Stage 7 10-7-10
Today was meant to be the day when we tasted the big mountains, although no one really thought there would be any big differences between the GC riders. The general notion was that they would ride up to the top together and someone who could climb a bit would win the sprint after the final three kilometres, slightly downhill at the end. Before that they cruised through a rather nicely forested mountain landscape, just behind the break of five which had been away the entire afternoon. Both the maillot à pois (mountains) of Jerome Pineau and the champion of Germany, Knees, and the pocket rocket Samuel Dumoulin were in the break. I guess everyone knew it would be doomed. Except for Pineau trying and keeping the jersey.
A bit less to say today, birthday party that will start just half an hour after the end of the stage. Even a nutter like me does not let the blog stand in the way of all events with real people. Have to say that the descents seem a great pleasure on this route through the Jura. Long, but not too steep, not necessary to use the brakes much. You just uncurl down the mountain. At 90kph, very pleasant for the riders. Nice friendly mountains, apparently the coldest place in France -41 a couple decades back. Also hot in summer. You tell I am writing this as the stage unfolds. Just grabbing their musettes with food and drink as I type.
Friend rang, so I lost the 'live thread'. To be honest, watching the big time lads just move up the mountain at their leisure. No real sense of urgency. A few people had fun racing. Chavanel crowing about his great job. I guess he did OK, but a race where a second string rider like Sylvain wins two stages does not say much about the others. On the other hand he was the only one who cared, so I guess he got his reward. I just can't like him much. His interviews are really really boring. Legs of fire, that's the velo, hundred percent, my courage and panache, and so forth.
Notice Andy is back in White, so things seem a bit normal, although Chavanel and Pineau I hope change tunics soon.
So I got back from the party at nearly 0100, very late indeed, for me, but totally sober. I can't drink presently. So no blog work. If I spend much time on it this morning, it will mar the day, already full with the Tour and the Footie. So let me me just post this. Sad for me to see Edvald Boasson Hagen (EBH) dropped so dramatically. Ditto for Geraint Thomas. I guess it leaves them both free to help Wiggo now, but I had hoped to see more of those two young riders in the future, maybe even later in the Tour. Good to see Hesjedal up so high, although I wonder if he can handle heavy mountains. I don't think so. I have no explanation for why Klöden got dropped, maybe he has some clever move planned for today, on the last climb. Sacrificial attack or something. Reading down the top ten I find it really odd to see Van Summeren's name there. Great hunk of a guy, not someone who should be in the top ten after a climb.
Glad Fabian has had his moments of glory, but also that my rivals in the Fantasy League stop picking up points for him. I am way down the table now, as I didn't pick him and he has done really well. Bad mistake.
Must get ready for today. Should be able to get something written between the end of the Tour and the Footie, although some of you don't have to watch the after Tour show, like I do.