Today's result in the 100th " Le Tour " , ridden on Bastille Sunday , was quicker than the TDF Road Book had predicted ! In fact the early pace was such , that you would have thought these guys were going half the distance , on a totally flat terrain ! With 48km covered in the first hour ,even though there were 3 Cat 4 road bumps along the first 30km . The pace was lifted to 50.5kph median in the second hour , partly due to the fact that there were no cat bumps and a strong breakaway led by Peter Sagan was up the road . The pace took the break out to 7+ minutes , and was so strong that Burghart & Rollands were unable to bridge when it was still only a minute in advance .
With 20km to the finish line Silvain Chavenel was still only 28 seconds up after riding solo for 9 km but managed to stay ahead until about 13km when the day's action really started to boil . Meanwhile the other escapees had been absorbed along those tree lined roads and Peter Sagan had made an impression by emulating the " Robbie Mc Ewan Wheelie " just as the Peloton reached him .With Bakelants , Nieve and Quintana mixing it with Silvain , Team Sky moved to the front of the peloton . Froome was led by two of his trusties of the " Magnificant 7 ", but with Contador sniffing at his heels , catching a freebie .
First Kennaugh pulled , then Richie Porte took on the task of leading the retinue of hopefuls , but with his strong pace they fell by the roadside . As Nieve faded , Quintana continued then FRoome dropped through the gears and " Spun like a washing machine " , in such a manner that Contador was left stalled in disbelief and Quintana was caught about 7km from the line . Baulked by the motorcycles , Froome had Quintana back nipping at his heels , words were exchanged and briefly Quintana took the lead , albeit briefly .
With what was apparent on Eurosport , it was easy to feel that Froome was operating at a far superior level to the other Racers and thus in the last 2km , managed to cross the finish line , 29secs in advance of Quintana ! Reports from a variety of resources suggest that this ride measured from the 15km mark , was several minutes slower than previous efforts , including that of Mayo and Armstrong !
During the ride i saw Tweets from " he who should be forgotten " :
Another tweet on the subject :
My impressions of the day's events were mixed , since the TDF Road book generally has 3 " Median Speeds " and was predicting 39kph as the quickest , whereas Froome finished with 41.7kph , this calls into question , how many of the Peloton , could operate at such a high threshhold for 6 hrs or so in the visible heat and windy conditions that Mont Ventoux can inflict ? Now read of oxygen being administered to Quintana , after his arrival and rumours of Froome needing attention also ? As to reports of a Million+ spectators on the Mont Ventoux , that was not that apparent from the overhead shots .
Lance along the years has gathered many admirers that are still loyal to him despite the USADA and Oprah Interview . Even in recent days many Spanish are coming out and openly supporting his behaviour . There are others that are hard line against him and his Team Members fraudalent activities . Reading up on some of his previous supporters i came across the following segment in :
http://www.fathersontour.com/ item dated 26th November 2012 .
" But, don’t tell me that just because cyclists have cheated in the past that it is impossible to be at the top of cycling without cheating. I know that there are cyclists in today’s peleton who are riding clean at the highest levels of the sport. I have a son who at 8yrs old was climbing alpine mountain passes, at 10 years old he was riding 100 mile cycling Fondos, now at 12 years old Liam is riding entire stages of the Tour de France and racing with a lot of success in Europe - all things that might be thought of as impossible. The secret to Liam’s success is hard work and the belief that anything is possible. It is my hope that he never has to face some of the decisions other cyclists had to face in the past, and when faced with difficult decisions he will have the strength to make the right choices. The magic of cycling is real – I know because we live it almost every day!