Thursday, 16 July 2015
#TDF2015: yesterday's GC truce to end on Plâteau de Beille
Little change to GC: only Nibali slipping from 10th to 11th
Rafa Majka, the Polish climber and last year's winner of The Mountains' Jersey, won yesterday's stage over the Col d'Aspin and the Tourmalet with a long solo ride. This win takes his stage wins to three – the same number as the UK's greatest climber Robert Millar and may be the start of a campaign to take the Polka Dot Jersey again.
Apart from the breakway and a number of abandons including Rui Costa, this mounatinous stage was fairly uneventful as far as overall standings are concerned. Vincenzo Nibali ordered his team to ride hard on the middle section of the climb up the Tourmalet but placed no attack himself and was again dropped on the final climb of the day losing another 50 seconds on Froome. Perhaps the only consolation for Nibali was that Jakob Fuglsand, who was reported to be Astana's new team leader to replace Nibali, lost even more time and is now 7.47 behind Chris Froome and in 11th place.
In the intermediate sprint Peter Sagan regained the Green Jersey and now leads André Griepel by 7 points.
Stage 12: Lammezan to Plateau de Beille 195 kms
Today's last brutal stage in the Pyrénées could well see a change to the General Classification. It ends with the HC climb to Plâteau de Beille. The intermediate sprint comes at only 20 kilometres. Will this be a chance for André Griepel to grab back some points from Peter Sagan.
This stage is a chance for Nairo Quintana, Tejay Van Garderen, Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde to put pressure on Sky and Chris Froome and take some time back.
It is going to be very hot today – 34-38˚C making the stage even more difficult.