A 191km stage that takes us to Lyon, where, on paper, there is little chance of the sprinters being in contention. Once again the exception to that rule is Peter Sagan, who has got a broader range of talent than the usual candidates for the green jersey. In addition, he should find this finish is right up his street since it is located after the Côte de la Croix-Rousse and the Côte de la Duchère. In short, it's a tricky stage, and certainly tricky enough for Lotto and Quick Step to have no interest in pace-making? Before the rendezvous with the Ventoux, there is another scenario too. A number of the baroudeurs will put a tick next to this stage. That could mean there is strength in numbers...
I think I could write a small book on yesterday's stage, but I'll just say this: The stage, from start to finish, was a masterclass of tactics. If you didn't watch it, watch some highlights. Best stage of the tour so far.
Alternatively, just read this
I was quiet yesterday in an attempt not to jinx anything. It didn't work, so screw it. Cav will win. He has to. It's just not fair anymore.
He still has to win in Paris though, beating him there should be a bannable offense.
Today is a very tough one to call. I reckon Flecha might be one (among many) to watch, but I think Cannondale will be looking to set it up for Sagan, like in stage 7. It's not that hilly, but it is too hilly I think for Cav, Greipel, Kittel, to be in for a chance. Could a long break stay away? I think the safest bet is Sagan, but could be really really wrong.
There's going to be a lot of tired legs after yesterday, and tomorrow is going to be hard too (although no huge wind predicted, and warm, not stupidly hot), so surely the GC guys will want to take it easy today? This year, who knows?
A technical finish - a small, twisty climb with 10km to go, and then a series of sharp turns, before straightening out for the final 3km.
A few useful links
After yesterday's chaos, Ro5ey`s Roulers by andy rose takes first place in the fantasy league. Of course, I'm still at the bottom of the loser league, and while I can appreciate Contador's brilliant move yesterday, it disgusts me that he's picking up points...
I actually did more watts in the sprint over to the front group than I did in the finish.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/contador-i-still-have-to-attack-in-the-alps - on making yesterday's move
https://www.change.org/petitions/aso-amaury-sports-organization-allow-female-professional-cycling-teams-to-race-the-tour-de-france - a petition to create a women's Tour de France
Have a look at this too, notice how his day doesn't involve getting it stuck under the finish line, I like that - it's professional.