Stage 5: first shave of the Tour:
……starting at the ankles and finishing on the upper thigh…taking great care not to nick the network of varicose veins on right calf.
The Wattmeister found sleep hard to come by. Firstly, a family of foxes came to serenade him in the small hours. Their harmonies sent The Wattmutt into a frenzy which only subsided as the sun rose over Alexandra Palace. Secondly, he kept dreaming of his athletic near miss in the summer of 1966, namely in the Egg and Spoon, Donkey Derby, Table Tennis triathlon in which he finished fourth.
He has followed Greg van Avermaet with hard cash on practically every race since 2009, but not today….so GVA duly stomped away from his fellow breakaway riders to take the yellow jersey with a healthy lead of five minutes.
Greg is not known to be a great climber, but he IS a great competitor and will not relinquish it without a fight.
The last 30 kms of the stage were enlivened by a strong performance by the Movistar team, including a cheeky little dig from their leader Nairo Quintana with about 2.5 kms from the finish. He looks implacable, confident and strong. He should be favourite.
My word, the landscape in the Cantal departement looks wonderful.