Unless Chris Froome makes a catastrophic error, he has the 2015 TDF in the bag. His co-ordinated attack, with Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, on Day 1 of the Pyrenees created buffer that he has sat on ever since.
It is also clear that the average French yobbo thinks he’s another Lance Armstrong. Chris Froome is made of sterner stuff. I’m not sure that I would have taken a face full of urine so calmly. If he had been more like Bernard Hinault, that spectator may have ended up in hospital.
Speaking of hospitals, I think its time that the excellent work of Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Alpecin) was recognised. Warren has single handedly brought back the subtle art of biffo and bad sportmanship in TDF2015. Geraint Thomas of Team Sky must have seen his life pass before his eyes when Warren Barguil took a bad line on the descent into Gap and forced Thomas head first into a telephone pole and down into a ravine. Fortunately, Thomas was unhurt and finished the stage. Barguil, however, rode on rather than stop and help a rider in a crash he caused, even if it was by accident. Chapeau!! Warren. Someone who clearly doesn’t give a toss for TV copyright has posted the SBS coverage of the incident on youtube. You can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q0eWT16IQY I’ve watched it and wondered how the hell Thomas didn’t wipeout or take a couple of spectators with him. The only thing I’ve seen that’s freaked me out more was that footage of Mick Fanning starring in his own personal ‘Jaws’ movie.
Barguil’s other TDF 2015 highlights include being involved in the Stage 3 crash that took out Fabian Cancellara and the Stage 6 crash that took out Tony Martin, both of whom were wearing the Maillot Jaune at the time.
Perhaps Barguil has been watching ‘Death Race’ either 1975 Stallone version or the 2008 Statham version and decided the quickest way to the top of the GC to take out the competition, one crash at a time. Perhaps this is a new and exciting twist in the Le Tour and would draw a younger Gen Y audience. I’m sure that Henri Desgrange would approve. I digress….
So given the last 16 days of drama where are all the Australian and how is Orica GreenEdge performing? Well glad you asked. The overall GC standings, end of stage 16 for the Aussie contingent is as follows:
|60||Richie Porte||Team Sky||1:30:28|
|102||Rohan Dennis||BMC Racing Team||2:02:57|
|141||Nathan Haas||Team Canondale-Garmin||2:30:12|
|153||Luke Durbridge||Orica GreenEdge||2:39:15|
|165||Michael Matthews||Orica GreenEdge||2:57:52|
As far Orica GreenEdge go, they are unfortunately last out of the 22 teams by a very large margin.
OK that’s it for now.