Sixteen stages down. Two rest days complete. Three mountain stages fast approaching. After enjoying a splashed-filled rest day in Nimes, the peloton returned to their life on the road for stage 16 of Tour de France 2019, on the final sprint day before Paris, battling a heatwave that has hit Europe along the way.
Aussie pocket rocket Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) flamed his way to a second stage win in his Tour debut, making him the most successful sprinter of this year’s race. Newly discovered climbing sensation Elia Viviani benefited from yet another near-perfect lead out from the Quicksteppers to claim second whilst JumboBee Dylan Groenewegen came home in third. No change at the top of the GC.
Stage 2 of the 2019 Tour de France and it was a 27.6km team time trial from the Brussels Royal Palace to the Atomium. And TTT stages are not as predictable as one might think. Sure, you have the powerhouses of QuickStep, Ineos, CCC, a case to be made for Sunweb (especially if Tom Dumoulin were there) and EF and the teams who, dear God, just want to get through it with their dignity. I think we know who those are … And with Ineos in the hot seat all day (they were first off the ramp), it started to look like the script would be played out as expected, the only question mark was who on the team would wear yellow. But that was before the last team rode down the ramp and went hell for leather from the start to the finish. Continue reading
It’s not every year that the Tour de France begins with a sprint stage and a chance for the fast men to claim the yellow jersey — though it does seem to be a frequent occurrence in recent editions. The 106th edition of the World’s Greatest Bike Race™ brought that chance, however, as the 176-man peloton wove their way through the streets of Brussels. Continue reading