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Because I'm too cool to go with the crowd (and / or I forgot about Mo'vember) I just shaved my beard off end of October (Real reason: Had a business trip to meet with the executive team and didn't want to look like a hobo).Yo @ItsShug - I think we found your raccoon.
What are the odds of G taking over for Sky?The same as the odds of @AaronWebstey winning Kona this year. Not zero, but a very, very small number.
Who doesn't like it when the Yellow Jersey attacks on pavé?
Going through GVA's mind in this picture: "Sigh. Welcome to MY house, boys. And this is just a two-star."
Froome tries out for Team France. Didn't draw a yellow card, so if forced to chase back on.
If Dumoulin takes 74 seconds out of Thomas (barring a crash), I will drink this gluten free beer that has been sitting in a warm closet in my house for the past year.
Against the Clock - Dumoulin vs Thomas
Adding those five most recent TT contests together, Dumoulin holds a 380-second lead over Thomas across 159 kilometres, for a time differential of 2.4 seconds per kilometre. Extrapolating that out over 31km, Dumoulin would take 74 seconds from Thomas — not enough to win the Tour, assuming their time difference on GC stays the same.
At the Dauphine, Thomas averaged over 50 km/h over 6.6 km and lost only 20 seconds to Kwitkowski despite this happening:
(Funny how similar this wipe-out is to Froome's Giro TT crash...)
This has been a good Tour so far, Fantasy aside. It would have been amazing had Nibali and Uran hung around, but a bit of attrition at the top is part of the game at this event. The Bahrain squad looked like they would have been solid in the hills. (Damn, imagine Nibbles and Roglic taking that downhill today...)
Lotto was the revelation for me. I had high hopes for Roglic and he did not disappoint. Kruijswijk carried his good form from Switzerland through to the Tour. They offered a stronger one-two than Movistar. The Roglic-Bernal showdown at the 2020 Tour is going to be amazing. And they brought a sprinter to the Tour, so they take home a couple additional wins along with a possible podium.
I'm also impressed with Dumoulin. He lost a road captain in Matthews early, and with all due credit to Geschke (a vegan!), this is not Sunweb's strongest squad. Add Oomen and Kelderman to the mix, assuming they can learn to grind, and that's a badass squad for the hills. I'm not sure it matters though. The guy just rides comfortably in his zone. He can follow the Sky train and when he feels good he takes a dig. When they take off on him, he puts his head down and raises his watts by the minimum number it will take to catch them before the finish line. I'm sure he would appreciate having a lieutenant to fetch him water and help him if he flats, but he has managed just fine so far.
Curious to see what happens tomorrow, before Demare's win in Paris. Side note: This will be the lowest number of finishers since 2008 when Astana was excluded just before the race started, and Sastre won the Tour on a breakaway up the Alpe d'Huez.