Thor is staring down the barrel of a very tough day in the saddle today, Can he hold ?!
He has been fantastic in first gaining the yellow jersey on the back of a great stage one sprint followed by his huge TTT effort, and then holding it with his epic rides up the Mur de Bretagne and Super-Besse.
The big Norwegian has arguably been the most appreciated early race leader since Thomas Voeckler back in 2004 as firstly, he is the wearer of the Rainbow Jersey, and also his defense has been both against the odds, and delivered with true panache.
This stage has three Cat. 2 climbs, three Cat. 3 climbs and one Cat. 4 over 208km (the hardest climbs have the lowest numbers), but the climbs are far enough from the finish that there won’t be gaps for the GC big swingers.
The big question will be can Thor stay in touch for long enough to get over the tougher climbs, and then be dragged back up to the main peloton.
What will go down?
Can He Hold? I reckon Thor will hold! What else? My pick is Van Garderen the young “next big thing” in American cycling will be vying to get in the break to establish himself as the leader of the King of the Mountains jersey (the dotty jumper).
His main rival will be Johnny Hoogerland (Johnny Breakaway) who can’t climb as well, but can get in a break!
- Van Garderen