Stage 17 race report

Back to the chrono racing today, a 33km hilly and technical (flash term for lots of turns) course that wouldn’t favour the pure chrono riders but the GC riders. Therefore, no point in selecting Der Panzerwagen. Great for the spectators though, most TTs are pretty boring in person but a hilly TT always gives you more enjoyment (ie the sight of pain on faces for longer)…and by the end of the stage we were fully on the edge of the seat, even to the point where we swapped the TT onto the big screen and relegated Iron Chef to the picture-in-picture.

There was a risk of rain throughout the morning that manifested itself midway through the race and throughout the day at different points on the course. This seemed to torture the minds of Pierre Rolland and Cadelephant who both notched up woeful times.

Let’s spare a thought for Jean-Christophe Peraud who crashed while doing a recon on the course. He was dashed off to hospital for scans that showed a cracked collarbone. This wasn’t enough to keep him from the start line to continue on with the Tour. Chapeau JC!

Westra set the first time that endured until Izaguirre took the hotseat. He barely got to get settled before Tejay VG took the fastest time.

Due to the unique course today, the bike of choice were less than uniform. Some riders were using a road frame with clip ons, some a full TT bike, Some a road bike until the top of the final climb then a TT bike from the roof of the team car to the end. We always had a pang of anxiety when someone jumped off their bike at the top of the climb to swap onto another bike. Just more potential for problems if you ask us.

With less than 20 riders to come in Valverde came through with a time almost a minute under TJV. While the focus moved to the big hitters coming through the intermediate checks, poor old Jean Christophe Peraud binned it again on the same shoulder for the second time of the day, this time only 2km from the finish. I can only guess that he was less than interested getting up again and at that point abandoned the Tour.

The fastest time soon fell in Rodriguez’s lap which maybe (hopefully!) is an indication of him finding some form for the last week. You have to love watching “Purito” when he is on song.

But it wasn’t to last with Contador beating his time by 1 second. Now all were waiting for Froome, who was dealing with rain on the descent and looked like he was a man racing safely and with a fair old time buffer to second than a man chasing for the yellow jersey.

Looks though can be deceiving. Coming into the finish line it was clear that Froome was going to win in a canter, beating Contador by 9 seconds. Froome now has 3 stage wins in a so far dominant performance at this Tour!

Tomorrow is basically set to be the biggest day in our life. We would be surprised if it wasn’t yours too. Alpe d’Huez twice.. we can’t wait!

Stage 17 tipping report

We’ll start off covering the stage, where a full 78 of you took Froome. A good tip in the sense that you won the stage. But it was a waste of Froome in the sense that he only put 9 seconds on Contador. Compare that to one of his other wins where he managed to put 30s or a minute into the other contenders.

Sure, spare a thought for JC Peraud…but also spare a thought for the nearly 225 people who tipped Cadelephant. We at VT love ourselves some Cadelephant (and there are (non-dirty) pictures to prove it), but we are much more likely to take him on the iconic Stage 18 rather than the somewhat-enigmatic, Giro-esque TT. Cadel finished 167th, a full 8’05″ down on Froome.

Now that the formalities are over, let’s look at the overall competitions.

Recall yesterday how we bagged on about tipping being a cruel sport. But tipping is a cruel sport. Dominic Lefebvre looked magnificent in yellow as he took to the TT course. Unfortunately, he was riding alongside Richie Porte….who dropped 4’49″. Oh dear. Goodness me, Phil, these are not the sort of gaps you want to be seeing in the sport of professional cycling.

So Lukas van der Steen moves into yellow having backed Contador for second place. Nicholas Deane backed Froome and takes over second place 1:07 down. Interestingly enough, Brenton Thain and Melanie Neumann both took Mollema(!!!) and hold 3rd and 4th, 2:32 and 3:10 off the lead. Chester Sanderson is another 3 seconds down on Melanie.

Placees 6-10 are held by Andrew Craig, Fin McNab, Jake Schoellkopf, Dominic Lefebvre and Jes Holm.

