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TdF #9 Superman

July 17, 2014

I think Tony Martin is an incredible cyclist and should be considered amongst the best. He has been the fastest in the world at the individual time trial for some years and wins most of those he enters. On most other stages, he sacrifices himself for one of his team mates, usually Cavendish. Last year, he was cruelly robbed of the most outrageous stage win after a sole break of more than 170km when he was caught within sight of the line.

Today he had company for about 100km of his 160km break, but was always the strongest and did most of the work. When he sensed his fellow escapee was tiring too much, he jumped clear. Martin is not known for his climbing ability, but he powered over many hills today and even won the lead in the mountains competition. More importantly to Martin and his team was his stage win. What an amazing performance.

Not far behind Martin was a small break. They could not catch the German, but they did stay clear of the peloton. Perhaps that was because the GC riders and their team mates could not be bothered chasing hard. Gallopin was the best placed in that group and worked very hard to gain the yellow jersey. He might not be able to hold it for long, but the Frenchman on the Belgian team will be delighted to wear yellow on Bastille Day. He will take a lead of over a minute into tomorrow’s stage, but that is tough day for tired legs.

Rolland was also in that group and took back about 5 minutes on GC. Will that reignite his thoughts of yellow or will he lose time again to be allowed the freedom to win a stage? Perhaps losing time is inevitable so the choice may not be his.

Nibali was happy to give up yellow. He, and his fellow favourites for the overall win, were satisfied to take is easy today.

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