You’re interested in the Tour De France but don’t know a thing about bike racing? Well thats why this year I’m writing the Tour De France for Normal People. To help you understand each stage in 3 simple take aways. Hopefully to take the mystery out of Grand Tour racing and help you get more into the sport.
Stage 13: Saint-Girons to Foix
Today’s stage was another stage for the climbers and overall contenders. The stage was also short by tour standards at 101km or 60 miles. Top cap off the super short stage it was also Bastille day in France. Bastille day is similar to the 4th of July in the USA. This created for a pot that is ready to boil over and as we saw today it was a very exciting day of racing.
A win for the French on Bastille Day
Sunweb’s Barguil became the 1st Frenchman to win on Bastille day sense 2005. To win a stage in the Tour de France is a big deal for any professional cyclist. But to be French and to win on Bastille day is to write your name in the history books. Barguil lead the race from the 1st km and continued to run away with the king of the mountains jersey, ie the polka dot jersey. Unless something tragic were to happen he will likely wear the polka dots in Paris.
You might also be wondering, if the Tour is won in the mountains how is it that Barguil is not the overall race leader and wearing yellow as well? That’s a great question. Barguil thus far is over 14 mins behind the current race leader Aru. As such the top 5 to 10 riders in the race don’t have a problem with Barguil breaking away early being the first one over the mountains to win the polka dots. As they will keep him within 1 to 2 mins and he will never be able to make up 14mins to take the overall lead and the yellow jersey. Barguil lost so much time early on in the race he was never in contention for the overall race leader. Contador, who is always a favorite to win the tour every time he lines up at the start in July is 5mins back and has thrown in the towel on winning yellow this year. As 5mins is a lot of time to gain back in the tour and an almost impossible feat.
A glimpse of the former Contador
Today we saw a glimpse of what Contador was capable of. I remember watching the tour 2006 through 2009 when Contador was in his prime as he danced up the climbs. He would eventually go on to win the 2007 and 2009 Tours. It was also interesting to watch Spain’s future cyclist, Landa, pair up with his idol Contador but more on that later.
Drama for Team Sky
Sky’s Landa attacked on yesterday’s stage and then worked in the break away with Contador leaving his team captain Froome a few mins back. Landa now sits in 5th place only 1 min back from the leader, Aru. After yesterday’s stage we saw a bit of drama with Sky’s management as Landa arrived back to the bus. Teams and riders are not allowed to announce rider moves and trades until August. But we found out today that Landa is leaving team Sky and has signed with Movistar for 2018. With Landa in 5th place and clearly not interested in working for Froome it will be interesting to see how this drama shakes out over the next week.