Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been fairly silent about this year’s Tour de France. To be honest the first week was kinda hard to watch – and I was not really motivated to write about it much. It is unfortunate when the most dramatic moments of the race have been the result of folks surviving through horrible crashes. Sure, I’ve mumbled short quips on Twitter, and we’ve been discussing stages over in the VeloReviews forums, but no real write ups here at JustAnotherCyclist.
Things appear to have turned around today though.
It was a fantastic stage with the drama marked by – get this – folks racing their bikes. I only saw the final 10Km after I came in from my morning ride, but that 10Km was filled with attack after attack after attack. Voeckler in the yellow jersey is fantastic. Not only is the guy a fighter to begin with, he’s got a couple of minutes (at least 2:37 if I recall correctly) over the primary GC contenders, and is therefore highly motivated to pick up precious seconds before getting into the true climbing stages.
This motivation lead to the yellow jersey being out front – on the attack. This is different from the normal strategy of the whole team working to protect the yellow jersey.
The attack out front was picked up in the end though. The peloton was driven in the final kilometers predominately part by Jens Voigt, pulling the group along with a grimace on his face to protect the Schlecks. In addition, it seemed like the entire peloton was hell-bent on destroying HTC Columbia today. That, combined with the numerous turns going into the finish line, created some difficulties for the Columbia lead out train. It came down to Cavendish and Greipel in a sprint to the line.
But enough of my analysis. Check out the final kilometer for yourself.