Many are the times that VeloVeritas answer to Nostradamus, the Legend that is Viktor, has discussed Warren Barguil with me; two beautiful stage wins in the Vuelta in 2013 – and since then?
Two wins, one a criterium – Vik’s making assessment that; ‘he’s milking it’ hard to argue with.
Forgive us, Warren – today makes up for those fallow years.
Bike racing at it’s very best.
Here are our awards for Stage Nine of the 2017 Tour de France:
Man of the day
Warren Barguil (Sunweb & France) with a performance that whilst not quite Chiappucci to Sestriere was a true epic.
It would have been the perfect fairy tale ending if he’d won but like we keep saying, this is pro bike racing not Hans Christian Andersen.
But I guess if he’d won we wouldn’t have had the tears of disappointment when he discovered Uran had won – they made it so much more splendidly emotional.
A marvellous ride, Monsieur – but please don’t keep us waiting so long for the next one. 9.5/10
Mentioned in Despatches
Romain Bardet (AG2R & France) he has what it takes, no respecter of Sky’s mask of invulnerability he takes the racing to them – his day will come. 9/10
Dan Martin (QuickStep & Ireland) Jeez ! that crash must have hurt bad – but he got up and away and chased hard to the line to limit his loses. 8.5/10
Chris Froome (Sky & GB) I can hardly look at him, he looks so bad on a bicycle but he defends that maillot jaune like a tiger. 8/10
Team of the Day
AG2R – OK, the black and white is that they didn’t win – but boy, did they try hard and gave the public what they want to see, daring, excitement, grabbing the race with both hands and ‘never say die.’ 8.5/10
The ‘Lazarus’ Award
Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale & Colombia) walks out of the cave – where he was merely slumbering – and onto the top step of the Stage Nine podium.
The Cannondale press release reads like this:
“It’s unbelievable,” said Uran.
“I didn’t think it was true. I was actually leaving for anti-doping control when they told me I had won. It’s a huge surprise for me.
“When there was the crash of Richie Porte and Dan Martin, Martin hit my gear and broke it,” Uran added.
“I did the whole descent with a broken gear, and I was thinking that I had to find a way to save the day.”
Save the day he did.
The descent off Mont du Chat concluded with around 14-kilometers still to race.
Uran’s derailleur hanger was bent, and his shifting was broken when he paid a visit to the Mavic neutral support car where Mavic mechanic Max Ruphy put the chain in the biggest gear, the 11. Uran