Take It From Carol: Tour de France Stage 15

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Another day, another summit finish....

Three Category 1 climbs, 4700 meters of elevation gain and 185 km in the saddle (115 miles) marks the last day in the Pyrenees. The start will be the same:

A large breakaway: lead out men for GC, Stage win glory, and of course......
Sagan: so he attack at the intermediate sprint for green jersey points

However, as I’ve said in many previous posts, this Tour is surprising and what starts as the usual routine sees us at the finish line with “what?!” In fact, the only expected constant in this Tour thus far: Sagan’s dominance for the green jersey.

Alaphilippe continues to amaze and leaves everyone scratching their heads (and the French holding their breath).....

Every day the commentators predict that this is the day that Alaphilippe will crack. Citing too many days in the mountains for his abilities or too many days where he dug deep to hold the yellow jersey. Geraint Thomas and the other expected contenders for the top of the podium in Paris must be wondering if the yellow jersey really does give you wings or if everyone just missed the mark on the Frenchman.

So why does “what?!” keep happening after years of watching a tightly controlled, predictable and slightly boring race to Paris? The Tour organizers have indeed mixed things up with all the changes in the first week’s routes and the addition of grueling summit finishes along the way. But, I think the major contributing factor to the unpredictable is the lack of Team discipline (or dominance). This year’s Tour has given us more of “everyman for himself” rather than “we all work together for this one man until we crack the other riders with consistent, relentless, steady pacing and strategy.” Thomas looks fit, but Ineos is no Team Sky (or perhaps Thomas has the legs but not the leadership?).

You know who thrives in the “everyman for himself” culture: Alaphilippe.

So let’s start the day with: Can Alaphilippe handle another day, another summit finish or........ “what?!”