With a 2’52” lead Chris Froome looks unassailable. As much credit must go to Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte his minders and wingmen at SKY as to the lead rider with his superhuman strength. It’s a sad reflection on our sport that questions are asked as to whether this was lawfully achieved.
I had a long chat with John Pargiter. Like all gamblers and womanisers he is intuitively unhappy over some missed opportunity, the last one being the 50-1 shot on Rafal Majka recommended by the Racing Post for the first mountain stage two days ago. I pointed out that my pick of Froome at 10-1 for King of Mountains looks good notwithstanding the Joachim Rodriguez victory yesterday. Froome has a nine point lead in the polka dot jersey and with Porte well up the classement plenty of support. At various points yesterday Valverde, Quintana, Contador attacked but the defence was too strong and team SKY fought them all off.
I also reminded John that his South African picks were well up the Open leaderboard. He had backed Dustin Johnson too. Comparisons in sport can make for interesting discussion and I argued that in the Tour every rider had to deal with bad weather yesterday whilst at St Andrews much depends on the tee off times. Those like Justin Rose who had an early draw yesterday and an afternoon one today had to play in the worst of the climactic conditions. Johnson is out at 2-30 with Spieth and Matsuyama and his big game looks best equipped. Pargie pointed out that DJ has often been in this position and blown it, most recently needing 3 putts to hole from 12 feet on the final green at the U.S. Open.
Today is the transitional stage of the Tour and I recommend Kristoff who usually performs well to Pargie. There will surely be a final attack on Froome in the Alps from Quintana but I can’t see it succeeding.