MTN-Qhubeka celebrate Mandela day in the best way possible
A wildcard team in its first Tour de France, celebrating the most important day in its home nation’s calendar, how might they wish to celebrate? Steve Cummings answered that for them when he raced to the stage win over two much younger and – on paper – better climbers.
Rohan Dennis’s special shorts
The first maillot jaune of this year’s race is suffering, in a way that no cyclist wants to. Rohan Dennis has had to change the bibshorts he wears to try and restore some level of comfort to the long days in the saddle. We’ve all been there, so we wish him a speedy recovery.
Sagan throws caution to the wind in his hunt for a stage win
He’s been second on four different stages so far this year, and his consistency means that he looks very likely to still be wearing the green jersey on the Champs Elysées a week on Sunday.
However, maybe that’s just not enough for the man who has made the points competition his own over the last few years. In his hunt for a stage win, Sagan went all out by joining the break, but the final climb proved too much and he rolled over the line 29 seconds down in fifth.
A podium finish now looks unlikely for Thomas
Geraint Thomas has been putting in the kind of support ride for Chris Froome that we haven’t seen since Froome played that role for Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012.
As such, Thomas was sitting fifth at the start of the day and was within one strong ride of the podium, but today things changed. Working tirelessly for his team leader, Thomas dropped off the pace on the final climb, which allowed Alberto Contador to supersede him on GC.
Fans of the Welshman shouldn’t be too disheartened though – his strong showing this year is an indication of his true potential, which could see him winning Grand Tours of his own in the not too distant future.
Quintana hasn’t given up
Nairo Quintana showed himself on the final climb of stage 14, as he was the first of the GC contenders to attack. Vincenzo Nibali went with him but soon faded, and before long it was just Froome and Quintana pushing for the summit.
Although Froome bettered the Colombian to extend his yellow jersey lead by a single second, the Movistar leader has shown that he won’t lay down and lose this long before Paris.