Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 13 July 2012

2012 Tour de France: quiet but hilly day for the leaders?

After one of the shortest stages yesterday, today is the longest stage (226K) that will take the Tour out of the Alps across the Rhône Valley to finish in the hills the other side at Annonay d'Davézieux. Although there are two 1st Cat Alpine climbs today they come at the start of the stage and the top of the second climb is 140K from the finish, so I will be very surprised to see any attacks from the leaders. Many riders will be tired after the last two stages and if the racing is hard over the first two climbs many riders will be dropped and a good number could finish outside the time limit. Team leaders won't want to lose team mates unnecessarily. This Stage should be another that Bradley Wiggins can safely tick off taking him closer to victory in Paris but you never know...!   

So today I fancy contenders for the Mountains Jersey will be keen to grab as many points from the first two climbs and a break may be allowed to stay away. The finish is quite hilly with a 3rd Cat coming at 18.5K before the uphill finish. This may not suit the sprinters but could be an opportunity for Peter Sagan to get another stage. 

Yesterday's tough stage took its toll with a number of abandons:

Gustav Larsson, Rob Ruijgh, Bauke Mollema, Lieuwe Westra, Mark Renshaw and Robert Gesink, while Yuriy Krivtsov and Alessandro Petacchi were eliminated because of finishing outside the time limit. Petacchi crashed on the descent from the Col de la Croix de Fer and may have broken some ribs. 

There are now 166 riders left out of the 198 that started; Tyler Farrar,
2 hours 20 minutes behind Wiggins, is la lanterne rouge.  

No comments: