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Jul 18 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 18

It’s been a while since I’ve tuned into Le Tour, partly because of computer woes (my main drive was deteriorating invisibly, except for the slowness that made it positively painfull to compose).  It is I suppose no great loss except for those who are fans of the scenic countryside the race winds through, and it is spectacular.

The race itself has gone to form which has left me feeling the same ennui and diffidence I do when Vettel gets an early lead and disappears.  You are left hoping for a game changer, something that will put a contender within striking distance and force the favorite to do something other than coast to victory.

Well, if that’s going to happen, it will happen today.

The reason is the course and the conditions.  Today is the double ascent of Alpe-d’Huez and the descent after the Col de Sarenne.  In addition to the two beyond category ascents there are 3 category 2 and a category 3 climb.  Now this in itself is not much of an obstacle to Chris Froome, the maillot jaune, who has out climbed his nearest rivals time and again.

Nope, it will be the descents, especially given the heavy overnight rain and the dampness expected at altitude.

You don’t like to hope for a crash, but it’s a good way to modify the time picture which at this point is entirely unfavorable to any rivals with only 2 riders less than 5 minutes back and merely 2 more under 7.

General Classification

Rank Name Team Time
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 66h 07′ 09”
2 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 04′ 34”
3 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 04′ 51”
4 MOLLEMA Bauke BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 06′ 23”
5 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 06′ 58”
6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 07′ 21”
7 TEN DAM Laurens BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 08′ 23”
8 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 08′ 56”

They finish this year’s Tour with 2 more Alpine stages after today before the grand procession to the Champs-Élysées so things could still change if Froome breaks down physically or something else unexpected happens.

In Sprint (Points, Green Jersey) competition things are looking equally set in stone with Peter Sagan almost 100 points ahead and only 8 riders over 100 ponts at all.

Points

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 377
2 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 278
3 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 223
4 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 177
5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 157
6 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 145
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 110
8 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 110

If you like handicapping backmarkers there is a race for Second between Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.

For King of the Mountains (Climber, Polka Dot Jersey) as you would expect Chris Froome has a commanding lead and Alberto Contador is not even in the picture (25 points).  Only 4 riders have over 50 points.

King of the Moutains

Rank Name Team Points
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 88
2 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 69
3 NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 53
4 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 51

In the Team Competition Sky (Chris Froome’s team) is a surprising 11th, over 1:15 behind.  Also, as you can see, there’s a lot of racing left in the top 6.

Team

Rank Team Time
1 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 198h 58′ 43”
2 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 01′ 22”
3 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 08′ 14”
4 MOVISTAR TEAM + 12′ 48”
5 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 22′ 33”
6 KATUSHA TEAM + 30′ 58”

Youth (White Jersey) is a hard category for me to get behind, I think it a poor substitute for amature.  Still, there is no denying Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas has had an outstanding Tour, sitting at 5th in the GC and 2nd in King of the Mountains.

Young Rider

Rank Name Team Time
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 66h 56′ 09”
2 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 04′ 12”
3 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 08′ 15”
4 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE + 21′ 45”

Sites of Interest-

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1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

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