French national TT champion Sylvain Chavanel heads out of the start-house, but could only finish a disappointing 29th on another bad day for the French. Ag2r’s Jean-Christophe Peraud, the highest-placed French rider at the start of the day (ninth) crashed in the morning while doing a reconnaissance of the course, breaking his collarbone. He took the start, but crashed heavily again less than 2km from the finish – right in front of his wife – landing on his broken collarbone and immediately abandoning. Teammate Romain Bardet is now the highest-placed Frenchman, in 20th.
Stage 17: Embrun to Chorges, 32km individual time trial
Under attack from the Spanish Armada and the weather, race leader Chris Froome didn’t flinch, he didn’t buckle, he rode a magnificent third split on his time trial steed to snatch victory away from Alberto Contador to record his third stage win and tighten his grip on the yellow jersey.
After several stages run along coastal roads where the threat of crosswinds is obvious, it was ironic that the stage where the wind finally tore the peloton asunder took place about as far away from the sea as it is possible to be. Let’s have a look at what happened and why.