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TdF #15 Life can be so cruel

July 23, 2014

Riding the break can seem like such a fruitless waste of effort. However, there are two main reasons that being in the break is a good idea: 1) the peloton may fail to (or not bother) to chase you down 2) sponsors like seeing their logo on TV all day. TV coverage usually starts too late to see the effort that many put into being in the break, so it is not exactly picking the short straw to be out front.

Today kiwi Jack Bauer and swiss champ Elminger were out front for 221.99km of the 222km stage. The peloton seemed to have them on a tight lease at least 30km out. Then it rained and everyone was tiptoeing around the corners. OPQS was also playing games with the bunch, attacking at times (including some clever blocking around a roundabout) and chasing at the front of the bunch at other times.

Bauer was the stronger of the two but his sprint for the line was short by a mere 10m. The very late charge by the bunch saw Kristoff overtake the kiwi when it looked like the break might just have succeeded. Bauer was left exhausted sitting on the ground wondering how close he came to a life changing tour stage win.

Interestingly, Giant-Shimano was not particularly keen on sprinting today. Kittel is the fastest the bunch, and teammates Degenkolb and Dumoulin are no slouches, yet they were nowhere to be seen at the line. They occasionally appeared at the front to help chase, but did not put much effort into it. So are they tired or sick?

A welcome easier day for the GC contenders. Not much to report except Porte was off the back again and Nieve lost time, so their chances of finishing in the top ten are looking more unlikely.

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From → on your bike

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