23 Days in July 2019 – Le Tour – Stage 16.

The final week of the Tour has begun. The end is near. Expectations of a French victor – Alaphilippe or Pinot – has the home crowd on a high, but there is still plenty of opportunity for the non-French riders in the top six on GC. Team Ineos had two possible winners, with one being Geraint Thomas last year’s winner.

This stage is Nimes to Nimes. The last opportunity for sprinters before the Champs-Elysees. 177km with only one 4 Cat climb, so there will be breakaways but they are unlikely to stay away, despite those riders being very unlikely to be a GC threat.

The end of any long project can be full of mixed emotions. There is the anticipation and desire for the end, but also apprehension at the end of the routine you’ve made part of your life. You may feel that you have exceeded expectation, or that you have missed opportunities and could have done better. However, looking back you will acknowledge that you have completed a ‘Tour’ and that in itself will be a major accomplishment.

Stage Summary:

177km – Nimes to Nimes.

Caleb Ewan taking his second stage victory of this year’s Tour, coming from a long way back but making it looking convincing on the line, Breakaways did come but the riders were most 2 hours down on the GC standings, so were allowed their TV time, but the sprinters weren’t keen to give them too much of a lead. In the end they were hauled back in with just under 3k left.

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