Commentators have been expressing the view of how invisible team Ineos seem to have been during the start of this Tour. Today’s stage showed them at the fore and how destructive they can be – admittedly with the help of Bora-Hansgrohe – and the GC contenders blew apart. Quintana is now Geraint Thomas’ closest threat.
The ITV Tour podcast were singing the praises, quite rightly, of Wout van Aert who won the stage. This is one of the great aspects of professional cycling, no matter who the favourites are, or who is leading the Tour itself, there comes to the front a rider who you just have to sit back and admire for their efforts and tenacity, and generally for being just such a decent bloke.
Interestingly the bible of cycling in the UK – Cycling Weekly – listed the impact of today’s stage on the Yellow Jersey as 2 out of 5. I think the revision of this in the stage report will jump that up to at least 4 out of 5.
I wrote the stage summary before I wrote this paragraph but decided to leave it as it was – I was right Team Ineos had checked out the crosswinds at the back end of the race. Radio 5 Live’s podcast Bespoke revealed that Team Ineos mastermind Sir Dave Brailsford had been spotted riding the last 60km or so of the course the morning of the stage.
In any walk of life commitment is rightly touted as one of the prime ingredients necessary to be successful. This is perfectly shown in the example of Sir Dave Brailsford above. He is the guy at the top but he does the work on the road as well. As Creatives can we hold our hands up to the same level of commitment? Were we binge watching series 8 of GOT or researching our latest/next project? Did we sketch or write for that ten minutes we were in the waiting room or flick through magazines which were three years old?
217.5km – Saint-Flour to Albi.
I’m sure that Team Ineos will have checked the weather for the stage and the crosswinds around that last Cat 3 climb, as suddenly the whole of the team appeared at the front, had a chat with Peter Sagan, and then worked with Bora to really split the field apart. Alaphilippe showed his character, proving he is a worthy wearer of the Maillot Jaune, by putting a turn or two on the front of help things along. Then a hotly contested sprint which looked to have gone Viviani’s way until van Aert pushed his bike forward that extra inch.