Stage 14 of Tour de France 2019 was the shortest stage (117.5km) this year but also the first of three mountain stages to finish above 2000m and a big, big test of the GC favourites. This has been one of the most surprising Tours in recent memory and more came today as the peloton drove upwards upwards upwards to the finish at the top of the iconic Col du Tourmalet. To oversimplify it, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) took the stage win from a tiny group of survivors, but a lot more happened on the way to the summit. So who cracked? Who survived? Who thrived?
Holy crap! David versus Goliath. Instincts versus power meters. An undefined Frenchman versus the returning champion. The Tour de France that was talked up as being the most open, exciting, and worthwhile to watch in memory has lived up to its potential! Who knew an individual time trial could be so thrilling, so nail biting, and so rewarding? Surely not I!
Stage 12 of the Tour de France saw the GC favourites take the day off, allowing Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) to take the stage win in the peloton’s first day in the Pyrenees. Julian Alaphilippe holds yellow for another day, but the main excitement of the day revolved around the strange case of a “missing” Bahrain rider.