Back to the mountains. On paper, the Grand Colombier is a monster. In my opinion, it is the toughest mountain in France, with sections at 12%. Nevertheless, its location 43 km from the finish changes the story altogether. Rather than a single devastating attack, I see a group of five or six strong riders break away and then come together before the finish. This is a classical but always exciting scenario, especially if one of the big names is missing from the breakaway. Look out just before the riders reach Bellegarde-sur-Valserine: we found a small bump which could very well make things easier for the finish line judge...
I can see this stage being nuts, but I can't see anyone winning the tour here. This is a stage to lose a lot of time to a lot of riders, not a stage to gain a lot of time.* I'm hoping Tejay is gonna stay up and defend white, and I think Nibali is going to be under a lot of pressure to stay with Evans and Wiggins and Froome. Currently there's a big break with a lot of names in, including of course, Peter Sagan
*At least on the climbing, we could see some foot out flat out descending.
Some pretty cool pictures. And got to handy it to Martin, 12th with a broken wrist and a puncture. Definitely not his tour. He's off back home now, and I think that's the right thing to do.
Rorschach is proving to be very stubborn, but there's always a silver lining. For example, I can now spell Rorschach without even thinking. I've cracked into the top 10, and plan to only move up from now on..
A few useful links