As we approach the weekend and stage 8 of the Tour de France, our predicted winners are all in the top 12 and within 1:34 from the yellow jersey. Here’s what to expect in the next few days:
Saturday, Stage 8: This course to Toulouse is filled with very challenging rolling hills. Expect a breakaway group to get reeled in and a sprint finish with no major changes in the GC (unless there’s a big crash or something disastrous).
Sunday, Stage 9: This stage has 2 steep climbs that will be warm-up for Stage 10. The course is 140 miles long and has two hills are about 5,000 ft high and 7 miles long. It’s important for the race leaders’s team to set the pace of this race to avoid big breakaways.
Monday, Stage 10: This stage has the first uncategorized climb at Col du Tourmalet and a steep mountain-top finish at the ski station of Hautacam. This course lends itself to a big breakaway that could put minutes on the field. Cadel Evans has been quiet all week and Alejandro Valverde has pulled back since winning stage 1. I’d like to see a breakaway with one (or both) of them.
And if you’re curious about the photo above, yes, it’s Alejandro Valverde riding with a creepy fan cheering him on during the first time trial (wearing socks and a flag).