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The high mountain stages can be tricky to judge,
As riders drop backwards from this or that bunch,
And that’s how it started as Purito went early,
With his eyes on the summits and Polka Dot Jersey,

10 points his reward on the first of the day,
And Rodriguez was once ahead of Bardet,
Though the Frenchman came back on the way down the hill,
And Uran and Talansky as they went for the kill,

And Pierre Rolland was rolling.

During a quiet tour by the bulk of the French,
The Europcar rider was looking quite fresh,
And he crested ahead at the Col Croix De Fer,
Though if he turned round he saw Nibali there,

For the Shark’s found his legs, they were left in the Alps,
And he hammers the Froome group in his quest for some scalps,
With eight minutes to make up, a win seems too far,
Not the podium, dislodge one of Movistar.

And his attack stuck where Valverde was caught,
The Italian’s climbing might be something in sport,
That looks effortless, powerful, smooth and effective,
Which explains why his choice to attack’s so selective,

And Pierre Rolland stopped rolling.

His monster attack was soon gobbled up,
As he and Nibali in the lead doubled up,
But he cracked, as the pair climbed to La Toussuire,
The gradient, the speed, and the race too severe,

He went backwards, a shame after such a brave move,
But you pay for your actions, and Pierre was disproved,
That mountain was set to do all sorts of pain,
On the leaders, the lead group, the same names again,

Except Thomas, whose efforts are taking their toll,
The Welshman had vanished by the time of the Col,
Meaning Froome looked quite lonely, and ripe for the taking,
Though the pace of the riders meant they all looked to be baking,

Not true, though, as BOOM! there went Nairo,
Penultimate mountain before he went pyro,
And he went, Froome let him, well he couldn’t catch up,
With their gap edging wider, in a dual match-up,

For the group had exploded and were strewn down the hill,
Except Nibali up front with power of will,
Quintana kept on, kept on, kept on,
To Vincenzo he neared, but to Froome he was gone,

The first time he had really a cause for concern,
At the Colombian youngster with mountain to burn,
The gap at the end was exact half a minute,
And now more than ever one of two men will win it,

Froome has two thirty eight in the bank for Huez,
And if he’s not the winner, it’s clear who is,
A gunfight on the mountain on the next to last day,
The organisers must have dreamed it this way.

And Rolland rolled home.

The stage to Vincenzo, and the Polka Bardet,
Have no doubt, mind, that Quintana was the star of the day.

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