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TdF #16 Dog eats dog

July 24, 2014

When two crafty old dogs have a spat, then results can be very entertaining. Rogers was arguing with Voeckler when racing downhill at about 70km/hr. There was plenty finger pointing and shaking of heads. Rogers was unhappy with the Frenchman, who was wheel sucking, with the excuse that his teammate was just behind. The leading five or so that remained of the break came back together with only a few km to the line. Rogers timed his attack perfectly and the rest could not, or would not, catch him. Tactics always play a part in a stage win and Rogers showed his class.

The GC contest was also very exciting. The stage had a very long warm up as the peloton approached the Pyrenees. There may only have been one big climb, and it was not even at the finish, but it was certainly very hard. Several favourites struggled. Young Bardet lost more than most and despite chasing hard on the descent he lost a couple of minutes and with that his white jersey and podium place. He was even overtaken by his old teammate. That might be good in the end for AG2R as Peraud is a much better time trialler. There are a few mountain passes to climb before we get to that stage though.

The fast pace up the hors category Port de Balès shed most riders but most significantly Bardet and van Garderen. While they slide down the leaderboard, Peraud, Konig and Ten Dam climbed up it. Kwiatkowski also regained the top ten, but worked very hard and might suffer tomorrow for that effort.

Another day knocked off for Nibali. Paris is getting closer every day. He was isolated at times today but did not seem to have any trouble keeping up and now has a very comfortable 4:37 on Valverde and more than five minutes on everyone else.

Rui Costa (illness) and Yates (team did not want him to burn out) did not start and the peloton is down to 169 riders.

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