7.15.2014

Tour de France 10: Who Win the Tour?

Tony Gallopin is struggling in Yellow, almost dropped, at the back of the main peloton. Grateful. The chance he was ready to grab gave him a dreamy day, time now to pay for it. He was aware it wasn't forever. His personal pain is not a drama, he's still a French leader in the Tour de France, and in the French national day. He can still enjoy the road roaring his name. And 'Thomas'. Because of Voeckler.
Thomas Voeckler isn't in shape, he's aging also. No matter the spirit when you have no legs but no matter the legs when you still have the spirit to sprint in front and to make the show. Only... for a little less. Especially when there is a Panzerwagen pulling for you. Tony Martin will say: "There was a little chance, I better try". Tony Martin trying is a nightmare for many. But that little chance was too little. Or he prefers to ride in front, solo, like in time trials. Safer too.
Vincenzo Nibali got the time to think. Let Martin try and re-arrange the route. Paris is still there but after Froome also Contador is out. He had expected another duel today and a more serious one. He was prepared, not eager not scared. Sober. Lets get the job done. But no. Main opponents are falling like leaves in Fall. It's no doubt the weather: November rain and road. So what? Nibali never underrates riders. Talansky doesn't seem good though, Mollema maybe. Richie Porte.  Kwiatowski means to make the race today, mainly for the White. Purito is up there for the Polka and maybe the stage. Don't underrate Purito, don't underrate anybody. 
Last night I dramt of Vincenzo Nibali. He was in hospital, not injuried or sick. He had given a birth! he was exhausted, a serene smile on his face. I got the room door slightly open and there was a lot of people waiting to congratulate. What a weird dream, isn't it? 
So Contador is out. I got the impression that Richie Porte was since the start Team Sky plan A. With an English start an English Team couldn't avoid to start with an Englisg Tour winner. At least one, and Chris Froome was the last one. But he had had a troubled season. Sickness, polemiques. While Richie Porte had said: "I'm not Brit, I'm never going to lead Team Sky in the Tour." And there he is, leading Team Sky, on the wheel of a Welsh. Ready responce to abrupt changes is not Team Sky cup of tea and yes, it took them some stages to realise, but today they are in front leading the chase.  I wonder if with Nibali there have been talks.
La Planche des Belles Filles is just the last one of a series of climbs. Today stages is a monster in the home back yeard. The finish itself is ferocious. Chris Froome here had won his Tour on the team mate and leader Bradley Wiggins, facts re-writing ierarchies. Statistics say that Vincenzo Nibali was going slower, that day and also now. But it's fast enough. And the weather is different. Nobody left up the road - no Martin, no Kwiatowski and not even Purito - Vincenzo Nibali can get the job done. Back to Yellow, more yellow day by day. Paris is still far but still there. Richie Porte is second in the GC now, Team Sky re-assuming a more reassuring role. 
Romain Bardet. Don't underrate the French man. Purito Rodriguez is wearing Polka, and a bitter smile.

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:27:26  
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:15  
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:20  
4 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:22  
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team  
7 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:25  
8 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 0:00:50  
9 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:52  
10 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:54  
11 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:04  
12 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:01:06  
13 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida  
14 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team 0:01:08  
15 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing  
16 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
17 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:01:16  
18 Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre - Merida 0:01:21  
19 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:23  
20 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 0:01:26
GC
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 42:33:38  
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:02:23  
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:47  
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01  
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 0:03:12  
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:03:47  
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:56  
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:57  
9 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:03:58  
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:08  
11 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:04:18  
12 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:04:31  
13 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:04:39  
14 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:05:17  
15 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:06:03  
16 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:47  
17 Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre - Merida 0:07:33  
18 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:07:36  
19 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:07:42  

20 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:01
POINTS JERSEY
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 287 pts
2 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 156  

3 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 146
POLKA 
1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 51 pts
2 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 34  

3 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 26  
WHITE
1 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 42:36:39  
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:46  
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:01:38  
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:12:18  

5 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin - Sharp 0:37:41  
TEAM
1 Ag2R La Mondiale 127:48:28  
2 Astana Pro Team 0:03:19  
3 Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:25  
4 Team Sky 0:04:56  
5 BMC Racing Team 0:20:38

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