Rest Day: The Tour So Far

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Rest day is quite a busy day for the race leader
Alex Dowsett:
"And so commences the fastest day in the world,wake up,have breakfast,go for a bike ride & its pretty much bedtime and almost racetime again"...
... unless you are the race leader or a serious ovrall contender. In this case you have to meet the press, the sponsors, to pose for a lot of pictures and tv records. You have to say something smart, meaningful and to show you are both brilliant and modest, you can talk many languages and you are very very VERY patient. If not you get a bad press.
Some care, others don't. Some like the light spot some definitely hate it. I see Cyclingnews just published about "Alexis Vuilermoz entering the stardom". Well, I suspect Alexis isn't the star type. But I guess he likes to be a little famous. He must be proud, and I'm proud too because I had noticed him before. Working for Bardet he isn't often allowed to go for his personal result but watching him climbing you understand how good he is. He's battling for th Polka Dot Jersey and a top ten would be possible unless he has to sacrifice for AG2R leaders again. 
Bardet (21 +4') and Peraud (17 +3') don't look as strong as last year but the Tour is just about to start.
Embedded image permalinkAs far as the Yellow Jersey I keep betting on Chris Froome, who's strong - as phiscally as mentally as he demonstrated also in the TTT when Roche risked to be dropped before the line - and well supported. Geraint Thomas in 8th place before the Pyrennes is something absolutely great. 
It's a bit a surprise that Froome's main contender is so far Tejay van Garderen. I'm curious to see if this time he's going to resist also in the mountain. No doubt he looks stronger. A second surprise is Rigoberto Uran in 6th: don't underrathe Ciccio! in the mountains he is strong, no doubt. In the Giro he was sick but now he's fine and looking for a revenge. Can he be on the podium in Paris? With a bit of good luck he can, especially now that Mark Cavendish isn't the team priority anymore.
Alberto Contador is 1' down on Froome. In my opinion he's racing a smart race, saving energy and the team for the last week, recovering from the Giro he won. If van Garderen cracks, Contador will be the first one celebrating. In the mountains he can smash almost everybody.
Tour over for Vincenzo Nibali if you ask me: he doesn't look strong and his team is a mess. It can change in the next days, still it's going to be very hard. It seems that something stopped working there. Maybe the relationship between Nibali and Vinokourov: two very different kind of person. Maybe Nibali lack motivation after he won all the three Grand Tour. Maybe he's nervous because of something we ignore. Lets see. 
Tour over also for Nairo Quintana? Mah... he's still an enigma for me. Very strong one day, invisible the next. What I see is that Aljandro Valverde is best placed at the moment. Who's going to lead when stuff will become serious? 
Nibali is at the edge of the line dividing the top ten fighter from the stage hunters. Bauke Mollema, Warren Barguil, Peraud, Bardet and Vuillermoz could still cross it while Vanavermaet, Kreuziger, Stybar, Sagan and probably Gallopin should lose positions. 
Peter Sagan is very likely to win again the Green Jersey on Andre Greipel and BMC could consolidate its leadership in the Teams Classification. More interesting the White Jersey Classification, where after Sagan there are a few talented riders like Quintana, Barguil and Bardet. My favourite here is Warren Barguil but all depends on Nairo Quintana's performance in the GC.
As far as the Polka Dot Jersey... it would be extremely cool if Daniel Teklehaimanot could keep it till Paris! is it possible? it is but very hard especially because Rodriguez wants it and also for AG2R it would be a very good result - with Vuillermoz - given that they will hardly repeat last year podium.

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 31:34:12  
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:12  
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27  
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:38  
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:03  
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:18  
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:50  
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:52  
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:59
10 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
11 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:02:01  
12 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:18
13 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:22
14 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:02:43
15 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:52
16 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:56
17 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:30
18 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:03:52
19 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:17
20 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:04:32
21 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:38
22 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:08  
23 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:05:20
24 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:05:22  
25 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:06:17  
26 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:06:28  
27 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:40  
28 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:49  

29 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:08:05
30 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:08:35  
31 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:09:21
32 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
33 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN - Qhubeka 0:10:14  
34 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha 0:10:37  
35 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:11:20  
36 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:11:43
37 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:11:47  
38 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:12:25  
39 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:15:18  
40 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:15:57  
41 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ.fr 0:16:24  
42 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:16:47  
43 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:14  
44 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:17:18  
45 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:17:44  
46 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:17:45
47 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:17:49  
48 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:18:03  
49 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:18:29
Point classification
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 213 pts
2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 210
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 159
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 158  
5 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 102  
Mountain Classification
1 Daniel Teklehaimanot, 4
2 Joaquim Rodriguez 2
3 Alexis Vuillermoz 2
4 Michael Schar 1
Young rider classification
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 31:34:50  
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:21
3 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:02:05
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:00
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:07:27
6 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:11:47
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:14:40
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:17:07
9 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:17:51
10 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:19:03
11 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:25:04
12 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:25:19
13 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:25:51
14 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:26:13
15 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:26:44
16 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:30:24
17 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:31:56
18 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar 0:33:32
19 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:33:44
20 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 0:35:17
21 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:41:18
22 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:41:56
23 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:48:01
24 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:51:03
25 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka 0:51:45
26 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha 0:52:38
27 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:53:49
28 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:54:16
29 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 1:00:07
30 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 1:15:32
Team classification
1 BMC Racing Team 95:48:04  
2 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
3 Etixx-Quick Step 0:07:28
4 Team Sky 0:07:30
5 Movistar Team 0:07:47
6 Ag2R La Mondiale 0:12:55
7 Astana Pro Team 0:14:48
8 Team Giant-Alpecin 0:15:22
9 Team Katusha 0:18:59
10 Team Cannondale-Garmin 0:19:09
11 IAM Cycling 0:19:44
12 Trek Factory Racing 0:20:10
13 Team Lotto NL - Jumbo 0:20:44
14 Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:23:23
15 MTN-Qhubeka 0:25:14
16 Lotto-Soudal 0:26:06
17 Bora-Argon 18 0:26:59
18 Team Europcar 0:32:21
19 FDJ 0:32:49
20 Lampre - Merida 0:40:34
21 Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:57:15
22 Orica GreenEdge 1:18:34

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