We left our week 1 round up in Chatel in the shadows of the high Alps.
It had been a fast and furious first week with Tadej Pogacar and Wout Van Aert carving the race and the stages up between themselves.
After a rest day in Morzine we got going again with the hero of the opening weekend Magnus Cort getting a well deserved stage win in Megeve. A narrow sprint win from a breakaway was such a Cort way of getting EF off the mark for this race after a number of close calls.
The next day we got our first look at the GC contenders at over 2000m of altitude although most pundits (including myself) had already called Pogacar the winner of this tour.
Jonas Vingegaard and his Jumbo team had other ideas repeatedly attacking the Slovenian in the valley roads around the colossal Col du Galibier. Pogacar was able to react to all attacks at this point but when the Dane attacked on the Col du Granon almost in site of the finish, the leader was dropped.
A deficit of around 30 seconds became over 2 and a quarter minutes of a lead for Vingegaard. It was now on.
The expected attacks the following day on Alp D’Huez didn’t really materialise with the crowds and the breakway situation maybe playing a part.
Tom Pidcock kept up the UKs recent claim on the Dutch mountain with a brilliant stage win forged in his downhill skills and backed up by his speed up hill.
Highlight of the Tour so far for me.
As we headed towards a weekend of 40 degree heat a breakaway was finally allowed its day with Mads Pedersen a deserving stage win after managing his compatriots on the final climb into St Etienne.
Yesterday as the race trundled into Carcassonne we had time to reflect on a brilliant second week packed with mountain views and twists and turns in the race.
Jumbo’s minds were bought back into sharp focus however. Primoz Roglic had left the Tour at the start of the day as a result of his Roubaix tumble. However they hadn’t budgeted on Steven Kruijswijk hitting the deck and breaking a collar bone. Advantage Tadej?
Its all to play for as we head into the key final week of this Tour de France… I am not going to pick it now!
|2||2||–||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE Team Emirates||24″||2:22|
|3||3||–||THOMAS Geraint||INEOS Grenadiers||2:43|
|4||4||–||BARDET Romain||Team DSM||4″||3:01|
|5||5||–||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||4:06|
|6||6||–||QUINTANA Nairo||Team Arkéa Samsic||6″||4:15|
|7||7||–||MEINTJES Louis||Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux||6″||4:24|
|8||8||–||GAUDU David||Groupama – FDJ||4″||,,|
|9||9||–||PIDCOCK Thomas||INEOS Grenadiers||10″||8:49|
|10||10||–||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||9:58|