Stage 13 and it was going to be a blistering hot day in the sun out in the fields of southern France on the 198.5 km route to Rodez.
Over to the kitchen and everyone thought Gabs had lost his marbles slaving over a cauldron of creamy celeriac and Roquefort soup. He was working on the theory that having something hot will cool the riders down. That’s our Gabs, the peloton always comes first. But I’m intrigued by the addition of Roquefort, wasn’t that a TV series from the 70s?
How slack was it of me not posting the buerremetric counter last time we met? There wasn’t any butter in the lamb stew so no biggy but there’s 20g of butter in the soup which takes the buerremetric counter to 200g!
Right from the start the breakies were on the move with Alexandre Geniez, Thomas De Gendt and musicians Cyril Gotye and Wilco Kelderman. Aussie Nathan Hass and Pierre-Luc Périchon, who are not musicians but cyclists joined the group.
The chase was on lead by the Giant-Alpecin team who were hoping to catch the breakies to see if they could flog some of their shampoo to them.
Co-starring Oleg Tinkov, as himself
Then at 64km to go Jean – Christophe Peraud had a nasty crash and a wafer thin layer of breathable fabric offers little protection against a cheese grater rough road. He got up, badly bleeding, knicks shredded and got back on his bike whilst the mobile medics taped up his arms.
What a trooper, he even got back to bottle duty collecting bidons from the team car. Must have been really hot out there, those bottles weren’t just sticky they were literally melting to his hand. Hmmm, but who could really blame him after leaving skin and part of his knicks on the road?
Oh yes, what we also learned from that crash is just what a pro-cyclist wears under his knicks, which is pretty much the same as what a Scotsman ‘wears’ under his kilt.
As the day wore on the temperature kept climbing. Bidons, tyres, riders, everything was melting out there except the nasty little climbs. Paul spotted one climb ‘that doesn’t have a descent’ which we presume keeps on going forever out past Pluto.
Still the breakies lead the chase ,’like a carrot out the front of a donkey’. What, Euskaltel Euskadi is back Paul?
Haas went on the attack at 24 km to go and De Gendt and musicians Gotye and Wilco were all swallowed up by the pack just short of the line. It was good to see OGE Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews working up front after that horrible crash in the first week.
Greg van Avermaet and Peter Sagan surged on the charge for the line and van Avermaet was just too good and it was yet another second place finish for Sagan.
Chris Froome held his lead and with a bit over a week of racing to go it looks like he’ll be wearing yellow all the way to Paris.