Unable to sleep I spent the early hours of day light re-watching stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France on Eurosport.
Not only were Sean Kelly and Carlton Kirby in brilliant form, the race was exciting and the sun was beating down on the peloton as they headed towards the foot of Alp D’Huez.
But this was a Tour with an undertone. There was a feeling of real hatred towards Chris Froome in the yellow jersey. At times as well it spilled over from feelings into actions which is wholly unacceptable, regardless of what nationality you are and what teams or riders you are aligned with.
This was a Tour, and in the Covid age of masks preventing saliva transfer this seems ridiculous, that Froome found himself spat on regularly as he rode towards Paris.
In fact within the last 4km of the Alp on this stage you saw a clearly drunk man in a free gift polka do jersey lurch into the road to empty his sinuses on the passing yellow jersey.
Despite being in a real battle with Nairo Quintana to keep the race lead, Froome still had time to look back over his left shoulder and clock a look at the perpetrator.
Cycling is the most wonderful, beautiful and positive experience. But as with everything there are those who can’t behave and who let themselves down. This will be important to remember going forward as any indiscretions like that in this autumns condensed calendar will see bad publicity and possibly racing cancelled.
We don’t want that.
Chris Froome has officially announced that he is leaving Team Ineos at the end of 2020 and joining Israel-Start up.
Where this leaves his Tour de France campaign is anyone’s guess but if he makes the start line this is going to be fascinating.
Think Froome vs Wiggins in 2012… I CAN’T WAIT
…and I am sure nor can you.
No soon had my post which mentioned how I felt there was a bit of a bias against Ineos at Cyclingnews gone live that the website launched a story saying Froome wanted out, and maybe even before the 2020 Tour de France, should that happen.
Reading the comments on the article shows that many share the viewpoint I have that there is an agenda of some sort at play here.
The comments point to the fact that the article is full of “Cyclingnews understands” and “we believe and agent said”. Of course there is the old adage that there is no smoke without fire and you don wonder how all of the leaders will fit at Ineos. Who will get the front seat of the team bus for example (!). But I don’t see Froome going at this stage of the season.
Ineos don’t release riders unless they feel their performances will be going down. SO for me if Froome does pitch up at Bahrain before any Tour de France sets off, I wouldn’t be betting my last pound on him doing much.
Overall victory: Richie Porte
Points victory: Peter Sagan
Breakaway points victory (see what I did there?): Thomas de Gendt
Best overall under 25: Romain Bardet
Team classification: Movistar
Rider with most number of stage wins: Marcel Kittel
Team with most number of stage wins: Quick Step Floors
Most unlikely stage winner: Albert Timmer
Most attacking rider: Thomas Voeckler
Biggest disappointment: Chris Froomes defence
First of the following riders to DNS or DNF: Fabio Aru