Everything that is not yet decided, will be decided today. Tomorrow’s stage is a parade, and the sprinters’ fight for a stage win on Champs Éllysées. Chris Froome has already won the general classification, if he avoids serious accidents. Four minutes should be enough. No one can take the green jersey away for Peter Sagan. He only have to get to the finish line i Paris. Rafal Majka seems to have a solid grip on the polka dot jersey, but I have not calculated if there is a theoretical chance that other riders can win it, given that Rafa Majka hang on to ghe finish in Paris. Louis Meintjes gained a half minute on Adam Yates in the competition for the white young riders jersey. Adam Yates’ two minutes lead is not a safe lead. It is the white jersey, and the two podium places after Chris Froome that are in play on today’s stage. There is only three and a half minute from no 2 t no 10 in the general classification. The fight for a place on the podium, may be hard, and is still rather open.
Antoher demonstration of power from Chris Froome. He has a strong team. But in the time trials, it is everyone on their own.
Another hard alpine stage, with mountain top finish. It is rather short (146 km). A short stage with this profile, where much is at stake, can bring a lot of action. And it can be a very hard challenge for the sprinters finishe within the time limit. There are one off category, top finish on a first category. Today I expect that those who are behind Chris Froome will attack each other and fight for a podium place in Paris. Chris Froome and Sky will control the situation.
Still, there have been no serious attacks on Chris Froome, and his helpers in Sky. His former, faithful helper Richie Porte was the only one to attack. Chris Froome followed, and Nairo Quintana and Bauke Mollema lost another half minute when they were left behind. It seems that only an accident can prevent Chris Froome from winning this year.
We are back in France, for a 17 km uphill time trial. This is not common in Tour de France, it is the first since 2004. They have had this type of stages more frequently in Giro d’Italia. I have looked at the results from stage 15. in this year’s Giro d’Italia, to have something to compare with. This was a 10 km uphill time trial. The time differences between the first ten riders was a bit more than a minute. As today’s stage is longer, I will expect the time differences to be about twice a much. There is a lot to win and even more to loose on this stage for anyone with some kind of ambitions in the general classifications. Some will go for a stage win. I am for instance thinking of Tom Dumoulin. But for the rest of the riders, it is a question of getting through within the time limit, without using too much energy. As an example, Peter Sagan is about 2 hours and 28 minutes behind Chris Froome in the genereal classification. He is collecting points, and the time does not matter. If he should loose some more minutes, who cares?