Stage 16 of the Tour de France saw the GC guys take the day off. There was plenty to keep an eye on though, the polka dot jersey competition came to life and a breakaway packed with potential was allowed up the road. Lennard Kämna of Bora won by over a minute from Ineos’s Richard Carapaz. The peloton came in nearly 17 minutes after Kämna and gave us some excitement over the final 2km. However, it all ended with no major change in the overall classification.
Stage 13 in this year’s Tour de France didn’t really have a level bit of road through the whole 191kms. Seven categorised climbs with a super-steep summit finish, it was a day for the breakaway. It started with a group of 5 including Julian Alaphilippe, growing to 15 with riders like Dan Martin and Marc Soler, then it quite simply blew itself apart with two climbs to go. Bora’s Max Schachmann went off on his own, followed by his teammate Leonard Kämna and EF’s Dani Martinez. When they caught Schachmann on the high slopes of Le Puy Mary, Martinez took over and Kamna couldn’t go round him. A spirited sprint to the line gave the EF rider his first Tour de France stage win. The GC got shook, but mainly by yellow jersey holder Primoz Roglic and compatriot Tadej Pogacar who took time on their rivals.
Today’s 40.2km ITT from the Navarran race circuit to Logrono is where many speculated that Chris Froome would effectively wrap up his first overall victory in the Vuelta. It’s hard to argue otherwise as he took his second stage win to extend his GC lead by 29 secs on runner-up Wilco Kelderman (third overall) and almost a minute on Vincenzo Nibali, still second overall 1:58 back. Of course, there’s still four tough stages to negotiate but as Froome is about to spend his 15th day in red, emulating luminaries such as Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Pedro Delgado, you wouldn’t bet against him.