Must Watch TV: Tour de France takes on Mont Ventoux

(credit: INRNG)

Yes, I want you to read my columns and click on all of my overplaced ads, but before you do this, please set your DVR to record the Tour de France tomorrow.

Although we’re halfway through the race, you can easily say tomorrow’s stage is what everything has been leading up to.

For starts, the stage will end on one of the most iconic locations for Le Tour ending at the peak of Mont Ventoux.

While the barren landscape, high winds and anachronistic observatory makesĀ this summit have more in common with Tatooine than earth, come tomorrow the road will be lined with cycling fans over the entire distance.

There have been nine hard fought finishes up this storied mountain, including a death in 1967 when British cyclist Tom Simpson died partially from heat exhaustion(and probably amphetamine use too).

The tour last visited here in 2013 where Chris Froome and then up and comer Nairo Quintana went toe to toe all the way to the top.

From a competitive level, this stage should have severe ramifications on who will be wearing yellow so far in Paris.

So far, you can say more about people losing the Tour de France rather than winning it this far in. Alberto Contador dropped out. Vincenzo Nibali, Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot are already double digit in minutes behind the leader. Even Ritchie Porte seems out of it sitting just two minutes back after flatting at an unfortunate spot in Stage Two.

Unsurprisingly, Chris Froome has the lead in this race this weekend, but not how we expected. On Saturday’s stage in the Pyrenees, Froome eclipsed the final peak with all the leadersĀ and decided to gun it on the downhill.

His move was unexpected and his style was unorthodox, but in the end he was wearing yellow with a thirteen second lead over Nairo Quintana.


At the moment, there are ten other riders that are within 1:01 of Froome and we can expect them all to take shots at the leader come tomorrow.

The final ascent up Mont Ventoux is ten miles averaging 9% meaning there’s a lot space for someone to make a move. It’ll be up to Froome and his teammates to chase everyone of them down, which will be tiresome over the duration.

We saw a few attacks this past Sunday on Stage 9 summit’s finish, but expect more of a fury come tomorrow.

Strangely, we didn’t see Quintana make a move at any point of that stage. Some wondered if he was just hanging on or is this part of some other strategy. With his perpetual poker face we really won’t know until tomorrow.

The other huge x-factor is the wind. Right now, it is blowing at the peak around 40mph with the chance it’ll be 60mph by tomorrow.

From a race standpoint, this will make the Mont Ventoux climb even harder, but race officials are considering cutting the climb in half if the conditions are extreme. Let’s hope they choose to make them suffer.

In any case, there will be fireworks come to tomorrow and the only thing I can predict is that it’ll be unpredictable.

And that I’ll be off of social media until I get to watch it!