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« Curious goings on | Main | What’s in a Name? »

So far, so good

Nine days of racing, and the Tour de France has reached the first rest day. The Yellow Jersey has been worn by four different people, four stages were won with pretty spectacular solo breakaways, and all top ten riders in the General Classification are a minute and one second apart. (Actually Teejay VanGarderen is 11th with the same time as Alejandro Valverde in 10th.)

A pretty good start I would say. Mark Cavendish won on the first day and took the Yellow Jersey for the first time in his career. The next day World Champion Peter Sagan won the stage and took over the race leader’s jersey. The so called curse of the Rainbow Stripes does not seem to affect Sagan.

Peter Sagan would wear yellow for three days until Greg VanAvermaet won Stage 5 with a long solo breakaway that took over five minutes out of everyone else. Enough of a lead to allow the Belgian rider to hang on to the lead for three more days, even though he is not noted as a climber.

Stage 7 was won by British rider Steve Cummings with another solo break. VanAvermaet came in 5th that day and actually took more time out of the top contenders, but he would lose it all the following day.

Stage 8: The first big mountain stage that went over four major climbs, including the Col du Tourmalet. However, it was on the descent from the final climb of the Col de Peyresourde to the finish, that Chris Froome took 13 seconds out of the second place rider, to take the Yellow Jersey.

Stage 9 was held in torrential rain. Tom DuMoulin gave us another solo victory, while the GC contenders duked it out further down the mountain. Chris Froome attacked several times, and Nario Quintana seemed to follow him each time with comparative ease. But Quintana never attacked himself, and when Dan Martin, Adam Yates, or Richie Porte attacked the Colombian let Froome do the chasing.

I think Quintana is holding back to see if Froome breaks later on in the race. Dan Martin is an exciting attacking rider, so I don’t rule him out for a podium place. Adam Yates too could be near the top, and he must surely be a future TDF winner.

Richie Porte is climbing well but is over two minutes down in 18th place. He is gradually clawing his way back to the top ten after losing 1 min. 45 sec. with a puncture near the end of stage 3. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Aussie in or near a podium spot.

Whatever happens, I am looking forward to the rest of it. What say you?


Go to SteepHillTV for full results, more picures and videos.

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Reader Comments (14)


One of the better TDF's post Lance. I like is most because of the assortment of winners, attacks, etc that we have had. Looking forward to the next couple of weeks.


July 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJack Gabus

I like the way the route is laid out this year, and hope the sprinters are able to hang in through the climbing to make the flat stages as exciting as the mountains can be. Froome's descent in Stage 8 was quite wild to watch. I still think we might hear a bit more from Bryan Coquard on the flats and Romain Bardet on a climb or two, but I'm thinking Quintana in the end.

July 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Maher

Dave I think so far the most impressive win, was Froome's downhill ride. I have never seen any rider get in such a position on a bike and still PEDAL like he did at the speed he did going DOWN HILL!!!

July 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

Definitely like the race better than last years crash-fest! Until stage 8 or 9, ALL the riders were still in it. Very cool.

Should be interesting to see who, if anyone, can beat Froome!

July 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Katz

Stage 12 Thoughts:

In the Baja 1000 what happens on the course is part of racing. Spectators dying, “booby traps”, Cartels’ helios crashing, silt beds, rocks, cows in the road, broken vehicles, broken people, making each race unique.
Something to be proud of.

To give back the Yellow Jersey to Froome, to have Human Intervention make “Things right”, ruins what was once a beautiful race to watch and participate in. Did Lance cry Foul after being pulled off his bike by a little girl? Did Beloki cry Foul when his tyre rolled, ending his career? All part of the race. Used to be.

Now, favoritism has more to do with results than what happens on the course.

Is this something to respect?
I know more and more spectators don’t respect the race (Ref: Someone pulling the generator plug and collapsing the 1K to Go banner, earlier in the Tour), nor the racers. Do the Tour organizers have to go along with that sentiment?

July 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I think it was interesting on the stage with the crash into the motor bike, Froome had pulled away from Quintana and he could not respond. So I am sure now that Froome if all goes well for him will get win #3. The crash was a disgrace to the TDFOrg. Fan control has been as always very lax, The TDF Org have to start installing barriers on all the mountain stages. The idiots that come to watch are not there to watch but to be seen. They remind me on the British hooligans that have ruined the Soccer Football matches. All the money that must be made with the TDF you would think they could afford to pay for some crowd control that would prevent these accidents

July 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

Froome is a great cycle. I think I support him.

July 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHarold G. Sizemore

The race is great. And how many people took part in this race?

July 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames L. Buller

Crowd Control?!?

Promoting the idea that people need to be controlled only pisses off those of us with self-control.
We also have self-discipline, drive, ambition, and don’t need government to take that away from us.
Supporting controls only promotes the idea people have no control over what they do. And it ropes all of us decent people into the same group.

The same perverted concept is the basis of gun control, drug control, food control, drink control, speech control, et al. It is not the basis for a free society, but the foundation for taking away such freedom. Anyone agreeing with these controls needs to go live in a cult. Oh, wait, we DO live in a cult!

July 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

wonderfull picture. Everything so nice.

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid P. Hovis

Steve. So according to you and CONTROL We do not need any law enforcement? Let everyone do as they please. The hooligans that I talk about have NO control and their actions could endanger the lives of others. This OK with you?

July 24, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

The crash on Mt. Ventoux was not about crowd control. The M/C stopped suddenly, and not because it hit a spectator. So what was the reason? Ask those that know, cause we still don’t know the real reason.

Anyway, it’s up to the racers not to run into the M/C. Better questions: Why was Porte not ready to stop? Climbing in crowded uphill sections, racers follow M/Cs close, but are also ready to stop at least as quickly as a motorcycle. They ain’t going that fast!
Porte was looking ahead, and unlike Froome who looks at his Wattage too much, he was responsible for stopping in time. He didn’t.
So, to me, they all should have been given times they ended with, not times they were handed.
Oh, and Valverde said same thing after the race, but no news media took his side.
Wonder why?

And, it is the same with that inflatable 1K to Go Banner that came down on Adam Yates. A spectator pulled the generator plug purposely, but to this day, NBCSN and other news outlets claim it was an accident! Bullocks!

Wonder why?

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

What a journey. Every did their best and i loved that. It also is quite a challenging routine.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny K. Armstrong

The pic looks so great, both the people and the landscape. Like it so much.

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichal S. Pickering
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