Im a true fan of the Tour de France. I used to ride it as a pro, Im now helping TV productions, so I shouldnt say what Im about to say but its the obvious truth: Today was a boring day!
If you look at the course, it cant really be any different. You have an easy climb 40k before the finish line so no one can get surprised in it and then its downhill and flat till the finish. Therefore, there isnt much strategy. You just control the race, make sure you dont lose time on your direct competitor and you can rest a bit.
And thats exactly how the guys played it today. These days show some very conservative behaviours (which is normal in some ways) but it isnt quite what we expect from the Tour de France.
Im not talking about the riders. They made the right call today. They race to win. Im talking about the race directors. Presenting days like that on the Tour is not quite good for the audience so maybe there could be something to think about it here. Shorten the length of the Tour or maybe these stages. I dont have the answer.
But Im afraid that the next stage will pretty much be the same except that the climb is a very serious one. Its the Tourmalet. Hopefully, things can change tomorrow and we could see some action.
Today showed us that Contador is the man to beat in the mountains and I think he will rule the Tourmalet tomorrow and maybe gain the yellow jersey. That would be the best thing that could happen to the Tour.
We need some excitements like we had on the first days. We have to keep the momentum for the fans and for the riders!
The only positive thing about stages like today is that they suit any type of riders. So in some ways, its good for the sport. Everyone gets a shot at a stage at some point so it helps the riders stay focused on the Tour.
Anyway, I hope tomorrow will be fun to watch and if not, Im not worried much. There are exciting things to come!
Ronan Pensec participated eight times in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates Ronan Pensec Travel, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.