Oh I don’t know – am I tired, flat, sick of being awake in the middle of the night?
Last night seemed .. well .. tedious. Longest stage of the tour this year (226km), started high, and ended up low and flat. Flat… maybe Injera is on to something? Tonight was the night for the breakaways and a group of five stayed away to earn some points and some team pride for Garmin Sharp. At 35 years of age, and with the retirement of the teams GC hope Ryder Hesjedal earlier in the tour, Scot David Millar was released from “team” duties to see what he had left in his legs on the 45th anniversary of the death of British cyclist Tommy Simpson during a tour stage. A classic “cat and mouse” sprint and the end saw Millar out-play Peraud to win the stage. Millar has joined the group that I now think are pushing for a new race jersey competition, shall we call it the grey jersey, for the best riders over 35?
Cowdel and the Yellow Wiggle matched for time with Cowdel crossing the line a few places ahead of Wiggo, but remaining 3:19 behind him in the GC, with Froome and Nibali filling the gap between them.
Matty Goss crossed the line first in the intermediate and led the peloton for the final sprints showing a bit of maturity in his tactics against Sagan; however, he was judged to have moved off his line in the final sprint and was relegated, losing 30 points and is now 56 points behind Sagan in the green jersey competition.
David Millar’s win brought a smile, and a few tears, to the faces of his Garmin Sharp team and sponsors. Its not been a great tour for them so far. Radioshack Nissan continue to lead the teams competition, 12 mins ahead of Sky. Rabobank’s tour just keeps getting worse with Mark Renshaw and Robert Gesink abandoning during this stage. We’re down to 169 from the 198 race starters.
From the Vaches point of view I owe a debt (and credit for the first three photos) to @harcorecommute who is not only a Hardcore Commuter, but obviously a hard core cow spotter as well.
There were a couple of false alarms, 87.7km turned out to be a groups of cheval, and 17.3 was a small group of sheep. Oh well.
Field Art for this stage:
I was asked about the competition for the field art. The French Department of Agriculture sponsors an official competition for the farmers in each area that Le Tour passes through. There is a theme each year. Last year the theme was cows, which is probably the only reason why I noticed that there was a theme. This year the theme is “Smiles on Plates” – meh.
Of course there is always the “unofficial” field art as well, which can be much better than the official entries – e.g. the winking cow, or much more … amateur … e.g. people standing on a hay bale in costume. It all adds to the rich pageant that is Le Tour de France.
#trolldj continues to excel (thank goodness!) in entertaining us.
“Invincible” Thine Tempah paired with scenes of a relaxed and happy team Sky.
The Inspector Gadget theme tune celebrating the best and the word (poor Rababnk mech) mechanics of the tour.
“Motion Sickness” by Hot Chip worked perfectly with shots of windy, curvy, stomach churning alpine roads.
“The Worst Day Since Yesterday” by Flogging Molly summed up poor Cadel’s day (I’m sure he doesn’t flog his dog, Molly)
“Glad All Over” – Dave Clark Five for our last montage for the evening.
TrollShirt will now be retired because we found out about this. Comedy Gold!