First week of Le Tour and it’s the usual up-down-left-right chaos. Nerves a-jangling for the GC favourites – take it as read there were incidents and accidents on every stage. Fast muscles a-twitching for the sprinters, and boy did they have a LOT of opportunities. And at the end of it all an appointment with the hallowed Roubaix pavé for the Tour’s very own A Sunday in Hell.
GC favourites in incidents and accidents and a scorcher of a sprint victory for Fernando Gaviria. The first rider to take yellow on his debut since a certain Fabian Cancellara, and the first Colombian to don it for 15 years.
The ever classy Sylvain Chavanel digs deep in the break of the day. Peter Sagan muscles and hustles to slip the maillot jaune around his shoulders for the very first time.
Team time trial day. No surprise to see BMC claim the top step putting Greg van Avermaet in yellow. Very much a surprise to see EF Education First-Drapac powered by Cannondale finish 5th and keep Rigoberto Uran right in contention.
Everybody heard the drums in Sarzeu as the Quick-Step train delivered win number two for Colombian hotshot Fernando Gaviria.
An engrossing day out on a very lumpy stage. The break was insane, that man Sylvain Chavanel went solo again, Toms Skujins and Lilian Calmejane duked it out for the polka pox and Peter Sagan played it perfectly for his second win.
Disco Dan Martin conquered all the puncheurs on double Mur de Bretagne day. What a ride! He attacked early and just kept his legs pumping the pedals all the way to the line. Romain Bardet and Tom Dumoulin had a nightmare finale and lost time.
Longest stage of the Tour and it truly felt twice as long watching it – even if we did get echelons. All the action in the last 300m when Dylan Groenwegen powered past his rivals like they just weren’t there.
Pure raw power saw Dylan Groenewegen double up to break French hearts on Bastille Day.
Roubaix day and we were AFROTH with excitement. A day for heroes. A day when you could not take your eyes off the race for a single second. A day when the GC climbers mastered the pavé. Unfortunately also a day when a crash took Richie Porte out the race he’s trained so hard for. It was chaos, it was glorious and best of all it ended in an emotional win for The Mighty John Degenkolb. This is bike racing.
For the Love of Lawson
We can’t give enough love to EF Pinkies Lawson Craddock. The Texan is still there, still battling, still giving his best every single day. CHAPEAU
Header Image: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images