The overall top 3 for the Tour is virtually locked in after the Pyrenees, with the likely result of the final time trial being to simply confirm the dominance of the two Sky boys, and shuffle a few of the lower places. Prior to that, we have a 221km stage that nominally should be a sprint stage, but likely sprint teams will need to be motivated to control things as it is a very tough day in the saddle. Exhaustion for those who are already exhausted.
Firstly, such a long stage at such a late point is tough, and secondly, the profile (and knowing the area from races I’ve been to in previous years) is almost NEVER flat. This is a total headwreck of a day – it is mentally exhausting to be constantly up and down little rollers, and in and out of corners. Riders need to concentrate all day to avoid crashes and be in the right place at the right time
Translation: it wouldn’t be a surprise if the break stays away! The responsibility will largely rest on the Orica GreenEdge boys as they haven’t been working on the front of the bunch for the past few days (unlike the Lotto, Liquigas and Sky lads, who have all been working hard for their various GC men).
I’m hoping they do the job, and Gossy delivers on the line. He’s in good form, but hasn’t quite bopped a win yet. Tonight is his night! Followed by Cav then Greipel.