting them right up a wall.