The first Alpine stage of the race began in dramatic fashion as France’s Warren Barguil and Germany’s Marcel Kittel were among those involved in a crash after around 20 kilometres of the 183km route.
“It’s not nice to get the green jersey in those circumstances but I’ve also fought a lot for having it”. That makes him the second-placed in his team on general classification after German Emanuel Buchmann in 16th.
“He’s put himself definitely in the top three, probably a big call at the moment to say he’s the greatest ever, but give him another four more years I’ll have a better indication of how many wins he’s got on the shelf”. He had a lead of 4:14 in 2013, 3:10 in 2014 and 1:37 in 2016. Bardet tried his utmost but failed, and Aru seems to be sinking out of contention fast.
Therefore there are no points for guessing that the pressure is intense at the top.
What effect will the stage have on the overall markets?
First the important stats of the stage.
Martin and Bardet launched countless attacks of their own on the climb, but Froome stayed in control.
With that result, Froome is still in the yellow jersey. It is surely about isolating Froome in this stage.
“I was surprised by Aru dropping time today”.
While Bardet’s repeated bursts of acceleration on the Galibier eventually cracked Aru, they couldn’t shake off Froome.
If Roglic still has energy, he could pick up another stage victory, possibly on Saturday in the individual time trial, which he’s proven adept at before. Conversely, if Sky hold him back, they let the attacker free.
Or, Froome cracks and Landa attacks. “Right now, still I can not really form all these feelings”.
“After getting 50 points yesterday I knew that it was game on”, Matthews said.
The difference is what happens on the first big climb.
Armstrong might be “Mr Unwanted” in cycling circles now, but his advice does carry some weight of experience. I lost to my direct rivals.
Where Bardet has shown his teeth, the question remains for Uran: has he been hanging on, or waiting to show his own strength?
Speaking after stage 15, the 29-year-old German was hoping to resume his battle for green in Paris.
Matthews concluded the work of his team during a good part of this stage of 165 km conducted at a brisk pace, more than 45 km/h.
When Sky had pulled us clear of the others, they moved across the road and things settled down. In Peyragudes his lethal acceleration earned him the stage win.
“It’s still gong to be hard (to win), there are still two totally flat sprints with Paris and stage 19”, he said.