So what’s next? Well it’s not going to be easy to stay at the top. Everyone in the top 20 has used Froome. Half have used Contador, including tippers 1-4. Rodriguez and Valverde are more available, but they aren’t at the same level as the heavy hitters. There are some good gaps, but with double Alpe d’Huez there will be some outstanding gaps in the race. It’s still wide open. Stress levels should be high.

In the Sprint, Luke McDermott has 346 points leading Plamen Stoyanov on 342. Nick Anskey is in 3rd on 328.

Dale Cridge has taken over the KOM comp with 98 points. Matt Dawley is on 94.

Anyhow, we presume that whatever jurisdiction in which you live has declared tomorrow a national holiday so you should have plenty of time to analyse the results and tip second place (we’ll be taking the winner, and we don’t intend to share. Have some 45 minutes to make up after all).


General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 17

Position Name Time Sprint KOM
1 Lukas van der Steen  2 day(s), 17:59:32 274 60
2 Nicholas Deane  2 day(s), 18:00:39 198 45
3 brenton thain  2 day(s), 18:02:04 197 50
4 melanie neumann  2 day(s), 18:02:42 172 21
5 Chester Sanderson  2 day(s), 18:02:45 221 57
6 Andrew Craig  2 day(s), 18:02:53 218 7
7 Fin McNab  2 day(s), 18:03:03 239 6
8 Jake Schoellkopf  2 day(s), 18:03:42 155 45
9 Dominic Lefebvre  2 day(s), 18:03:47 250 75
10 Jes Holm  2 day(s), 18:05:23 225 42
11 Joel Watson  2 day(s), 18:06:24 281 75
12 Misha Zgoznik  2 day(s), 18:07:10 215 78
13 Sascha Eisele  2 day(s), 18:07:12 221 74
14 Andrew Collins  2 day(s), 18:07:21 217 71
15 Patrick Reynolds  2 day(s), 18:07:29 152 23
16 Andrew Irwin  2 day(s), 18:08:06 218 75
17 DON CUELL  2 day(s), 18:08:11 251 43
18 Nick Anskey  2 day(s), 18:08:35 328 45
19 Aaron Donaldson  2 day(s), 18:08:57 314 45
20 Paul Ruskin  2 day(s), 18:09:20 244 70
21 Neil Mylott  2 day(s), 18:09:30 271 70
22 Simon Haydon  2 day(s), 18:09:30 294 73
23 Nick Lothian  2 day(s), 18:09:44 292 70
24 Louis Raymond  2 day(s), 18:09:51 248 7
25 Borja Barbesà  2 day(s), 18:10:05 173 0
26 Tim Hodge  2 day(s), 18:10:10 315 30
27 Matt Robbins  2 day(s), 18:10:28 212 45
28 Jonathan Bertram  2 day(s), 18:10:34 189 63
29 Nick Weeks  2 day(s), 18:10:36 277 33
30 Guthrie Finlay Collins  2 day(s), 18:10:47 230 70
31 Sean Lake  2 day(s), 18:11:01 194 45
32 Paul Mapp  2 day(s), 18:11:05 205 13
33 Allan Weatherley  2 day(s), 18:11:17 202 78
34 Rhys Buzza  2 day(s), 18:11:17 121 78
35 Paul W  2 day(s), 18:11:31 227 61
36 kelly Dinardo  2 day(s), 18:11:38 167 3
37 Adam Levin  2 day(s), 18:12:00 193 75
38 Troy Bryant  2 day(s), 18:12:16 262 55
39 james monahan  2 day(s), 18:12:22 186 62
40 Leon Goh  2 day(s), 18:12:23 200 26
41 Darryl McAndrew  2 day(s), 18:12:29 223 58
42 Jason Williams  2 day(s), 18:12:40 286 69
43 Ron Klajnblat  2 day(s), 18:12:48 263 3
44 Luke McDermott  2 day(s), 18:12:59 346 50
45 Jackson Ankers  2 day(s), 18:13:02 261 5
46 Michael Pettingill  2 day(s), 18:13:08 207 45
47 buds fuller  2 day(s), 18:13:10 279 70
48 Craig McCulloch  2 day(s), 18:13:23 261 37
49 Dean Rance  2 day(s), 18:13:48 172 75
50 Harry Swinnerton  2 day(s), 18:13:53 193 68

To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here