Tour de France – Sat July 16th.

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I normally don’t get too much chance to write stuff on the Tour as my July is pretty busy and leaves me bushed at the end of the week.

What I’ve seen unfold today deserves a little bit of time to cover some thoughts. Leopard Trek tried to do a USPS and beat the Peloton to bits up the foot of the last climb. With O’Grady and Viogt bashing out a rhythm that broke the group it was left to the Schleck brothers to perform the cuis de gras today, but both lacked the final kick to lock the door on the pain cave for the other riders.

Too many riders still fear Contador and because of this they let Vandenvert off the leash to bag a really nice 1st Tour win. Here’s the big danger in that if the contenders want to rule Bertie out of the equation they may have to work together and then deal with the 2nd battle, the one for the Yellow Jersey.

The main GC riders need to do this, if they don’t, and if he can hold on, Thomas Voeckler may well just hang on for the Yellow Jersey come Paris in a week. In reality the Alps, particularly the Alpe, may be a mountain too far. I reckon realistically he could just finish on the podium.

It’s been a crazy Tour, full of drama, unexpected results which has no doubt helped the Tours image no end. So in closing a big CHAPEAU goes to Monsieur Voeckler as you’ve surprised us all and I’d never thought I’d see a Frenchman ride with such pride, Bernard must be beaming.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES – PHOTO

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