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!
A long, largely downhill, though lumpy stage into the beautiful city of Albi saw Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) take the first of what will assuredly be many grand tour stages. His brilliant long-range sprint obliterated the other sprinters, though runner-up Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) was on his wheel and came close with Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) back in third place. The sprint finish came from the leading group of around 30 riders after echelon action had rent the peloton asunder some 25km from the finish, wrong-footing a number of GC contenders. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) remains in pole position but he now has the INEOS duo of defending champion Geraint Thomas and best young rider Egan Bernal sharing the podium.
While other races can often fall flat, lose their effervescence, become humdrum on the day, Paris-Roubaix never does. And that racing energy gets translated into a vibrant Twitterstream … it’s time for ROUBAIX TWEETS OF THE WEEK! Continue reading