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Today was a bit of a hors d’oeuvre for what we will be expecting to see over the next couple of weeks. I’m not a huge fan of the sprints, but I prefer a bit more dramatic climbing than just the one steep kick up at the end of the stage. Either way, its proper bike racing, and the grimpeurs are some of the sports real characters.

B.M.C. do the driving,
As we head away into the hills,
After days of the sprints and the fast men,
Today showed a new set of skills,

The break was controlled at two minutes,
The peloton left them at that,
Knowing they would come back on the mountain,
But could do what they want on the flat.

Just like with the sprints its back loaded,
All the drama is left til the end,
You can win by attacking, or lose the same way,
You gain nothing by trying to defend.

Some names gave us fun at the start of the climb,
Tommy Voeckler and Philippe Gilbert,
The Belgian took off from the front of the group,
But he knew that he wouldn’t stay there.

5.9 at 8.5,
And the Sky train were leading the chase,
In yellow, in white, in Colombian stripes,
Either calm or contorted of face.

Still Sky were pushing, and thinning the field,
Gallopin, Pinot and Rolland,
A bad day from Frenchmen (see Warren Barguil)
Maybe only Bardet hadn’t gone.

With three left to go, we were down to elites,
Kwiatkowski had just done his ride,
Froome and Thomas were waiting at front for the race,
When Aru flew past on the left side.

The Tricolore flying to Planche des Belles Filles,
And Froome had to answer Aru,
Quintana dropped back, left the group now at four,
But they still had a lot left to do.

Porte, Bardet, Martin and Froome were the chasers,
With Aru burning matches ahead,
He crested, he won it, he got to the end,
The glory to green, white and red.

Dan Martin got second, and seconds from Froome,
While Porte tucked himself in behind,
Bardet lost a bit more, but still finished well,
As the shape of the Tour was outlined.

And of course it means nothing, its just seconds for now,
It puts Froome into yellow tonight,
But the way that Aru went so far off the front,
We’re in for a race now alright.