Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas
G for GC?
fizik
07/19/2019

The biggest race of all rarely fails to excite, and this year’s edition has already brought thrills and spills for fizik riders, with a lot more potential over the coming stages, with a short time trial before the challenges and opportunities of the mountains that put the finest riders under extreme pressure to produce astonishing, mesmeric performances.

Jumbo-Visma riders have been grabbing the headlines with four stage wins so far. ‘Unlikely hero’ Mike Teunissen surprised everyone by swapping his yellow team jersey for the official ASO shade in the 100th year of the maillot jaune. Following an imperious TTT victory Dylan Groenewegan bossed a chaotic sprint on in Chalon-sur-Saône, and Wout van Aert’s powerful dash to the stage 10 line with his Antares R1 sent shivers up the spine before his nasty crash in the closing stages of the ITT. His brave efforts add another dramatic twist to today’s lumpy 27.2km Individual Time Trial at Pau, where the beautifully poised General Classification battle hots up ahead of the remaining Pyrennean and then Alpine stages.

Team Jumbo Visma

Team Jumbo Visma

Team Ineos’ TTT second place set up the good early GC positions for joint leaders Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Staying on the right side of stage 10’s sidewind-induced split ensured they go into the ITT in second and third respectively. Even without the absence of some strong chrono-men, “G” would be amongst the favorites to win today. He’s been playing cool with the media but make no mistake, he is immensely proud of the number 1 dossard he earned last July, riding in his super-ventilated Infinito R1 Knit shoes.

Geraint ThomasGeraint Thomas

 

“Everyone is mindful that the next three days are going to be big for the GC, said Ineos’ Thomas. “I’ll get to go all in. I like it. It’s fast, and it should be hard. It’s going to be a big day.”

Van Aert and his GC lead Steven Kruijswijk are both on form: “If you look back at the Dauphine time trial, I gained time on most of the GC guys… Hopefully I can do the same.” said De Kleerhanger.

 Movistar Team’s joint leader Nairo Quintana is also ready to pounce: “It’s going to be all about going flat out, and there are no other options,” said his director sportive Txente García Acosta. The Lion aims to head into the final two Pyrenees climbing stages in his Infinito R1 Movistar shoes in a position to threaten for the overall, and complete his Grand Tour ‘set’.

Nairo QuintanaNairo Quintana

Although it’s ‘only’ 117km long, Saturday’s Stage 14 includes a punishing 19km ascent of the iconic Col du Tourmalet – could its summit finish prove instrumental? And who will attack where on Sunday’s 185km mountains stage that takes in the back-to-back pain of the Port de Lers, Mur de Péguère and the Prat d’Albis with another 12km ascent?

With Monday’s rest day to recover, all our riders know they could decide to go full gas on either to make the difference… but the following six stages mix sprints with some increasingly tough Alpine adventures, which those GC contenders will also have in mind when they work out how much, if anything, they could leave ‘in the tank’ in the Pyrenees. They are risks to take, decisions to make and opportunities for glory!

Tour de France