In my opinion, this could very well end up being the key stage of the Tour! The course is just 157 km long, but it has been designed to promote attacks and comebacks. If a favourite loses three minutes on the previous day's final climb, he will get the chance to make amends on this stage. There is a succession of six climbs, including the Col de la Croix a mere 16 km from the finish. This 3.7 km climb with an average gradient of 9.2% is a terrific launch pad! In short, this course is reminiscent of the one in Les Rousses, where Sylvain Chavanel stole the show two years ago. Back then, Andy Schleck regretted not having scouted the stage beforehand. This time he cannot say no-one has warned him. He's had plenty of time to scout it while he hasn't been riding the tour. Honestly, does no one ever update these things?
Does feel like a day for a break, and also for some of the guys who have lost big time to have a go at a bit of redemption. Ryder, Chavanel, Frank, et al might all try something. Could also be looking for Cadel or Wiggins to drop the other on the final climb and then try and stay away till the finish line.. Unlikely though I feel.
Some pretty cool pics, but the real one from stage 7 that I love is below..
SAGAN IS BOSS. I don't know about you, but I can't power wheelie a road bike (although I don't think I've ever tried - maybe it's easy).
I've got around 800 points to haul back, and I'm already 1 man down. I'm wondering if Rorschach has already got too far ahead..
A few useful links