Saturday, July 16, 2016

It's Finally the Weekend - Happy Le Tour

It's been an exciting week for Le Tour de France and we're almost at the foothills of the Alps. Only two more flat stages are left for the sprinters to nail down the Green Jersey before the final run around the Champs Elysees in Paris a little more than one week from now. The boys are hurting, banged up, and some have already abandoned the race, but those at the head of the pack are still strong and determined. It's been gritty and glorious and we still have a week of excitement to come.

Today we're one step closer to the Alps. It isn't a total flat stage,
but it's a sprinters playground today with nothing heavier than
a few Category 4 climbs. 

Today is a flat stage, one more opportunity for the sprinters. Chris Froome built up some major time gaps in his second-place win during yesterday's time trial with more than a minute ahead of his closest competitor. Peter Sagan pretty well has the Green Jersey wrapped up with only two sprinter-oriented stages remaining. He's ahead of Mark Cavendish by 90 points. The Pyrenees really hurt Cav. Thomas de Gendt is leading in the King of the Mountains competition, but by less than 10 points and the Alps are still ahead of us.

As we enter the Jura Mountain portion of the Alps, the peaks get higher
and the race once again will break apart on the high peaks. Sunday's stage
has two Category 3's, one Category 2, two Category 1's and a single HC peak.
We're on our way to a fast visit to Switzerland next week. 

Saturday's stage is somewhat boring, but Sunday's will be lots of fun. Just look at that profile. Lots of ups and downs. Everyone will be hurting by the end of their Sunday ride. Enjoy your weekend. I'll be back on Monday.

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